From the World Education Blog:
A new coalition of governments, international agencies, NGOs and the private sector has launched this week with the aim of closing the children’s book gap.
Last year, the UNESCO Institute for Statistic published alarming new estimates of the number of children that aren’t achieving the basics in reading and maths.
It showed that 387 million children of primary school age do not achieve minimum proficiency levels in reading. Disturbingly two-thirds of these children, some 262 million, are in school. There is now a broad consensus that this is a tragic waste of both human potential and financial resources.
Having identified the problem, we need to act and implement evidence-based measures that we know will improve learning.
Thankfully, recognition of the challenge posed by a lack of books to early literacy is growing. UNESCO, the World Bank, and the International Commission for Financing Global Educational Opportunity have all recently called for the increased provision of books to improve learning.
And building on research and design work begun in 2015 a coalition of donors, multilateral agencies and non-government organisations have established the Global Book Alliance. Inspired by the work of organisations like GAVI, which has improved access to immunisation by transforming the vaccines supply chain, the Global Book Alliance will take a similar approach.
Anyone, anywhere, should have access to quality, local language reading materials. A new Global Digital Library, supported by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, will house at least 50,000 new titles in 100 languages. The books in the library will be aligned with each year of literacy development for children ages 3-11, prioritizing languages where there are few to no reading materials available. These resources will be open source via web, mobile and for print or translation — and at no cost to the user.
Direct to Global Book Alliance Strategic Plan (2018-2020)
24 pages; PDF.