Joining hands in sharing the joy of reading with every child, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is partnering with Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver to launch a two-year nationwide Reading Mission. The Mission is supported by Central Square Foundation.
The Mission will impact young learners across CBSE’s network of 25,000 schools, including Kendriya Vidyalayas, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas, Central Tibetan Schools, schools run/aided by the state governments and private independent schools.
The main objective of the CBSE Reading Mission is to promote reading habits among students by setting up a structured reading framework for schools. Under this Mission, which is in line with recommendations of the National Education Policy (2020) and the NIPUN Bharat Guidelines, CBSE schools and teachers will have access to a large repository of openly licensed high-quality English and Hindi 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 Hindi on Pratham Books’ open-source digital platform, StoryWeaver (www.storyweaver.org.in). StoryWeaver will support the Reading Mission by empowering teachers with training materials, and conducting engaging virtual reading sessions and activities through periodic ‘Teacher Connect’ interactions where teachers can share best practices, showcase their work and share inputs on the programme design.
The Reading Mission was launched at an online symposium on September 20th 2021. The launch event was attended by CBSE school principals and teachers from across the country. Dr. Joseph Emmanuel, Director (Academics), CBSE welcomed the gathering, followed by CBSE Chairman Shri Manoj Ahuja delivering the inaugural address and unveiling the Reading Mission with a pledge to take the campaign to 25,000+ schools. Mr. R. Sriram, Chairperson – Pratham Books, Dr. Rukmini Banerjee, CEO – Pratham, Professor Shailaja Menon from Azim Premji University and Mr. Anustup Nayak, Project Director, Classroom Instruction & Practice – Central Square Foundation all provided expert perspectives on developing a culture of joyful reading in schools.
The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 emphasizes 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 a child’s growth and development, encouraging children 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.
CBSE is committed to the holistic development of young learners. The CBSE Reading Mission, co-created in partnership with Pratham Books’ StoryWeaver and the Central Square Foundation, will play a vital role in enabling children to become joyful readers and help them make the transition from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’. We look forward to the support of the entire CBSE network in making this vision a reality!