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20 Sep 2020, Edition - 1895, Sunday

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Amrita App in semifinals of Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE

Covai Post Network

Amrita University’s Android-based mobile learning app for adult basic education – Amrita Learning Reading App – has entered the semifinals of Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE, a $7mn global competition in the U.S., to transform the lives of low-literate adults.

The eight semi finalists have been chosen from 109 teams which have been competing to develop the best mobile app that would result in the greatest increase in literacy skills among adult learners in 12 months, it was announced in Los Angeles today.

While six semifinalists are from the U.S., two are from Asia, including India and Hong Kong.

The semi-finalist teams will enter a 15-month-long field-testing phase across three partner cities – Los Angeles, Dallas and Philadelphia – that includes a total of 2,000 adult-learner participants who read English at a third-grade reading level or below.

Following 12 months of consistent use, a post-test will be administered to determine the highest gains in literacy achieved by the participants, and the winner app chosen. a University release said here “Reaching the semifinals of the Barbara Bush Foundation Adult Literacy XPRIZE is a very proud moment for us. We could achieve this success because of years of research work at our education technology lab, AmritaCREATE. It has been providing tablet-based, technology driven education in remote villages through our rural education program called Amrita Rural India Tablet-enhanced Education (RITE),” Amrita University Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Venkat Rangan said in the release.

The world-class app developed by the University to provide adult basic education can revolutionize adult literacy in India, which has the largest population of illiterate adults in the world at 287 million, amounting to 37 per cent of the global total, he said.

Aligned with the national mission of Digital India, the AmritaRITE program is offered using mobile technology in nine Indian languages, with a focus on educating children and low-literate adults in remote and rural villages in 21 states of India. This outreach program of the University has impacted over three lakh learners till now, the release said.

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