Meet a retired teacher who uses dolls to make math and science easy for students


Kulkarni has Rs 12 lakh of dolls that help him teach English and math, and around 4.5 lakh of science-related dolls

Shyamanna Kulkarni merges work and play using her favorite toys to simplify complex concepts for children.

English, math, and science are the three subjects that students, especially those studying in public schools, struggle to fully understand. Audio / visual aids and other innovative methods are used in various schools to help children understand these topics easily. But a retired teacher from a Koppala public school uses dolls and toys to teach students various theorems, scientific formulas, and even grammar.

Shyamanna Kulkarni, 65, taught math and science at various public schools in Karnataka until her retirement. When he was little he was fascinated by dolls that could move around on their own. Later, after growing up, he studied how these dolls worked and thought it was the best way to attract school children. He started collecting dolls and explaining various scientific occurrences through them.

How does gravity work when a vehicle goes up, how do we calculate the exact pressure points to know the speed, what about the Pythagorean theorem? Kulkarni answers all these questions and many more through beautiful stories played through his dolls. And just like that, the topics that typically infuriate students become fun stories that are etched into their minds with minimal effort.

“Memorizing or imagining numbers is never easy for children. Most children easily drop out of school when bombarded with these theorems or equations. Although these are very necessary in the curriculum, not understanding these difficult topics makes it easier for them to decide to drop out and work in fields or other small jobs rather than coming to school. This trend is very strong in public village schools. That’s why I took it as a challenge to teach these kids. The dolls have helped me a lot, ”says Kulkarni.

“When the teacher at school said that the animals balance themselves through their tails, I didn’t understand it. explained how the tiger tail is similar to our arms when climbing a hill. I understood it right away. Now I remember the toy whenever this question comes up in the exams and I write the answer easily. Likewise, with the concept of gravity, his crane toy made it very clear to me. I clearly understood how gravity force works, “said Mohan, a student who visits Kulkarni for get help with his lessons.

Kulkarni’s taste for toys is well known in the surrounding area. Whenever there is a new model of toy in the stores, the first call goes to it. He has a huge collection of various toys worth Rs 17 lakh, collected over 2 decades.

Originally from Hunagunda of Bagalkote district, he has now settled in Kushtagi of Koppala district with his family. He has Rs 12 lakh of dolls which help teach English and maths and around 4.5 lakh of science related dolls. He made a separate space for these dolls. It is well known as Master of Gombe meaning doll teacher in Kannada. Several teachers also visit her to seek help in learning easier methods of teaching difficult subjects.


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