King Charles' charity leads initiative to focus on education of 4 million Indian kids

London, Jan 30 (IANS) The British Asian Trust, a charity founded by King Charles III, is leading an educational initiative that will impact the lives of up to four million children in India across five years.

The initiative LiftEd -- Learning and Innovation in Foundational Literacy and Numeracy to Transform Education -- aims to strengthen India's education ecosystem and was launched on International Day of Education last week.

Targeting public school children across grades 1-3, LiftEd brings together a diverse mix of education experts to improve Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) in India, raising up to USD 20 million (INR 166 crore) from a consortium of 26 partners.

Notable names include Atlassian Foundation, Bridges Outcomes Partnerships, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Reliance Foundation, Standard Chartered Bank, UBS Optimus Foundation, and USAID.

The initiative comes after the Indian government identified FLN as an ‘urgent and necessary prerequisite to learning’ and in 2021, launched the landmark NIPUN Bharat Mission to equip every child aged 4-10 with FLN skills by 2026-27.

"Applying our learnings from previous successes in education in India, we recognised the value of aligning with the Government of India's goals, embedding a systems-change approach, and unlocking the power of technology early on," said Bharath Visweswariah, Executive Director India, British Asian Trust.

FLN is understood as the ability to read and understand basic text and solve basic mathematical problems by the end of grade three.

"LiftEd's ambition is to strengthen these ‘building blocks’ of learning through a dual approach: on-ground and at-home interventions," the British Asian Trust said in a statement.

It further said that LiftEd's on-ground education partners are working with state governments and school facilitators in five geographies -- Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi NCR, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar -- to train them and build their capacity to improve FLN levels.

Parallely, LiftEd has also launched an EdTech Accelerator to develop digital solutions to improve FLN for low-income students in India.

The British Asian Trust was founded in 2007 by King Charles III when he was the Prince of Wales along with a group of British Asian business leaders, to tackle widespread poverty, inequality and injustice in South Asia.


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