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Education Leader Series | Dr. Dhir Jhingran, Founder Director, Language and Learning Foundation

By auther pic. CSRBOX

July 29, 2021

Dr. Dhir Jhingran is the Founder Director of Language and Learning Foundation (LLF), a non-profit focused on improving foundational learning of children in government primary schools. LLF works closely with state governments to catalyse education system reform at scale in India.

Dhir has worked in the primary education sector for 30 years, within and outside the Indian Government. Within the Government, as an IAS officer, Dhir has served as Principal Secretary of Education with the Government of Assam, as Director in the Ministry of Human Resource Development in policy-making roles and as Project Director of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. He has also handled several other profiles, such as Senior Advisor to UNICEF India, Advisor to the Ministry of Education in Nepal, Asia Regional Director and Chief Program Officer with Room to Read. He has made significant contributions to the development and implementation of early grade reading programs in several countries in Asia and Africa as well as first language-based multilingual education programs in several states in India.  Dhir has authored 3 books in primary education based on empirical research and has contributed to several books and journals.

In this interview, Dr. Dhir answered the following questions: 

1. Can you elaborate on the approach of the Language and Learning Foundation towards improving the teaching-learning of early language and literacy and enhancing student learning? 

2. In light of the recent NEP which states that “Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Class 5, but preferably till Class 8 and beyond, will be the home language/mother-tongue/local language/regional language.” Could you share your thoughts on Early grade literacy programs and the need to include children’s languages in the instructional design? What are some challenges around creating a standardized template for the same in a diverse country like India? 

3. How can other stakeholders, parents, teachers, and institutions, be made to understand the importance of imparting education in regional languages and thereon be trained to fully utilize it? 

4. What has been your experience in collaborative work with the government education system for professional development and systemic reform? How far do you think we have come in the journey and what is yet to be achieved?

5. Lastly, have there been any real-life cases where your approach was able to create better learning outcomes and in turn, strengthen the confidence of other stakeholders in your vision?


Impact-Talk is a series of views and interviews of CSR heads, impact leaders and change-makers, addressing development challenges in India. If you have an impact-maker in your network, please suggest/share details at shilpi@csrbox

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