DEVI Sansthan (Dignity Education Vision International) is a non-profit organisation founded in Lucknow, India, to provide the dignity of quality education to underprivileged children and adults. DEVI’s vision is to achieve universal Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) for all children and adults. Through its flagship Global Dream Disruptive Literacy program, DEVI is creating large-scale transformation by implementing research-based, swift, scalable and replicable methods and approaches to FLN.
Through the Global Dream ALfA (Accelerating Learning for All) approach, learners can become FLN capable in 3-5 months rather than 3-5 years in school. Global Dream FLN toolkits are available in 15 Indian and 10 international languages and are being replicated in many more. An interactive Literacy Now app is being developed to deliver large-scale FLN at near-zero costs through volunteers.
DEVI Sansthan’s flagship initiative Global Dream Disruptive FLN program, aims to address the FLN crisis through its swift, research-based, scalable, and replicable ALfA methodology. DEVI is implementing its 90 Day FLN program in government schools across several states to fill FLN gaps for primary school children. As part of the program, DEVI provides training to math and language teachers, master trainers and middle-level managers of the government on using the Global Dream ALfA methodology.
DEVI is collaborating with state and district governments, NGOs, schools and other institutions across India and globally to accelerate FLN for children and adults. With government schools, DEVI is supporting the implementation of the NIPUN Bharat Mission for achieving Universal FLN in primary education in India by 2025. DEVI is also implementing the Teach At least One campaign with adolescent student volunteers. Since 2014, nearly 500,000 school children have taught illiterate learners using our FLN toolkits. DEVI is also working as a knowledge partner with several NGOs to implement community-based interventions to enhance FLN for children and illiterate adult women.
DEVI Sansthan is founded by the educationist Dr Sunita Gandhi while working as an Economist at the World Bank in Washington D.C. She is the Hon. Chief Academic Advisor of City Montessori School, Lucknow, holds the Guinness Book Record for being the World’s Largest School and is the recipient of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education. She was awarded Educator of the Year, 2015 by the India Book of Records and honoured with the Visionary of Uttar Pradesh by the government.
Nearly 50 million children in elementary schools in India did not have the FLN (Foundational Literacy and Numeracy) grade 3 level skills before the COVID-19 Pandemic. According to Azim Premji University, it is estimated that nearly 92% of primary government school children have lost abilities in foundational literacy, and 82% have lost abilities in foundational numeracy due to COVID related learning losses. Without FLN skills, children are struggling to cope with grade-level curriculum and are highly likely to drop out of school to join India’s pool of 287 illiterate adult population. Urgent action is required to save a generation of children from falling into lifelong illiteracy.
Our vision is to achieve Universal FLN for all children by 2030, as envisioned by SDG 4. In this direction, we aim to make 10 million children and adults literate in India by 2030. Globally, we aim to make 1 billion learners literate through our Disruptive Literacy Partnership.
Sunita Gandhi is Educationist of the Year 2014, India Book of Records, and Visionary of Uttar Pradesh 2017. She is a passionate educator who started her first school at the age of 14 for the underprivileged children in her home’s neighbourhood. She has founded schools in the Czech Republic, Iceland and India, and has been guiding transformation at many others worldwide.
Sunita Gandhi has a Ph.D. in Physics from Cambridge University, UK, on academic scholarships. Though a physicist, she was selected in the toughest competition to enter the Young Professionals Program as Economist at the World Bank in Washington, DC. She left her prestigious job after ten years to follow her dream of working first-hand on literacy and education in India, and to help her parents with their world’s largest school—City Montessori School, Lucknow, India.
Learning her biggest lessons by working in the trenches with children and women in India’s slums and villages, Dr. Gandhi came up with the Global Dream Campaign and the ALfA Pedagogy, or Accelerating Learning for All—a transformative, swift and effective means to accelerate learning for all. Replicated into 25 Indian and International languages, Global Dream has begun to spread across all continents of the world.
Her 15-year research on Ipsative Assessments in Iceland, India and UK was published in the UK in 2017. Her research on literacy inequalities was published in Glasgow University’s Journal of New Economics, UK, and in the Education & Political Weekly of India in 2021.
She has travelled to and studied education systems in 49 countries.
For more information about DEVI Sansthan (Dignity Education Vision International) and their initiatives, you can visit their website at https://www.dignityeducation.org/index.aspx.