Celebrating International Literacy Day

Today 8th September is International Literacy Day

This year, International Literacy Day is being celebrated across the world under the theme of “Literacy in a digital World”. Globally despite economic and social progress at least 750 million adults and 264 million out-of-school children still lack basic literacy skills. The basic definition of literacy is having the ability to read and write.

For EnglishHelper™ the day is significant. Our RightToRead program is addressing challenges of basic literacy and reading.

While the number of Indians who can read and write has improved since Independence, literacy in India is distributed unevenly. In rural India where it is absent, it has continued to perpetuate poverty. Thirty-six percent of the world’s illiterate live in India, and one in five people were considered poor in 2016.

Since 2013, EH has worked with Government schools across the country to improve basic reading skills of students. Today ReadToMe™ our reading and comprehension solution is deployed in over 5000 schools, across multiple states and has touched the lives of over 1 million students and thousands of teachers. Use of Technology has enabled us to scale rapidly, stay relevant and assist teachers and students with low reading proficiency.

The impact the program has had on students have been tremendous. In Purulia, West Bengal at Baragram High school (an RTR school) Nitish Kumar Suren a young student using RTM remarked “It is a very nice feeling when Sir calls on me to read. I love getting every word correct.”  At Corporation Girls School in Coimbatore, the Principal Anbuselvi remarks “Students in my school come from a very poor backgrounds and do not have televisions, computers or cell phones at home. They see ReadToMe™ as a wonder and come to class with enthusiasm and excitement.” In Gujarat, the desire to learn English is strong. The children’s dreams and spirits are even stronger. Priyanka, a student of class 6 says her dream is to become a Pilot. “I’ve always wanted to sit on a plane but not as a passenger, as the person driving.”

As International Literacy Day is celebrated in India and around the world we take this opportunity to celebrate our efforts as a company to bring meaningful change in the world and bridge the divide.

Measuring Reading Improvement

The RightToRead initiative aims to improve students’ English reading and comprehension ability by integrating tech-enabled reading with the school curriculum.

Teachers and students constantly provide feedback that the program increases engagement leading to higher retention and learning. However, as the program rolls out to cover millions of students across grades, cultures and geographies, it becomes imperative to be able to measure the impact in a quantified, standardized basis. EnglishHelperTM has commissioned independent assessments to gauge this impact in several states, including West Bengal, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab. These assessments are designed as baseline-end line assessments comparing outcomes of students studying in schools that implement the program (Treatment group) with those from schools that have not deployed tech-enabled reading in class (Control group).

All the assessments are conducted in an unbiased, low-stakes environment through an electronic medium, either using tablets or computers.

The assessments maintain contextual relevance for students in that they are designed based on the textbooks.  At the same time, all the assessments follow a standard rubric appropriate for each grade level.  This enables examination of the reading proficiency of students across various segments and over time.

Read More:


We must aim to help educate smarter |Sanjay Gupta-Random Scribbles |The Economic Times Blogs

Through this column, I have been drawing attention to the poor state of education in our country and the need to leverage technology as the fastest, most economical, effective way to address the problem.

To support the case for technology as a necessary intervention, I have discussed the increasing evidence from the classroom – excitement and engagement of students, overwhelming positive responses from teachers and the pace at which technology enabled programs can expand. However, this path is not without challenge.

Read More:


Kannada-medium students learn Queen’s English the king’s way

Learning Queen’s English does not mean classroom monologue for students at a Kannada-medium school in Bengaluru. They are learning the language with a digital teaching tool that gives them multi-sensory experience.





Computers in the Classroom| Business Standard | January 2017

As government school classrooms go, this room in the Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya near Delhi’s Thyagaraj Stadium is strikingly different. Instead of a blackboard, it has a projector and a screen. The teacher wields a mouse instead of chalk. The students have no notebooks — instead their digitised Class VI English textbook is on the screen. However, what makes this classroom unusual is the enthusiastic class participation. All 35 hands go up whenever the teacher asks a question, and when it is their turn to read from the text, all 35 voices rise in high-pitched unison. “To think that when these students joined this school last year, some couldn’t even write their names in Hindi,” says Sunita Sharma, the principal. “But ever since they began learning English using the computer under the Right to Read (RTR) initiative, their reading and comprehension levels have improved substantially.”


New software helps underprivileged kids speak English the right way | Indian Express – Express News Service | December 2016

English is a tricky language. Remember the time in school when most of us spelt ‘received’ incorrectly? But not sixth graders in government Girls’ High School in Rezimental Bazaar in Secunderabad.
“They got it right in the first time,” said their teacher, Asha Kumari, as close to 25 children listen to a voice reading out content from their English textbooks. The children sit in their digitised computer lab, all staring at the big screen and reading out the text.



E-Education Playing Professor Henry Higgins | Outlook| January 2017

Technology is being deployed not to replace teachers but to support them to improve learning outcomes
Even as English Helper, in collaboration with American India Foundation and the IL FS Education has witnessed positive outcomes in some 5000 government schools spread across eight states, studies of other similar initiatives show the growing and evolving role of technology as an education tool to promote not just language skills but also make learning more engaging. Experts emphasis that technology is being deployed not to replace teachers but to support them to improve outcomes.