Panaji, Goa: 21st January 2023 – Joining hands in sharing the joy of reading with every child, the Directorate of Education is partnering with Pratham Books to launch ‘Goa is Reading’, an initiative to promote reading in schools. This is supported by Indus Towers, one of the world’s largest telecom tower companies and India’s leading provider of passive telecom infrastructure, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
The campaign will impact young learners across the state of Goa and will run in government schools, schools aided by the state government and private independent schools.
The main objective of the ‘Goa is Reading’ intervention is to promote reading habits among students by setting up a structured reading framework for schools. Through this initiative, which is in line with recommendations of the National Education Policy (2020) and the NIPUN Bharat Guidelines, schools and teachers will have access to a large repository of openly licensed high-quality English and Marathi children’s storybooks and supplementary resources for Grades 1 to 8 via the Pratham Books Reading Programme. These resources, which can be read for free, will be available in English and Marathi on Pratham Books’ open-source digital platform, StoryWeaver (www.storyweaver.org.in). Physical reading corners will also be set up in classrooms with the Library-in-a-Classroom from Pratham Books.
The initiative was launched by the Honourable Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Pramod Sawant. The launch event was attended by school principals and teachers from across the state. Shri Nagaraj G Honnekeri, Director of SCERT, welcomed the gathering, followed by Director of Education Shri Shailesh Zingde delivering the inaugural address. Honourable Chief Minister Shri Pramod Sawant officially launched the intervention by unveiling the ‘Goa is Reading’ campaign poster and presented the Library-in-a-Classroom from Pratham Books to a school in Sanquelim constituency with a pledge to take the campaign to all schools across the state of Goa. Shri Nagaraj Honnekeri, Director SCERT, Shri Shailesh Zingde, Director of Education; Purvi Shah, Senior Director – StoryWeaver, Pratham Books all provided perspectives on the importance of developing a culture of joyful reading in schools.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasises the importance of well-stocked school libraries and digital libraries to attain the goal of foundational literacy for all children by the year 2025. It recommends making quality children’s literature available in all local languages to build a culture of reading across the country, setting aside specific hours in school to nurture a habit of reading for pleasure from a young age. Stories and reading are an important part of children’s growth and development, encouraging them to build vocabulary, derive connections between stories and their own lives, and understand how different people think about different things. Children who read are able to think more, are able to express themselves more freely, and become independent learners.
Shri Nagara Honnekeri, Director, SCERT said, “The Directorate of Education, Goa is committed to achieving the NEP goals and nurturing a love for reading in every child. The ‘Goa is Reading’ intervention in partnership with Pratham Books’, StoryWeaver and supported by Indus Towers will provide a rich repository of digital and offline resources in English, Marathi and Konkani to get the children of Goa, reading.”
Himanshu Giri, CEO, Pratham Books said, “We are delighted to partner with the Directorate of Education, Goa with support from a CSR initiative of Indus Towers to share the joy of reading with children across the state of Goa with the ‘Goa is Reading’ initiative. Through digital and physical storybooks, thousands of children will discover the joy of reading through this unique initiative, helping us further our mission of ‘a book in every child’s hands”.