Based on discussions with Amrita Patwardhan from SRTT in the earlier part of 2010, a four day Consultation on Early Literacy was organized by the Organisation for Early Literacy Promotion (OELP) from the 25 to 28 April, 2011 for a select group of partner organizations of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust. The venue of the Consultation was the Sanskriti Kendra, New Delhi. The idea behind this Consultation was to provide an opportunity for the Trust to benefit from the expertise available with its experienced partners, towards building a conceptual framework in the area of Early Literacy
In 1993, the Yashpal Committee in its report on Learning without Burden highlighted the meaningless and joyless nature of school based learning in India. In his introductory letter addressed to the HRD Minister, the Chairman of the Committee, Professor Yashpal writes:
“In regard to the burden on children, the gravitational load of the school bag has been discussed widely in the media, and even in Parliament. After this study I and most of my colleagues on the committee are convinced that the more pernicious burden is that of noncomprehension. In fact the mechanical load on many of our students in Government and Municipal schools may not be too heavy, but the load of non- comprehension is equally cruel… I personally do believe that “very little, fully comprehended, is far better than a great deal, poorly comprehended”.
More than two decades later, educators are still grappling with the issues of non comprehension and the inherent complexities that are involved with reading comprehension.