Dr. Yogesh Kulkarni has been involved in various educational activities such as literacy movement and offering education to slum children during his college days. After postgraduation in management, he worked for a multinational company for three years and then decided to continue working on his passion for education and joined ‘Vigyan Ashram’ He is heading a unique initiative named ‘Rural Development through Education System (RDES), of Vigyan Ashram, a center of ‘Indian Institute Of Education, Pune that integrates ‘Education’ and ‘Rural Development’. It is implemented in formal schools as well as in non-formal centers.
He has conceptualized and headed replication of ‘RDES’ program in 72 schools in 17 districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka states of India involving more than 6000 students.
He is actively involved in the movement to use technology in education. He along with his team members developed educational content in regional languages and many educational CD ROMs in Indian regional languages. He made use of Information and Communication Technology for educating nomadic tribes.
He is conducting educational program for rural youth on appropriate rural technologies and help them start their own enterprises. Also implemented ‘Introduction to Basic Technology (IBT)’ program in 122 schools in 4 states where students work on various development challenges of the village as part of their learning. They learn by ‘Learning while doing’ in real life situation.
Vigyan Ashram is working in the area of appropriate rural technology and non-formal education since 1983. VA has developed several low cost appropriate technologies and trained hundreds of youth in various skills. VA also developed IBT program. IT become part of syllabus and now core subject in Maharashtra. VA believes real development is development of intellect and activity to hands is quickest way to development intellect. It therefore advocates ‘Learning while doing’ in formal schools
‘Learning while doing’ methodology of learning develop rural youth even a schools dropouts into entrepreneurs. Many of them come up with new ideas and become inventor at their level. In formal schools, this approach help in reducing dropouts, increase in understanding in curricular subjects and new innovation coming up based on the local needs.
Awards and Recognition:
• UNESCO award in the ‘non- formal education’ category in 2008.
• Development Marketplace Award 2007
• Youth to Youth Innovation Award 2007 from World Bank
• First prize in Evolve development idea competition constituted by M/S GKN Sinter Metal Ltd.UK in 2009.