Anoop Erakkil
Ambassador, Academy

Anoop Erakkil

Thrissur, India

Parent, Edupreneur, Collaborator, Learner

I am an engineering graduate from India, who switched career tracks into the education sector with a two-year teaching fellowship back in 2009. What followed has been a decade-long quest to understand what equity and excellence could really look like in our schooling system.

My 18-month stint as a stay-at-home dad in 2016-17 has been an eye-opening learning experience as an educator, one that's helping me critically examine and re-imagine what it means to put the child at the centre of teaching-learning solutions.

I currently juggle between parenting a toddler, building an ed-startup Qrius Learning Initiatives, and collaborating with schools to test and evolve child-centric learning solutions built upon the principles of a meaning-centred, constructivist approach to learning.

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

My current role trying to work on child-centred learning in classrooms poses a challenge - one about replicating the natural ways of learning of the child in a conventional school system. Is it even possible? Or, will innovative learning solutions only end up being successful in small pockets of alternative schools, unable to scale? 

I hope that being a HundrEd ambassador provides the opportunity to ask and share more in my quest for solutions.

How can education support students to flourish?

I believe that education is a great leveller and provides every child with the opportunity to tap into his/her potential in spite of the constraints posed by the socioeconomic or diverse backgrounds one might be born into. 

An excellent education goes beyond the idea of providing foundational literacy and numeracy to enable each child to gain perspectives and uncover the dreamer, seeker, problem-solver in her- something that prepares him/her to face the future and contribute to a better world to come!

What role does innovation play in education change?

The core elements of the present education model(call it, mass schooling) doesn't seem to have changed much over the past few centuries. 

Innovations rooted in the principles of equity and excellence, whether in terms of process, content or content delivery has the potential to disrupt the status quo and evolve our ideas of education for the future.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

Snail-Based Learning had me with the idea of getting children to 'deploy curiosity wherever they are'

Democratic Kindergartens for the belief in child's ability to be participative in democratic decision-making. 

Project DEFY again, for the belief that children can design their own learning, a skill that also can get children to be future-ready.

You'll have picked the trend now - that any innovation rooted strongly in its belief about a child's innate ability makes me tick.  

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

There's going to be more than three. To start with here is the first three that are focused on bridging the equity and quality gap at a system level.

STEP - School Transformation & Empowerment Project by Mantra4Change(Bengaluru, India) adopts a holistic approach for quality intervention at school and cluster level(an administrative block of 10-15 government-run schools)

Madhi Foundation (Chennai, India) pioneers the use of technology and data  focusing on system-capacity building through its Literacy & Language Development Program(LLDP)

Key Education Foundation (Bengaluru, India) works on a 'School Readiness Program' with its single-minded focus on closing the equity gap in low-income students right before it begins.

And one that leverages the belief about children's ability to learn and teach as well - INVOLVE (Chennai, India) with it's 'The Peer Taught Classrooms' model aims at imbibing 21st-century skills among student leaders and learners.