#KISSwinsUNESCOLiteracyPrize trends in number 1 place on Twitter

Bhubaneswar: The world’s biggest tribal institution, the Kalinga Institute of Social Science in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar will be given the Literay prize provide by UNESCO. After announcement of the award the tag #KISSwinsUNESCOLiteracyPrize is trending on Twitter.

The Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, founded in 1993, aims to eradicate poverty and empower the underprivilege communities of the society through education. It is the first indigenous university to provide food, accommodation, health care, and other necessities along with education for free to over 60,000 students in Odisha, India.

Since 2013, the ‘Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education’ (MTBMLE) programme has been working to address the challenges of poor retention and dropout of indigenous students from elementary schooling due to the language barriers in the classroom and the incapacity of teachers to effectively deal with multilingual and multicultural classrooms. The programme, thereby, tries to bridge the gap between home and school language, and to facilitate students’ learning by validating both their home culture and traditional knowledge, better preparing them for the mainstream mode of education. The programme is in a hybrid format with face-to-face and distance learning modules, while using low-tech solutions such as TV, radio, and SMS. From 2013 to 2020, 12,000 students benefited from the programme, with 48 per cent being girls and young women and 96 per cent level of completion.

The programme was inspired not only by the Odisha context where ‘linguistic diversity and multilingualism is a way of life,’ but mainly by the belief that social and cultural values are embedded in languages, making them a tool for indigenous students to transmit intangible cultural heritage in their communities, expressing themselves and connecting with other students and teachers to better absorb learning. In this regard, Mr. Dwiti Vikramaditya, Vice President of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, shared that “MTBMLE is a programme which not only contributes towards improving the learning outcomes and academic performance of learners, but also contributes towards sustainability and inclusion. This was the inspiration to design and implement the programme at KISS”.

The programme was able to transform the traditional literacy learning environment by creating a new inclusive literacy space, which targets the needs of those learners most at risk of being left behind and marginalized in this rapidly changing world. Indeed, a positive impact on the performance and attitude of the students towards learning is developed and, at the same time, multilingual, social and cultural diversities are promoted, preserved and sustained over time.

It is to be noted that KISS is celebrating the World Literacy Day today in Bhubaneswar amid presence of 30 thousand students along with others.

Kandhamal MP, Founder of KISS and KIIT has congratulated to KISS for the award.

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