Photo: (From Author Site URL)

This is a Standard(Grade) 1 Telugu literacy textbook used in the state of Telangana, India. Children by the end of Grade 1 are expected to fluently read this text with comprehension. However, a literacy assessment conducted by the Center for Sustainable Development in Medak District of Telangana in 2017 found that this expectation was far from reality. Table 1 below shows the results of the assessment for 10 schools.

Accuracy %
Grades words  syllables  letters
1 25.4 22.5 36.6
2 11.1 24.5 41.9
3 22.4 43.9 49.1
Total 20.0 29.3 41.9


The assessment showed that at the end of Grade 1, children could read just 25% of the words correctly. They could read 36% of the letters correctly.

Going back to the picture above, we see that what the children are expected to read is very different from what they can actually read. 100% of the children should be able to read 100% of the words. They are expected to read connected text and should be able to comprehend what they read.  The theory that such a…