S. Giridhar (Giri), Chief Operating Officer of Azim Premji University (APU) and I had a chance to chat for a Silver Lining for Learning side conversation. Giri is a good friend and we connect at multiple levels. We both went to the same undergraduate institution (BITS Pilani) though our paths did not cross then. We got to know each other better as we worked together on a partnership between APU and Michigan State University.
APU and the foundation of which it is a part (Azim Premji Foundation) are amazing organizations working across India in the areas of education and development. The foundation has engaged with state governments across India around issues such as teacher education, school leadership development, assessment, curricular development, institutional development and administrative reform. My conversation with Giri was prompted by a piece he wrote for the Times of India (Back to school: A drastic rethink of primary education is needed in a post pandemic world). Our conversation covered a lot of ground particularly around how the foundation (and the university) has responded to the COVID19 crisis. Below the video I provide some links to resources etc. that may help contextualize all the things we talked about. Enjoy.
Here are some links for context:
- The Azim Premji Foundation & Azim Premji Unversity (and a video by Anurag Behar, CEO of the Foundation about the work they do).
- You can learn more about the APU/MSU partnership from a book chapter that Inese, Giri and I wrote: By design and by chance, the story of one international partnership.
- Giri has written a book titled: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Teachers (You can also read a review in the Indian Express). See below for a video created for the release of the book, which includes a conversation with Giri (and other panelists).
- Giri and I also connect over a shared love for cricket and he has written a couple of books on the subject. A couple of articles that are mentioned in the conversation are about the rise of data analytics (think Moneyball) in cricket. More here and here.