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Anantha Padmanabha Rao Yerravalli

Anantha Padmanabha Rao Yerravalli holds a Master's degree and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Andhra Pradesh. Anantha is the Co-Director of Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RiVER), Krishnamurti Foundation India. He, along with his wife, Rama, is the co-winner of the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2009. The Rao’s have been at RiVER for the past 31 years. They have jointly been in charge of the Rishi Valley Rural Education Center (RV-REC). Anantha and Rama share responsibilities in developing curricula, methodology, teacher training, involving the community and in addressing the multi-grade, multi-level teaching learning. They also conduct workshops for UNICEF, state governments, and NGOs. Anantha focuses on developing training methodology as well as external partnerships and collaboration.

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Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER)
Model
Non-profit Social Enterprise
Sectors
Education and Skills
Headquarters
India
Areas of Impact
South Asia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Mozambique, Germany, Nepal

Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER)

Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resource’s (RiVER) has initiated several satellite schools in and around the Rishi Valley. These are currently reaching out to approximately 550 children. RiVER’s work over the past 30 years has led to the development of the RiVER multi-grade multi-level methodology (MGML) methodology, which aims to solve problems endemic in the Indian countryside. It caters to the needs of schools in rural and urban areas where there is no correlation between age and ability, and the dropout rate is significant. It aims to put the child in charge of their own education. It has a technology component where content can be delivered through affordable tablets. It can be scaled up, without the standardization that scaled-up programmes tend to require.

The MGML methodology has been proven to be successful in bringing about social and gender equity. It is inclusive, accommodating quick learners as well as slow learners. It permits drop-outs to return to school without creating permanent gaps in their learning. It is flexible and can be customized to suit local requirements. It builds on continuous and comprehensive assessments. It facilitates comparative analyses of schools. The programme is economical: a teacher trained in the methodology can handle a range of students from class 1 to 5 in a single classroom. The design conceives of schools as resource centres for the local population and a nucleus for the recreation of the Commons.

As there is no correlation between age and competency levels in a majority of rural schools, RiVER's methodology focuses on substituting textbooks with graded cards in the areas of language, mathematics, environmental science and English as a second language (ESL). Each card in the graded series is marked with a logo (rabbit, elephant, dog) and mapped onto a subject-specific progress chart that is rich in details and information about the progress of each student. This programme gives students the freedom to learn at their own speed, and teachers the time to attend to students.