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ENGLISH | KANNADA

‘BA MAGU SHAALEGE’


When primary education minister Mr.Kageri announced that free education for children in the age group of 6 & 14 will be implemented in Karnataka shortly, it was indeed something to cheer for.
At around the same time, we saw the ‘Ba Magu Shaalege’ take off at  Bantwal. For all the non-Kannadigas out there, ‘Ba Magu Shaalege’ means ‘Come to school, child’. This is an innovative project which encourages parents to choose government schools over private ones.
Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Higher Primary School, Pilimogaru welcomed 11 new students who have taken admission in the school. This school is one of 196 government schools in the taluk that offer a variety of incentives to parents, if they enrol their children in the government schools. Sounds interesting? There’s more…….

Spoken English is taught here once a week and so is Yoga and Yakshagana. The school also conducts mock cabinet sessions and gardening classes too focusing on the overall development of the children. If this isn’t tempting enough for the parents, the School Development and Monitoring Committee (SDMC) also deposits Rs.1000 in the child’s bank account!!!!!!

Generally when people think of government schools, they think of a shanty with no proper utilities. However, the school has all the requisite facilities like purified water, toilets, a playground and library. The government is working on providing quality education and is trying to attract more students to enrol. The block education officer of Bantwal taluk visits every house encouraging parents to send their children to government schools. Parents are welcome to assess the school.

Parents who have enrolled their children so far are satisfied with the quality of education provided and some have even commented on this being better than private schools! Kudos to the administration at Bantwal, who are walking the extra mile to provide quality education to all!

Attending TEDxDomlurChange

Today was an eventful day. Akshara shared TEDxDomlurChange at the Bangalore International Centre. TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED like experience. This event revolved around education.
To start with, the 90 minute webcast from the main event at Berlin was played. The BIG picture event was convened by Melinda French Gates and hosted by Chris Anderson. Jeff Chapin (IDEO), Sven Giegold ( Member of the European Parliament), Thea Sowa ( AWDF), Babaa Maal (musician) and Melinda Gates (Gates foundation) gave us great insights into their work and the challenges that need to be addressed. At the end of the 90 minutes, we were already overwhelmed and raging to make some contribution to the society.

And to get a closer look at what was happening back home, we had an opportunity to listen to big change makers like Nina Nayak Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Chanchalapathi Dasa from the Akshaya Patra Foundation, and Tara Kini a well-known educational consultant.

Ms. Nina Nayak spoke about the educational challenges being faced by the rural population around Karnataka. It’s not an easy task to reach out to the entire population and educating them on what’s available. Nor is it easy to get the government to look at the current issues and policies and make concrete changes. She sent out a clear message that the society needs volunteers to help make those changes!

Chanchalapathi Dasa spoke of the story behind Akshaya Patra and the current reach it has. Although most of us in Bangalore know about the Akshaya Patra’s contribution, very few knew about how the entire system works. Through videos and pictures, we were able to visualize the tremendous amount of effort and co-ordination that went behind it. It’s amazing to see how many children benefit out of the mid-day meal programme in India! Needless to say, Chanchalapathi Dasa received a standing ovation for the contribution Akshaya Patra has made to society!

Ms. Tara Kini started off with a beautiful rendition of a folk song. She went to explain how music and culture can be collaborated to bring about a change in the way it is taught. We were introduced to very unique techniques that had been used to reach out to a wider audience. Very simple, yet very powerful methods!

By the end of the session, you could see the motivation in everyone’s eyes. A lot of people enquired about the various volunteering opportunities and were keen on being a part of ‘The Big Picture’ themselves!

Setting up and running a school Library


Here’s an update on what we’ve been upto.

Akshara conducted a training on Library Techniques and Process for a team from Shimoga on March 3rd 2012. The trainees were initially taken for a Visit to a school- GKHPS Dodda Banasawadi where our Library program has been implemented and is functioning smoothly.

After the exposure visit we had detailed training sessions along with hands-on activities.The agenda of the training included the “Programmes of Akshara Foundation, Library Programme – Importance and Implementation, Techniques and Processess of the Library Programme”. 

At the Library ‘GKHPS Doddabanasawadi’
The training session

The training was a success and we hope we’ll get to see the positive impacts really soon.

Reforming Primary Education in India


Live Mint has an extensive piece on the reforms required in primary Education in India by Gulzar Natarajan.

India is a fast developing country with an ever-increasing literacy rate but is it an apt indicator of education in India?

Three independent source-  Annual Status of Education Report brought out by Pratham, the programme for international student assessment (PISA) survey of 15-year-olds, and the Quality Education Study 2011 conducted by Wipro and Educational Initiatives have brought into light the sad state of affairs when it comes to primary education in India.

Education must be done within the context of the culture which it serves. A push-down-curriculum is hardly the answer We need to start looking at education in a more subjective way. Each situation is different and each individual is different and this is where comes the need for differential education.

Read the article here.

Run for a cause. Support Akshara in TCS 10k Run



Yes, it’s that time of the year again.TCS World 10K Run is just around the corner and we’re participating. You can join in and pledge to Akshara Foundation, by doing so you’re not only helping us in raising funds but also promoting Akshara’s cause.

TCS World 10K is an annual event scheduled for 27th May 2012, there will be a number of categories, you can take your pick. Visit the official website for more information on the event.

By participating in the TCS World 10K, Akshara Foundation would like to invite and involve local community to be stakeholders in the Government schooling system, and in turn work together to improve the quality of education provided to millions of children studying in Government schools and pre-school centers.

The funds raised through this run will help in Akshara’s pre-education school program which provides access to quality preschool education to around 30,000 children studying in Government anaganwadis in Bangalore.


So Gear up and put on your running shoes, be a part of World’s  Premier 10K Run and run for “Every Child in School and Learning Well”

To be part of the Akshara running team, call us at 9886041098 or drop us a mail at volunteer@akshara.org.in

To donate to us or raise funds for us, visit : 
http://www.bangalorecares.in/index.php?
option=com_content&view=article&id=28&Itemid=35&sl_No=158



About Us



Akshara Foundation is a Bangalore-based Public Charitable Trust that 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 – these models are developed by people who have different professional backgrounds but one commonality – 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 800,000 children in the state of Karnataka, India.

Over the last eleven years, Akshara has run multiple programs that have all been designed to be comprehensive, scalable, replicable and cost-effective remedial or supplementary education solutions. All Akshara’s programs are child-centric and are designed to ensure that enrolment in schools increase, drop-outs from schools decrease and that children’s learning outcomes and overall development improve. In particular, Akshara works in close partnershipwith the Education Department of the Government of Karnataka and the Department of Women and Child Welfare to supplement existing primary school and preprimary school programs.

Akshara Foundation also recognizes the need for community based action around government pre-schools and primary schools and believes that it will take a network of communities and organizations to come together to tell a story and galvanize community led ownership of the public schooling system to drive change. We invite the local community to volunteer in our efforts and be part of the change.

Know more about Akshara by visiting : http://www.akshara.org.in/

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