Vrinda Loiwal

An Open Letter to Smt. Smriti Irani – II

Dear Smt. Smriti Irani,
Honourable HRD Minister (Government of India),

 I write this letter in response to the public announcement that was made by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) on September 8, 2015, requesting all the Members of Parliament (MPs), under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), to work to achieve 100% literacy by March, 2016 in one chosen village from their constituency. As an education scholar and a deeply concerned Indian citizen, I make it my business to follow the government’s education policy in action.

Conspicuously, there has been, and remains, a complete absence of MHRD updates on the progress of the SAGY literacy scheme; March, 2016 has come and gone. A recent article in the Economic Times covers the complaints of MP’s about the lack of funding under the SAGY scheme, but not one word is spoken about the promise of 100% literacy that can now only be assumed broken.

Most crucially, has there been any measurement of the student learning outcomes? Does the government have comparative data to measure impact? Was anything achieved? All questions remain unanswered.

With particular relevance to the thousands of communities in India that yearn for literacy, this initiative was greatly needed and eagerly awaited. Dear Minister, the public demands accountability. Please spare us the disillusionment.


Vrinda Loiwal
Harvard Graduate School of Education

This is a follow up to a previous letter written when the SAGY literacy scheme was first announced. You can read that here.

Article by Vrinda Loiwal.

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