STAFF REPORT KHI: Children at ten rural area schools of Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Karachi, operated by Developments in Literacy (DIL), have a new companion in school – the Reading Companion, which takes the shape of a friendly animated character that comes to life in the computer lab and helps children with their English reading skills.

Reading Companion is IBMs (NYSE: IBM) global literacy initiative recently introduced in Pakistan in partnership with Developments in Literacy (DIL), a renowned local non-profit organization.

The purpose of this initiative is to help children and adults around the world to gain English literacy skills by using IBMs voice recognition technology over the web. The Reading Companion software listens and then provides immediate audio feedback on pronunciation and accuracy.

“Reading Companion is a great initiative in the Pakistani context, especially as it allows students to get familiar with technology at the same time as learning to read English. This is a great tool for teachers, and we hope we can broaden our reach in the coming years,” Humayun Bashir, CGM Pakistan.

Asmat Saleem, Executive Director DIL Pakistan said that this programme is a very good example of how we can make a measurable impact on reducing the digital divide and bring positive influence on our education system.

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