Akshara Foundation – Research Fellowship Programme


Akshara Foundation was set up with a mission to ensure Every Child in
School and Learning Well. Our work at Akshara Foundation is to
universalize equitable access to quality preschool and elementary
education for all children through multiple innovative models – a high
level of social empathy and a clear belief that we now have the unique
opportunity to bridge the gaps. Since its inception in March 2000,
Akshara has touched the lives of over 700,000 children in the state of
Karnataka, India. Akshara is an implementing, advocacy and research
organsiation focusing on elementary education in government schools
and preschools. Akshara is into programme-focused research since we
strongly believe in evidence based, measurable and scalable solutions
for policy implications.

Programmes/ Themes:

Research in Early Childhood Education around the world suggests that
early environment and experiences contribute significantly to child
development. In this context, learning assumes centrality because
child development happens in cognizance with learning. Akshara’s
preschool education programme with this theoretical framework as the
background. In 2011-12 Akshara has worked with over 1800 Anganwadis
run by the government’s ICDS scheme and impacted over 40,000 children.
Akshara maintains time series, panel data of all these children on
their learning outcomes. In addition, data on the community
intervention for improving the school preparedness programme in these
Anganwadis is maintained. This is, therefore, a good opportunity for
young researchers to use the database and produce pioneer research
based on evidence.

In the area of In-School programmes, Akshara’s reading program
implemented in 2006 reached 70,000 children, while the math programme
has impacted 36,000 children so far.  Libraries were set up in 1400
government schools and stocked with high quality age appropriate
content, ion many locations in digital form as well. Over 640,000
books are now in circulation in six languages in these libraries. This
effort has helped us collect census data on children. We also have the
structure in place to conduct qualitative studies, both relating to
primary government school education and preschool education. Akshara
Ganitha and Basic English programmes are implemented in around 700
government schools that are reaching out to 50,000 children. These
programmes are aligned to the objectives specified by the National
Curriculum Framework 2005 and learning outcomes are
tracked.

Researcher’s Delight:  The excitement is about the working with KLP
data.The Karnataka Learning Partnership – KLP –  (www.klp.org.in)
championed by  Akshara is a dynamic data platform that provides
immense possibilities of researching cross section and time series
data.

Akshara now invites researchers for its Fellowship Programmes.

Possible Researcher roles:
• Developing research designs and proposals , designing of research
instruments, data collection in the field, statistical analysis and
report writing
• Analysis of historical data collected by Akshara and delivering
outputs including both research reports and academic papers.
• Writing of reports and presentation of findings to internal and
external audiences, including policy makers, besides key stakeholders.

Requirements for researchers:
• Strong statistical experience, including knowledge of STATA or SPSS or R
• Knowledge of social policy, education or economics, preferably in a
development context
• Excellent English speaking ,writing and presentation skills
• Initiative and a strong work ethic
• Willingness to live and work in Bangalore for an extended period of
time. And travel within Karnataka.
• Experience of field research in developing countries and knowledge
of Kannada would also be advantageous.  Stipend will be paid for the
stay duration. Please send your resume along with a 1000-word essay on
your opinion on the key issues in elementary education and possible
solutions to :

Ms. K.Vaijayanti at  vaijayanti@akshara.org.in.

And do visit www.akshara.org.in and www.klp.org.in for more
information on Akshara Foundation and Karnataka Learning Partnership.

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