Most parents believe that an English education is the magic key to a bright future for their children. In Goa, around 40% of children complete their primary education either in Marathi or Konkani. However in middle school, almost all move to English medium of instruction. Are these children able to read and write with meaning in English? To answer this question, 111 children studying in Std 5 in 15 Government and Government–aided schools were assessed with reading and writing tasks. In addition the Heads of the schools and the English teachers of Std 4 and 5 were interviewed to understand the challenges that they face.
Classroom observations of the English classes were also done to determine approaches to teaching literacy skills. In addition, the state prescribed Marigold English textbook of Std. 4 was analysed. The results are rather alarming. Only 8% of children could read and write with meaning. The performance in the Government schools was particularly poor. Though the Heads of schools were well aware of the situation, lack of teacher training and inadequate resources hampered the development of literacy instruction.
There was scant knowledge about the benefits of multilingual education. Various recommendations have been made to the Government for corrective action, including the need for a State literacy program, revamping of the literacy instruction component in teacher training courses, focus on meaning-making while reading and writing in the classroom and availability of high quality children’s literature in schools.
Do read the entire report – Child Literacy in Goa &ndash ; and give us your feedback. You can download it here
Principal Investigator: Sujata Noronha (Bookworm)
Project Coordinator: Nandita de Souza
Research Team: Prajna Udupi, Asawari Nayak, Surabhi Thakur
Research advisor: Anibel Ferus Comelo
Statistical Advisor: Supriya Menezes
Technology Consultant: Niju Mohan (Bookworm)
Administrative support: Michelle Maciel, Ulka Lotlikar