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The Illam Thedi Kalvi scheme — a novel initiative in Tamil Nadu education — that used volunteers to teach students whose learning had been disrupted by the lockdown has come to an end. Following that, the Tamil Nadu government has launched a programme using the Google Read Along app.

The lockdowns rolled back the education of students. Without being able to go to schools, their learning was limited. Continuity of education suffered. Besides the government, many organizations such as the Tamil Nadu Science Forum tried to intervene. Students were bunched together at the local level and taught in the playway method – all in an effort to keep them engaged.

National studies showed that primary and middle school students were most affected by the lockdown. The Tamil Nadu government sought to leverage volunteers to make up for the gap. Some 1.5 lakh volunteers were chosen all over the state. Aid India, Agaram Foundation, Tamil Nadu Science Forum and Tamil Nadu Palli Kalvi Padhukappu Iyakkam came forward to support this initiative.

A plan was formulated. Primary and middle school students who were most affected were to be taught for six hours a week. Groups were formed comprising 20 students who were taught using the playway method.

Many education aids were made for this programme. Local resources and knowledge were used for this. These were integrated and presented in six hours every week. Learning outcomes improved as a result. With a new education year set to begin, the Illam Thedi Kalvi programme has entered its last phase. The state government wanted to tell this success story to the world.

The education department has teamed up with Google to organize a reading marathon

The education department has teamed up with Google to organize a reading marathon. The Google Read Along app has been made to record only what the students read properly. It will enthusiastically welcome right reading, while correcting wrong ones.

Some 37 lakh students who were reached through the Illam Thedi Kalvi are participating in this read along. Each student will demonstrate their reading abilities for 10 minutes. Once the read along of all the students is completed, it may well stand as a world record. It will be a testament to a successful make-up programme for students whose education had been disrupted by the lockdown.

A successful read-along may also help to showcase the Illam Thedi Kalvi of Tamil Nadu education as a model for rehab training in other situations, too.

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