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Though 68.3% of children of primary school age are enrolled in school, 39.58% drop out without completing Class V. Of those still in school, 56.82% drop out before Class VIII. Finally, a mere 32.6% complete 10 years of schooling.1

In Karnataka, 40.39% are known to complete 10 years of schooling2 . Across the 1407 Government schools in Bangalore City alone, a mere 10% complete 12 years of schooling2 . Why? - the single most common reason remains “lack of learning”.

Over the years, although the government has laboured to improve enrollment through various programmes like Chinnara Angala, Coolie Inda Shaalege, and Baa Marali Shaalege, the learning achievement inside the classroom has continued to be dismal and disappointing.

Akshara Foundation conceived the Accelerated Reading Programme (ARP) against this backdrop. The ARP programme aims to help children ‘learn to read'. Since reading is intrinsically linked to the learning process, the programme focuses on developing the reading ability in children. Working towards the ultimate goal of ensuring that every child is in school and most importantly learning well, Akshara innovated a regional adaptation of the Accelerated reading technique as part of its ARP programme.

Implemented in 117 schools across the S2 & N2 Education Blocks of Bangalore City and impacting over 4500 children, the programme was a collaborative effort by Akshara Foundation & the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). Demonstrating a proactive commitment by the state to internalize an innovative reading programme, it has emerged as a unique private-public partnership towards enhancing learning outcomes for children enrolled in the public schooling system.

The programme has received critical acclaim for its technique, design and the attractive teaching/learning material. Both the implementing partners (Akshara Foundation and the SSA) are keen to take this success ahead and impact a larger population; the modalities of the next steps are being addressed by both parties.

The ARP has touched the lives of 10,000 children in need of a learning supplement. A specific intervention to improve reading levels, the ARP surely holds immense potential as we plan the next phase.

1 National Human Development Report 2001
2 Office of Commissioner for Public Instructions, Govt. of Karnataka, Bangalore









Story cards, alphabet charts, excited children, eager to learn – the Accelerated Reading Programme is the new bumblebee in government schools across Bangalore City. While 8 year Manjesh finds the ARP a huge attraction to attend classes regularly, dreamy eyed Kalika finally feels she can read; the little one waves her story card in joy indicating that its her favorite reading material. If not making her read, the story cards have incited her to learn.

The Accelerated Reading Programme is talked about in every school. By teachers – who are amazed by its impact, by children who have experienced its usefulness; and, by school administrations that are happy with improved attendance records.

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