Dalyan Foundation – Internship with Prajayatna, Bangalore 2012

June – August 2012

by Sofia Berlinger

Over the last ten years, Prajayatna has been involved in facilitating systemic reform in order to bring about a qualitative improvement in Primary Education. Towards this, the organisation has been enabling processes of institutionalising community ownership of schools by engaging with parents and other key stakeholders like the Department of Education and the Panchayat Raj Institutions at the different levels of governance. Since 2006 Prajayatna has also introduced a new teaching and learning system called Kalikayatna in several primary schools throughout Karnataka.

Prajayatna arranged for a room in the Aurobindo Ashram in J P Nagar, which was nice and only 15 minutes away from work (by auto rickshaw).

The people from Prajayatna were always friendly and helpful. Whenever I had a problem they were happy to help me. For example, they arranged for a SIM card and internet and took me to the pharmacy or to the exchange office. I could always count on them. At work the people from Prajayatna were patient when answering all my questions. The working atmosphere is great.

The first two weeks I was given the chance to travel around to several schools throughout Karnataka together with a colleague. This made me understand how pupils learn and what problems the schools were facing. It was really helpful in order to understand what Prajayatna is actually doing and also very interesting as I could visit many different places in Karnataka. For the rest of the time Prajayatna gave me a lot of work to do at the office, which was quite demanding. My task was to do a comparative study of different educational systems throughout the world. I had to focus on structures, responsibilities, teaching and quality assurance in Austria, England, Finland and the United States. In order to compare the different international systems with the Indian system I primarily had to understand how the Indian system works, which was just not possible in the time which was left. So this piece of work now remains with Prajayatna.

I would definitely recommend working with Prajayatna as they really make an effort to change and improve the primary school system in Karnataka and in some other states of India as well. The people from Prajayatna work a lot of extra hours and take their job very seriously. I’ve never worked with a company whose employees were so dedicated to their job. Mary as well is highly committed and does a really good job. She is competent and well accepted and has a clear vision in her mind.