Head, Operations & Community Initiatives
Shankar holds a Masters Degree in Kannada and started his career as a college lecturer. He later moved to the development sector. He has worked with Action Aid Karnataka Projects and is the founder of Social Initiative for Rural Empowerment, NGO in Yadgiri, Karnataka.
District Field Coordinator - Raichur, Bellary and Koppal districts, Karnataka
The opportunity for in-depth community work is what Adiveshappa has relished most about his seven-year stretch at Akshara. It offers him scope for communicating with a broad cross section of officials and leading lights of the community, impressing on them the urgency for quality education.
“GKA is an excellent programme,” he says. It brings everyone together, students, teachers, the community and Education Department officials. Adiveshappa used to be a high school maths teacher in private and government schools. It’s unparalleled, he says, the satisfaction he derives out of identifying idealistic village youth and grooming them as Education Volunteers to drive many of Akshara’s community-based initiatives.
Divisional Field Manager, Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri, Belagavi and Sirsi districts and Chikodi and Kumta blocks, Karnataka
Eighteen years is a long innings and Angelina has completed it at Akshara. She used to be Headmistress at a private school in Dharwad for nine years. At Akshara she leads and supports the field team to implement GKA. She connects with the community and coordinates with Department of Education officials. While making presentations about Akshara’s work to the Zilla Panchayat CEOs and district heads of education Angelina seeks their support for its programmes. She engages with the media and shares the progress of Akshara’s activities with key stakeholders. “I enjoy working with schools and the community. I enjoy reaching so many children. It’s a big source of pride for me, a rewarding feeling.”
District Field Coordinator - Gadag, Dharwad and Belagavi districts, Karnataka
Masali remembers the first Akshara Children’s Camps 10 years ago and that evolving into the GP Contests of today. It’s in 2011 that he joined. He conducts GP Contests, shares the teaching-learning videos and implements the Alternative Maths Learning Programme. “I remember the first training I gave education officials and teachers as a Master Trainer.” It was a memorable occasion. “I enjoy my school visits, the connection with children, the happiness on their faces when they open the GKA kits or when they get prizes at the GP Contests. Their happiness feels like my own. We organise the contests transparently – I like that. I try to solve the community’s problems in education. I enjoy problem-solving.”
Divisional Field Manager, Chitradurga, Davanagere, Shivamogga, Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Hassan districts, Karnataka
Kanni has a wide portfolio at Akshara. He moved here after working as a Senior Project Associate associated with Azim Premji Foundation under the Education Leadership Development Project. In May 2021 he will complete seven years at Akshara. His work encompasses Akshara’s two fundamental programmes, GKA and community initiatives. Kanni oversees GKA’s implementation in his districts in close coordination with the government. His community work covers the gamut – GP Maths Contests, the Wall Writing programme and identifying and training GP Team Leaders and Education Volunteers. “I enjoy facilitating teachers and supporting them to become better at what they do. I enjoy all the community activities Akshara has designed. I like working in the community.”
District Field Coordinator - Kodagu and Hassan districts, Karnataka
Kumara Swamy’s work highlights are the GP Maths Contests he conducts, the promotion of Building Blocks among children, teacher training and looking out for recruits who would make ideal Education Volunteers. He has been at Akshara for three years after working previously at Agastya International Foundation. It saddens Kumara Swamy that children are lagging in learning and that their parents often ignore that important aspect. What he enjoys most are the GP Contests. “Children get motivated by it. It’s a new concept and I see the community supporting it. The contests touch every aspect of maths learning and involve the community fully. I am inspired by it.”
District Field Coordinator - Gadag and Chikodi districts, Karnataka
Maruti joined in 2014. There are many things that he likes about his Akshara job. “I feel very happy when the community participates in our programmes. It gives me great happiness that I’m able to generate awareness in parents about the benefits of education,” A Cluster Resource Person in the Department of Education goes to just one cluster. “We go to a whole block, a whole district, we get to know so many teachers and children.” He’s simultaneously working on many projects, but what is most satisfying is the Alternative Maths Learning Programme that the teams are propelling through in 100 days. “I feel very happy that in this coronavirus period children are learning.”
District Field Coordinator, Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, Karnataka
"I like the fact that I’m working with children,” says Naveen of his two years at Akshara. The support he gets from the GPs and the people boosts his morale. It motivates him when he gets guidance from his seniors in the organisation, but what he most enjoys is GKA. “I do work that advances GKA,” he says of one of his principal planks of effort at Akshara. “It’s a very good concept. It supports teachers. The Department of Education is involved. Students love the kit. GKA is famous in my districts for building focus and because it has all the tools in it to teach maths.”
