TCS developed a Computer Based Functional Literacy (CBFL) solution to accelerate adult literacy in the country.
The CBFL solution supports non-literate adult learners to easily achieve literacy in their native language
Change that empowers
About 750 million adults - two-thirds of whom are women - remain illiterate, according to UNESCO report 2017. At a national level, according to the 2011 census, India has over 287 million
illiterate adults who are unequipped to participate in its emerging knowledge based society. Despite
India's rising literacy rate, educating adults remains a challenge.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) set up an Adult Literacy Program (ALP) in the year 2000 to augment the
Government of India's efforts to address this momentous challenge. TCS developed a Computer Based Functional
Literacy (CBFL) solution to accelerate adult literacy in the country. The CBFL solution supports non-literate
adult learners to easily achieve literacy in their native language. This flagship program was formulated
by a team of experts and spearheaded by Dr F C Kohli, former Deputy Chairman of TCS.
Empowering adults through literacy
Combining the power of technology with the theory of cognition and laws of perception, TCS developed CBFL, an innovative
teaching method based on Information and Communications Technology (ICT). CBFL uses animated graphic
patterns for easy visual and auditory learning, and enables functional literacy in approximately 50 learning
hours. The combination of visual graphics and repetition of sound patterns results in improved recognition,
retention, and recall of words.
CBFL has three parts - Reading, WRiting and aRithmatic and is available in two forms. The first is the
Puppet Theater model involving animated puppetry built around a localized theme. The second is an Electronic
Book or e-book, which is an electronic version of the NLMA primers. The e-book is more cost effective
that it's printed version. On completing this course, the learner acquires a vocabulary of about 700
commonly used words in the learner's native language.
CBFL is available in 9 Indian languages
Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Odia,
Urdu . It is also available in
Arabic and two African tribal languages,
Northern Sotho (South Africa) and
Moore (Burkina Faso West Africa). The software is provided free of cost and TCS provides technical
support by way of training and monitoring of the program.
Benefits of CBFL
Takes about one-sixth of the time required by conventional learning methods.
Learners acquire a vocabulary of around 700 words, enough for day-to-day needs such as reading
on buses, bank documents, and newspapers.
Lower dropout rates in comparison with other adult literacy programs.