Ficci literacy webinar – many remedies for the invisible disease

The inter-generational disruption of disadvantage disrupted

61
Clockwise Ficci panel on World Literacy day, from top left: Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis Society; Arunabh Singh, chairman UP West of Ficci Arise; Preeti Vyas, chief executive officer and president at Amar Chitra Katha; Monica Malhotra Kandhari, co-chair of Ficci’s publishing committee
Clockwise Ficci panel on World Literacy day, from top left: Vidya Yeravdekar, principal director of Symbiosis Society; Arunabh Singh, chairman UP West of Ficci Arise; Preeti Vyas, chief executive officer and president at Amar Chitra Katha; Monica Malhotra Kandhari, co-chair of Ficci’s publishing committee

On 8 September 2021, the World Literacy Day, Ficci organized a webinar to discuss the growth of literacy in India over the past pandemic year and the way ahead. In a panel discussion Arunabh Singh, chairman UP West of Ficci Arise, Monica Malhotra Kandhari, co-chair of Ficci’s publishing committee, Vidya Yeravdekar, and professor Rajan Saxena, members of the Ficci higher education committee put forward their views on literacy in India.

Panelists discussing on Indian literacy at Ficci webinar

Singh said that education disrupts the inter-generational transmission of disadvantage. “If you educate somebody, the chances that they will remain disadvantaged are reduced.” He, however, said that increasing the literacy level is not an easy task, although, over the years, many agencies have tried.

According to him, India can shift into the next higher gear by getting more and more people to form a love of learning. However, he said that even literate Indians do not read many books, which can change only with teacher training. “This is where we are lagging. Some of our most poorly trained teachers have the most complicated problems to solve,” Singh said.

National Education Policy – making a child school-ready

Monica Malhotra Kandhari spoke about the government school system and the gaps in teacher training that can help to change school learning fundamentally. She also spoke about the National Education Policy (NEP) and its imperative as far education and literacy are concerned is mainly in the school space.

While governments have emphasized education, they have understood that we must produce global citizens, and the early childhood inputs are critical. “It is the first time in the NEP we have included early childhood as the most crucial facet of education in making a child school-ready,” Kandhari said.

Overcome of exam mindset 

Kandhari added that the nation needs a more vocational orientation and system to overcome its exam-oriented mindset. However, this mindset change cannot be enforced by the government alone and has to come from the home, school, administration, and everything around us. “Everyone has to be in sync with the idea that it is not about the number game but the outcome,” she said.

Importance of adult literacy

Saxena’s view was that if India has to achieve full literacy, the country must focus on adult literacy, especially women’s literacy. He explained that the Covid-19 pandemic and its ensuing total lockdown of the economy, including schools, has negatively impacted literacy programs and increased both child labor and child marriages.

Singh’s observation is that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant learning loss for school-going children across the globe, whether it is the developed world or the developing world. It is just that the loss has been much severe and perhaps not as quickly remediable in countries such as India.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

Subscribe Now

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here