Learning poverty means unable to read and understand , age appropriate text by age 10. Reading is a important factor in education and passage for learning as the child progress through school. It helps children learn better in all other subjects. And, it can be measured effectively. This is why, learning poverty is defined as being unable to read and understand a simple text by age 10. If till the age of 10 if children is unable to read its a clear indication that the school system in not well organized. It is possible to learn after the age of 10 but according to world bank article, children who don’t read by age 10—or at the latest, by the end of primary school—usually fail to master reading later in their schooling career. Even though most children are in school, a large proportion are not acquiring fundamental skills. Moreover, 260 million children are not even in school.
According to World Bank 70% of children by the age if 10 is unable to read a simple text. Before pandemic it was 53%. Global learning crisis is increasing because of school closure due to COVID–19 pandemic and if something is not done now, this generation will unable to acquire the human capital they need to power their careers and economies once they leave school , they have lower productivity, lower earning, lower well being in the future.
The learning poverty indicator focuses on reading for three reasons:
Reading proficiency is an easily understood learning measure
Reading is a student’s gateway to learning in other areas
Reading proficiency can serve as a proxy for foundational learning in other subjects
Even though many countries have significantly raised educational investments, today the world is facing a learning crisis.
Steps taken to address learning poverty in India-
- NEP calls for achieving foundational skills - reading, writing and arithmetic - for all children in primary school and beyond 2025.
- NIPUN Bharat mission
- SEQI by NITI Aayog aims to shofts the focus to learning outcomes.
- NISHTHA programme for Teachers and School Heads launched by NCERT