S V Manjunath


S V Manjunath is currently an Associate Director (Kannada Initiatives) at the Azim Premji University. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a PG diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.

Manjunath made a mid–career shift more than seven years back, after spending more than two decades in the corporate sector as a human resource professional.

He has interests in literature, music and cricket and writes regularly on issues in education in various newspapers and portals. He has authored two books in Kannada - a collection of essays on his experiences as a HR Professional titled ‘Janasampada’ and ‘Sakha-Sakhi’, a photo feature documenting his parents’ 50-year life journey.   


Recent Posts

The focus of this article is about a recent distressing incident in Karnataka, and to look closely at the implications it brings to bear upon the notion of a human being and the role of education in it.   Fanatical cries against Suhana’s singing

There are very many common beliefs about children and learning that we come across during the course of our interactions with teachers, educators and functionaries. Let us examine a few of them: There are three types of children – smart, ordinary and dull. The main reason for this extreme disparity is the child’s family background. . Some children are good at studies; a few others are only fit to carry out other routine tasks. . The family base of children who land in our schools is not good.

It was a truly memorable moment last week when a bunch of us mates from my alma mater, National Middle School, met seven of our teachers after nearly forty years. All of them had retired many years ago, and a few of them were into their eighties as well. While more than 30 of us getting connected through a WhatsApp group might seem like a pleasant surprise, being able to get in touch with our elementary school teachers was nothing short of a miracle.

Who doesn’t like stories? They are close to everyone’s heart. Stories have the ability to attract children and elders alike and make them stand on their feet. It is but natural for everyone to read stories that generate inquisitiveness, inquiry and ecstasy. This is how we create our own happiness in solitude.  Getting into a story, opening ourselves to the plot and characters, while grasping the language, technique and appropriateness of the narrative style is an experience to cherish.

Ramya hails from a disadvantaged family. She is the only daughter of a single mother Malli (whose husband expired a few years back), who works as a house maid in South Bengaluru. Ramya’s family hails from a tiny village in Tumkur, where her grandparents and maternal uncle live. Her grandmother Mayamma also worked as a house maid. Her grandfather not only lived out of his wife’s and daughter’s meagre incomes, but would spend disproportionately on his drink, as is the case in such families. They stayed with Malli, until a few months ago when they shifted back to their native village.

The harsh reality of how children are being treated in schools

This thought-provoking question was put forth by a committee constituted by the Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi, in its draft report incorporating indicative operational guidelines for strengthening and revitalising Block Resource Centres (BRCs) and Cluster Resource Centres (CRCs), at the sub-district level. That was in June 2011. The question is pertinent even today.  

Given their strength and clout, teacher unions can play a big role in changing the quality of education. They have a moral responsibility to do so I was invited to be part of an event to mark the starting of a Teacher Learning Centre in one of the eight educational blocks of Mandya district last year.

No one could miss the symbol of the big, red question mark (?) adorning the wall prominently at a height behind Dr H Narasimhaiah’s seat in his office. He firmly believed in everyone possessing a questioning, enquiring outlook as part of developing a scientific mindset. No one should blindly accept any statement made by any godman, mystic, saint, scientist or a pundit in any field without examining it thoroughly in one’s life, he would urge. 

As the new academic year began with the reopening of schools in the last week of May, one could see the teachers busy getting their school premises and classrooms spic and span, enrolling new students and preparing the activity plan and monthly calendar. One could see text books supplied by the government being stacked in an orderly manner in the headmaster’s room for distribution among children. Attendance in the school in the first week was around 50-60 percent, as many children who had gone to their native place during holidays were slowly returning.

Bengaluru Urban revenue district comprises of four Taluks – Bengaluru North, Bengaluru South, Bengaluru East and Anekal. Electronics city, located in Anekal, the pride of Silicon city Bengaluru, is an IT hub and one of India’s largest electronics industrial parks, houses major IT / ITES companies and a bio-tech park, employing more than a lakh employees.   

There is a long history of teacher education in Karnataka. The first teacher training college for training school teachers was started in Dharwad in 1857 and the Normal Schools, for training in-service teachers at the hobli (cluster of adjoining villages administered together for tax and revenue purposes) level, came up in 1868.


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