Eleven years ago Chelakkodan Ayesha announced Kerala's total literacy status by reading a verse from the Quran before a thundering crowd. Today she is fumbling over the letters in 'Kerala' and cannot write her own name. What has gone wrong? Why have Kerala's literacy levels plummeted from 95 to 80 per cent?
There are plans afoot to computerise thousands of rural schools across India, attended mainly by poor children. But where is the software that is suitable for use in these schools?
Thirty per cent of India's population lives in urban slums. Getting children in these slums to school is a difficult task. Keeping them in school is even more difficult. But several organisations, including Pratham in Mumbai, Cini Asha in Kolkata and Baljyothi in Hyderabad, are succeeding in bringing education to these first-generation learners