Akshara Foundation in North Karnataka

A Dynamic Discussion
A dynamic thrust is being given to the preschool programme in Hubli-Dharwad. Shankar Narayan, Head of Operations, and Latha Devi, Programme Head, Preschool Programme, were at Akshara’s office in Dharwad for a discussion with the field team. It went on for three hours, a wide-ranging exercise, with the team’s personal field experiences enlivening the proceedings. Latha commended the Hubli-Dharwad team for Akshara’s imprint and impact that is clearly visible in the anganwadis.
Action to be Taken
The team will train Supervisors to become Master Resource Persons (MRPs) of the programme. The same training to be imparted to Akshara’s team and all 109 anganwadi workers in the programme. LEGO training also to be organised and the LEGO kit distributed to the anganwadis.
Administer pre-tests to all the children.
The team will concentrate on observing the condition of the anganwadis, use the observation sheets when they visit and fill in the columns accurately.
All ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ grade anganwadis to be visited. The outreach should focus more intensively on ‘B’ grade anganwadis, as there is greater scope for quick results there. Strengthening all anganwadis, whatever their grade, to reach the top will be the endeavour. The grading of all the centres should be reviewed once in six months.
Friends of Anganwadis must be reactivated, or formed anew where they do not exist, and developed into forums that nourish all the 109 anganwadis. Friends of Anganwadis are groups of mothers who support the anganwadi worker in teaching children, relieving her of some of her work burdens.
• Community meetings to be held mandatorily, and in the presence of education officials.
The team is invigorated and has chalked out a work plan, on the basis of which they are visiting anganwadis, which they have always been doing, but now, with complete focus on the action points. During community visits, the team targets parents, self-help groups and the energising of Bal Vikas Samithis (BVS) to make them aware of the need to create model anganwadis in their areas. The team visited 300 households; organised 15 parents’ meetings and met 48 BVS members. They have collected the child tracking formats from all the anganwadis, which will determine the number of children who have moved to school, the new admissions, and the actual number present. 
On Many Fronts
Ashok Kamath, Chairman, Akshara Foundation, and Shankar Narayan met with Ashok Shetter, the Principal of BVB Engineering College, who extended his support to Akshara and said he would send his students to volunteer for Karnataka Learning Partnership (KLP). 
Ashok Kamath and Shankar Narayan also met Naveen Jha, CEO, Deshpande Foundation, at his office in Hubli and got an understanding of what the organisation is currently doing.
The District Facilitator trained 27 private school teachers in Akshara’s Mathematics Programme. The two-day training was well-received by the teachers and they were eager to implement the programme’s methods in their classrooms. 
Angelina, the District Facilitator, held a meeting with Nagaralli, who supports Akshara’s work in Kushtagi and Mundargi Blocks in an advisory role, on how to get data from all the schools in Gadag, Dharwad and Koppal Districts. The District Facilitator of Mundargi Block, Vijayalakshmi, was present. Nagaralli took on the responsibility of collecting the data as soft copy, which Angelina and Vijayalakshmi will cross-verify with education officials. 
Also decided at the meeting was that there would be a concerted effort to enlist supporters for Akshara by visiting all the blocks in these districts along with Nagaralli and persuading the heads of different colleges to join hands.

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