Wednesday, October 04, 2006
In India, a country saddled with one-third of the world's literacy problem, there are nearly 300 million people who are illiterate and 400 million who have only a rudimentary knowledge of the alphabet. That's 700 million people who cannot read even a newspaper headline.
As I wrote in December, PlanetRead employs Same Language Subtitling (SLS) to give subconscious reading practice for 30 minutes a week to more than 200 million early-literates in India, operating via 10 TV programmes in 10 languages. We’re hoping to take this project internationally, as well as collaborate with literacy organizations in other parts of the world. That’s why we’re so excited about The Literacy Project -— the initiative announced today by Google, the Frankfurt Book Fair literacy campaign (Litcam), and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. (There's also a German version of the Google page.)
The project enables people to find everything -- from videos, books and scholarly articles about literacy to reading groups and literacy-related blogs. PlanetRead is one of the many organisations that is contributing. We’ve uploaded our subtitled videos (take a look!) and are sharing our own literacy research. And the site’s map of world literacy organisations also make it easier for us to connect with partner agencies who want to make literacy a way of life for everyone on this planet.
The idea that others around the world will be able to see what we’re doing —- and in turn, that we’ll be able to see what other people are doing and saying about literacy -— is thrilling, and at the very heart of PlanetRead’s mission to make its projects available to everyone. With each new person that we reach, we come one step closer to solving this truly global problem.