Project Ankur

A Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN)

initiative in the State of Madhya Pradesh

Acquisition of foundational literacy and
numeracy skills is key to improving learning
as well as overall life outcomes of a child

Foundational Literacy and Numeracy (FLN) accounts for children’s ability to read and meaningfully comprehend, as well as use basic mathematical operations in real life.
Research shows that foundational learning forms the cornerstone to successful academic development in later
grades. Children who are unable to build these foundational skills, then face a disadvantage where their learning levels continue to remain poor in later grades. They are thus unable to cope with instruction at school, often leading to increased chances of dropouts.

Furthermore, the evidence shows that there are several associated long-term benefits from investing in FLN, such as better life outcomes and higher economic growth. UNESCO’s Education For All Global Monitoring Report in 2013-14 calculated that if all students left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty.
International evidence corroborates that countries have moved from low to middle levels of educational performance
by reducing the proportion of students who have not mastered these foundational skills.


Ensuring that every student can build at least basic skills of reading, writing and math will be crucial for India to harvest its demographic dividend and ensure a productive life for today’s youth. Milestones like alphabet recognition, reading words with meaning, fluency of reading small simple sentences with comprehension are crucial, and determine the learning trajectory of a student. Most of those who start to fall behind on these basic skills are unable to catch up even with subsequent years of schooling. Grade 3 is a key inflection point where students are expected to move from “learning to read” to “reading to learn”. In fact, the Draft National Education Policy (D-NEP) – 2019 sets the goal of universal acquisition for foundational learning to be achieved by 2025.


The goal of ensuring basic reading skills and numeracy in all students by grade 3, is one of the few social issues where significant impact can be seen in a time-bound manner.


To strengthen Foundational Literacy and Numeracy delivery and outcomes by building system capacity to design, iterate and evaluate FLN solutions for state-wide application in Madhya Pradesh.

Intended Impact of
the project:

Students build a strong foundation for learning, setting them up for success in further education, work, and life

A self-sustaining system where all stakeholders have the opportunity, motivation, and ability to contribute to improved FLN educational outcomes for children.



It is proposed that Project Ankur will be the State’s initiative to strengthen Foundational Literacy and
Numeracy. A key component is the rolling out and analysis of radical innovations in three districts,
namely Bhopal, Sehore and Shajapur, in 2020-21 through the use of innovative materials, training, and