Written by Barkha
The Comparative Education Society of India (CESI) holds an annual conference themed around education across different locations in India. We had the privilege to present a paper based on our work at Bookworm in the 5th CESI International Conference held from November 16-18, 2014 at University of Delhi, Delhi. The theme of this year’s conference was Education, Politics and Social Change. There were multiple themes cutting across the main theme. These included ‘History of Education in Colonial and Postcolonial Societies’, ‘Social Identities, Inequality and Education’, ‘Politics of Religious Nationalism and Education’, ‘Gender Equality and Education’ and ‘Childhood, Pedagogy and Curriculum’. We were selected to present an academic paper under the sub-theme ‘Transformative Education and Social Change’.
The paper was titled ‘Using Stories for Transformative Change within the Schooling System in Goa’. The paper provided a background to the schooling system in Goa (government and aided) and went on to discuss the politics of language in the State. It further contextualized BW’s work in this light arguing with current data collected from aided schools across Goa where BW runs the LiS (Library in Schools) Program. The data included religious diversity, gender, home language distribution and the work profiles of both the parents. The paper argued in favour of using storytelling as a means of building and strengthening literacy and reading at the early stages of childhood . This was supported with stories and experiences from both LiS and MOP (Mobile Outreach Program) as well as instances from the library sessions with pre-schoolers.
It was a wonderful experience to listen to both stalwarts as well as amateurs sharing field experiences as well as theoretical debates on literacy, learning and education policy.