Prasanna Kumar K.P
District Field Coordinator, Chamarajanagar and Ramanagara districts, Karnataka
Prasanna Kumar’s earlier job as a Science Resource Person in Deenabandhu Teacher Resource Centre in a sense paved the way for his Akshara work. He has been here for four years, during which time he has enjoyed being part of the wider dissemination of GKA. Prasanna Kumar particularly enjoys the fact that the GKA kit makes maths simple and easy for children. Another enjoyable aspect of his work is the GP Maths Contests he gets to organise.
Field Coordinator, Dharwad, Karnataka
Prashant worked in marketing before joining Akshara in 2009 where he’s an administrator keeping the flow of office work running smoothly. He enjoys going on field trips, visiting schools and communities. “It is a matter of pride for me that we’re able to reach so many children,” he says.
District Field Coordinator - Tumakuru and Madhugiri districts, Karnataka
When he came to Akshara in 2017, Raghu had behind him a stint as subject instructor and district in-charge at Edutel Technologies and a one-year period as teacher at Agastya International Foundation. He builds up a cadre of Education Volunteers for Akshara, conducts GP Maths Contests, promotes the Wall Writing Programme in villages, propagates the use of Building Blocks, interacts with the Department of Education at all levels and trains teachers in GKA. “What I enjoy at Akshara is that I get to organise the GP Maths Contests and use the tools in the GKA kit to help children understand the basic functions and concepts of maths.”
Divisional Field Manager, Raichur, Ballari, Koppal, Yadgir, Kalaburagi, Bidar, Bagalkot and Vijayapura districts, Karnataka
Ranganath joined Akshara in 2014. For eleven years he served in various capacities at organisations like SIRE, REACH, GRAMS and UNICEF. At Akshara he leads and supports GKA’s operations in his districts. GKA holds special significance in this educationally backward area. Ranganath coordinates with district education officials and conducts Akshara’s community activities.
Those who are assigned community programmes vouch for the challenge and fulfilment it gives them. “I enjoy all the community work I do. I love to see children enjoying their maths learning with the GKA kit and participating enthusiastically in the GP Maths Contests.”
District Field Coordinator - Chitradurga, Davanagere and Shivamogga districts, Karnataka
In the three years Ravi has been at Akshara, moving here from the NGO Prajayatna, his work has included a range of activities. He conducts the GP Maths Contests, moves forward the Wall Writing and digital learning programmes, identifies Education Volunteers, and trains teachers and education officials.
Ravi enjoys building bridges of cooperation with the community and having effective discussions on GKA with the Department of Education and the Gram Panchayats. “I like the guidance I get from Akshara Foundation’s administrators from time to time,” he says. “Akshara Foundation understands that if a person is engaged effectively, they can work in different areas and in various capacities without being confined to a block.”
Shivkumara Swamy K.C.
District Field Coordinator, Mandya district, Karnataka
Shivkumara Swamy came to Akshara from Agastya International Foundation where he worked as Field Coordinator. It’s been three years at Akshara and he enjoys working with the community. His work takes him to schools where he monitors the usage of the GKA kit in classrooms. In the community he identifies Education Volunteers and trains them. He conducts the GP Maths Contests and takes forward the Wall Writing programme.
Divisional Field Manager, Akshara Bangalore
“I have twenty years of experience as a member of the Akshara family,” says Srikanth who joined the Resource Team in 2000-01. He went on to coordinate Oduve Nanu in one district and Parihara Bodhane in three districts, two of Akshara’s earliest and highly successful programmes. Srikanth is part of the Operations Team and serves as liaison between Akshara and the Department of Education. “Working with the community and Education Volunteers for a cause is my passion,” he says, “and I gain insights and experience from it. Akshara’s programmes have spread across the state bringing larger benefits to students, and that I like the most.”
District Manager, Balangir, Odisha
Prior to his two-and-a-half- years at Akshara, Christopher was with the Department of Women and Child Development. At Akshara, Christopher liaises with the Department of Education at the district and block level to implement quality classroom transactions. Christopher hand-holds teachers and mobilises the community to demand quality education through Akshara’s GP Maths Contests. These contests bring together all the stakeholders, children, teachers, parents, community and the local administration on the same platform to discuss the maths outcomes of children. “I also love to watch children enjoy their maths class with the GKA kit,” he says.