Points for the discussion(… by indish scientist Rammohan Khanapurkar on early literacy education-conference next week in leipzig, here for the panel social parameters (obstacles) for reading and writing, see also Khanapurkars Report and pisaversteher/literacy and posts below)
1. Government schools versus private schools…English medium versus Regional medium – It is perceived in India that private education (mainly English medium schools) offers better quality than government schools. This has direct bearing on reading acquisition process at the cognitive level and motivation of teachers to offer best early literacy practices.
2. Objective of education…Preparing for Grades – Education is highly centralized with fixated notions of learning outcomes in the form of a formal degree. In this process, less focus is given on early literacy processes and more on output in the form of grades/progress report. Children are encouraged to read…but read more for better grades and less for pleasure.
3. Parents as bystanders – Generally schools become the ultimate authority, assuming role of guardians in every aspect of education. As a result, parents play lesser role in early reading. Many times, low literacy of parents turns them away from active participation in children’s learning process. This leaves little scope for social life to play its vibrant role.
Caveat – India, we’ve a situation with different education boards offering their customized curriculum based on their brand image and ideologies of learning. Even then due to size of the country with unimaginable diversity in economic conditions, government schools still rule the roost.
My inputs on ‘Issues, Ideas and Challenges in Early Literacy’ would focus mainly on government schools offering education in the regional medium. They are still eighty percent and as they are inexpensive, matters for people with low income groups.
Social transition of rising aspiration of people, treating education as a purchasable commodity for better life and hope can be a dominant theme of my discussion. Even early literacy processes bear direct brunt of this transition, making them less standardized for masses and more customized for classes.