literacy Curriculum Literacy Curriculum

NLM has defined the desired level of competencies in the 3 R's as follows:


  • Reading aloud, with normal accent, and at a speed of 30 words a minute, a simple passage on a topic of interest to the learner.
  • Silent reading at 35 words a minute, of small paragraphs in simple language.
  • Reading with understanding the road signs, posters, simple instructions and newspapers/broadsheets designed for neo-literates.
  • Ability to follow simple written passages relating to one's working and living environment.

  • Copying, with understanding, 7 words a minute.
  • Taking dictation at 5 words a minute.
  • Writing with proper spacing and alignment.
  • Writing independently, short letters and applications, and filling in forms of day-to-day use to the learner.

  • Reading and writing numerals 1-100.
  • Doing simple calculations (without fraction) involving addition and subtraction up to 3 digits, and multiplication and division by 2 digits.
  • Working knowledge of metric units weights, measures currency, distance, area and unit of time.
  • Broad idea of proportion and interests (not involving fractions) and their use in practical situations.


Keeping in view the goal and strategies of the National Literacy Mission, an innovative pedagogy/teaching learning approach has been evolved by the NLMA which is known as Improved Pace and Contents of Learning (IPCL). Adult learners are supplied these teaching learning materials designed by the State Resource Centres(SRCs), Zilla Saksharta Samities (ZSSs) and Voluntary Agencies etc. based on this approach.

The Premises behind this approach are :

  • Adult learners cannot sustain their motivation for longer duration. Hence, the goal of functional literacy can be achieved only by maximum utilization of their period.
  • Minimum level of literacy can be imparted in 200 hours only if the learners are motivated properly.
  • If the teaching learning materials are based on the needs/interests of the learners, if their relevance/culture is reflected properly in the texts and illustrations, it becomes a motivating force for learning at a fast pace/shorter duration.
  • Integration of different components of literacy learning in a primer i.e. language, numeracy, periodical tests etc. with adequate space for practicing the exercises/drills in the same book can solve the problem of delay in material supply which usually affects the programme adversely as experienced in the past.
  • Initiating literacy learning in spoken languages can be highly motivating for adults. But at the same time it is equally important to switch over the mother tongue to regional language/Standard State language so that the learners initiating learning through mother tongue may not remain cutoff from the main stream of the society.

For standardization of teaching learning material National Literacy Mission evolved an innovative teaching learning approach known as Improved Pace and Content of Learning (IPCL). Multigraded primers integrating language, numeracy, exercises/drills and periodical tests are designed under this approach. NLM also constituted one National Level IPCL Advisory Group / Review Committee for examination / approval of teaching learning materials designed by SRCs, RRC, ZSSs and other organisations. Before any material is released for use by the learners ,the approval of the material by this group is a must. The members of this committee are drawn from the field functionaries eminent writers adult educationists having long experience of preparing teaching learning material. The present IPCL Advisory Group is headed by Professor C.J.Daswani.


Adults may not be able to read or write, but they possess a good vocabulary in their mother tongue and can converse freely in it. Hence, literacy can be effectively imparted through the 'spoken word' on radio waves which have a wide reach.
  • All India Radio (AIR) and Television (Doordarshan) are playing a positive role in:
    • disseminating the message of literacy
    • broadcasting radio plays and telecasting short films on adult education
    • organizing interviews, quizzes and 'quickies' to sensitise the viewers about the objectives of the National Literacy Mission.
  • In addition to the electronic media, the very rich tradition of folk media in the country are being used to spread the message of literacy and mobilise people from all walks of life.These folk media include
    • Harikatha and Burakatha in Andhra Pradesh
    • Opera and Theatre in Maharashtra
    • Yaksha Ganam in Karnataka, and Pala and Daskathia in Orissa.etc....