Saturday, 8 April 2017

Teachers’ Learning Centre: Hub of change

20th March, 2017. A remarkable day for all of us at Mantra4Change.

Normally, Monday is the devil in working people’s lives as it follows the day of relief, but at Mantra4Change, Mondays have always been different and so was March 20th. It was the day our Teachers’ Learning Centre (TLC) at Goripalya got officially inaugurated. The hard work put in to create the space, to make it effective for teachers and above all, succeeding in making the teachers see the value in it was finally going to be put in public. As any big day starts, this too began with a lot of apprehensions and fits of nervous activity. We were all set with our big plans and all the preparations, but somewhere we were anxious if invitees would turn up. The reason was the choice of date. It was the first day of exams in the government schools and most of our private partner schools too. We had prepared ourselves for a low attendance. Little did we know, what awaited us was more than we expected. 

The event started at 2 P.M and then came the big surprise. All the chairs that we had put in the room were filled with SDMC members, partner school principals and teachers. It was enriched by the presence of our chief Guests- Mrs. Kumari Shibulal, who has been constantly supporting Mantra through her foundation, Mrs. Nagarathnamma, the Block Education Officer South Range-II, who managed to join us despite her busy schedule with the exams in government schools and Dr. Anupama Purohit, who has been a mentor to us at Mantra. These special guests didn’t only inaugurate our TLC Space, but also inspired all of us by their childhood stories and words of wisdom about the relevance a teacher in a student’s life and importance of teachers to be lifelong learners.

It was a pure delight to see the room come alive with enthusiastic people who participated as well as shared their wonderful experiences at the TLC so far. One of the partner school Principals, Mr. Ayub Pasha went on to say that the TLC should be renamed as “Creativity Studio” because it provides a platform to the teachers to explore their potential and unleash their “Out of the box” Thinking

What more could we ask for..! We had got the Change makers, the School leaders and the nurturers of a child’s life under the same roof talking about innovative teaching methods to improve the quality of education that our schools currently offer. This definitely looked like a dream come true. Read our previous blog to explore the purpose of the TLC.

This day indeed will be etched in our memories not because of what happened but because what it symbolizes in our long quest of educational equity. We can now finally say, that the ripples of change have started forming.

The blog piece has been written by Ms. Poonam Shukla, who works as the School Transformation lead at Mantra4Change.  

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Mantra4Change gets its Advisory Board

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can” and he couldn’t be more right. 

We, at Mantra4Change, have a great team of enthusiastic people who share a common goal and constantly strive to provide quality education to children, but that is not enough for us. We believe that as humans or organization, we always need someone to guide us and constantly challenge our potential in order to keep improving. This is why, after a series of efforts, we have finally got our “Board of Advisors”.  And we are thrilled to have them officially on board with us. It will be a futile effort to rope in all their achievements and their support extended to us so far. So, here is a brief introduction to our “Board of Advisors” at Mantra4Change.

S D Shibulal is one of the co-founders of Infosys Pvt Ltd. He also served as CEO of Infosys from 2011 to 2014. After his retirement from Infosys, he co-founded Axilor Ventures, a venture capital service for young entrepreneurs. Axilor is currently supporting more than 50 startups. Mr. Shibulal is also interested in improving the quality of education at schools in India. Towards this, he started Advait Foundation to promote philanthropic ventures in the field of education and research. 

Kumari Shibulal established Sarojini DamodaranFoundation in 1999. The focus of the foundation is on education of the under privileged children from primary to college. One arm of the foundation (Advaith) focuses on K-10 education for poor kids through a school called Samhita Academy. The second arm of the foundation, Vidyadhan, focuses on kids through grade 11 up to college education through a need based full scholarship for the Children who come from families below the poverty line. It started in 1999 with two kids. Today the foundation supports close to 5000 kids.
Sanjay Purohit is the founder of ScaleChange network. He has 25+ years of work experience across domains of technology, quality, business strategy, consulting etc. He served at Infosys as Executive Vice President. Prior to joining Infosys, he worked at Tata Quality management Services as Senior Consultant.  He is currently advisor to EkStep Foundation and eGovernments Foundation. He is also leading the initiative to build platform to support organisations working in the area of systemic transformation in Education. He keenly supports and mentors organisations in social sector.
Janhvi Kanoria has a Masters in Education from Harvard Graduate school of Education. She worked as Supreme Education Council at Ministry of Education, Qatar. She was responsible for setting up the office in all strategic, operational and people aspects. Currently, she is working as Education portfolio Manager at Qatar Foundation. As a founding team member, she is helping CEO’s office with strategy and management support. 
We hope to keep enriching our panel of advisors. Meanwhile, with the guidance of such great personalities, we look forward to a great journey full of learning and explorations. This, indeed, opens up endless possibilities for us in our vision of "Education Transformation."