Anil Angadiki spent much of his life trying to teach science to children who could not read and write. As a chemistry teacher for grades 11 and 12 and principal of PU College in Koppal, Karnataka, he was constantly coming up against the results of the government policy of ‘no retention until grade 10’ — students were being promoted to higher classes without even basic learning, leaving teachers such as Angadiki helpless. So, when in June 2012, he heard the Azim Premji Foundation (APF) was looking for a principal for its primary school in the state’s Yadgir district, he needed no convincing. “This was an opportunity to create a K-12 school from scratch,” says a visibly happy Angadiki as he takes us on a tour of the two classrooms of his school. They are plain rooms with worn-out paint that look lively and vibrant with board games such as snakes and ladders, ludo and tic-tac-toe painted on the floor, colourful cloth bags filled with flash cards and picture books hanging on the walls, and children’s art work suspended from the ceiling.
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