Karnataka Learning Partnership a runaway success 95 percent
hit on improving reading skills
Bangalore, September 15, 2006
The Karnataka Learning
Partnership, a public-private initiative by Akshara
Foundation, the Education Department, Government of
Karnataka and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, on Thursday
presented the findings of its reading programme conducted
across 1309 government primary schools in Bangalore.
The initiative, aimed at improving learning outcomes
among primary school children in Karnataka, completed
its first phase, implementing a city-wide reading programme.
The Karnataka Learning Partnership team assessed a
total number of 1,76,235 children between Classes two
and seven in all 1410 government primary schools in
Bangalore and found 50% of them needed remedial help
A total of 69,800 children were put in to an accelerated
reading programme during the first trimester of the
academic year. In all 4,355 teachers were trained to
conduct this programme, during a special one-and –a
– half our session, conducted for 45 working days.
After 45 story cards and nearly 3 months, the Karnataka
Learning Partnership has seen some significant achievements.
Across Bangalore Urban District, 64% children who were
classified as ‘non-readers’ in the assessment
have become ‘readers’.
Over 95% of children showed movement up the five-point
reading scale. Only 2% of the children remained at ‘zero’
Level. After Three months of the programme, 45,000 children
have learnt have to read.
Addressing the media, Minister for Primary and Secondary
Education, Basavaraja Horatti said that Rs.2 crore had
been spent on this programme by Akshara Foundation and
the credit for the success of this programme goes to
The minister also appealed to the private sector to
join hands with the government in social initiatives.
“Everything cannot be done by government alone.
Public-private partnership is the way to go. We should
have helping hands from out side the government. Like
Infosys, if other firms whose turnovers are in crores,
also make some effort to encourage educational programmes,
it is possible to improve the education in the state
which is lagging behind other states, as most of the
children lack basic reading and writing skills”.
According to government statistics, the Education Department
spends around Rs 4,200 on each child, which includes
teachers ‘salary, uniform, building, food etc,
and approximately Rs. 6 crores is spent on education.
Horatti also said that the teachers have and must continue
to put in more effort improvising their teaching skills
in such programmes.
“The government considers this a successful programme
as children have benefited immensely.
Teachers and educators have been enthused about this
mission while parents are excited to see their children
read better,” Said T.M. Vijay Bhaskar, Education
Secretary, Government of Karnataka, “This has
now given us the confidence to take this initiative
beyond Bangalore to all parts of the state. It is heartening
that civil society players like Akshara Foundation have
put in so much energy in to this initiative. We look
forward to more programmes under the Karnataka Learning
Partnership”, he added.
The Karnataka Learning Partnership used technology
in a big way to implement and monitor the programme.
A comprehensive database of information covering all
government primary schools in Bangalore was developed
using geographical information systems (GIS), which
provided complete information in both text and visual
form. A special website www.karnatakalearningpartnership.org
was created to track the programme real time and provide
up to date information on the programme to all the stakeholders.
“We all know that reading is a primary skill
without which even mathematics cannot be understood
in our education system”, said Rohini Nilekani,
Chairperson, Akshara Foundation, “the results
are there for all to see. Everyone who participated
in this exercise feels a sense of great stratification
at the huge effort that was put in. It was done in a
focused, time bound, efficient manner and has benefited
tens of thousands of children. So many of them are now
happily engaged to read every thing around them.”