Valored started with a small team of four. The first few months were spent in getting a general orientation to education, especially to education in primary schools. We got to study and to evaluate objectively the text books, the methodologies used by the teachers, and the psychology of the rural children. The text books were analysed for their relevance to the lives of the learners and for the values or absence of values in each unit of the texts. The reactions of the parents, their indifference or even hostility, the incompetence of the school staff, the total disregard of the community in the primary school were taken note of.
Three schools in Mangalore who were open to change gave us free access into the classrooms. Our observations were further strengthened through programmes such as seminars, workshops, meetings, camps and we became increasingly aware of the huge gap between the teachers, school, education department, children, parents and the community. The children who should be the centre of education were just puppets and at times victims of the system. It was a matter of misplaced priorities and a meaningless adherence to hierarchy. In order to bridge this gap we realized that certain networks had to be built, a classroom friendly atmosphere to be created with the education department and the community taking equal amount of responsibilities and getting themselves involved in the development of schools and the community had to be made responsible and involved and the people and the Department had to be in touch. All this would be possible only if we worked at the grass root level. Hence the idea of establishing Resource Centers at the taluk level emerged.
Initially four Education Resource Centers were established in the year 1999 namely Belthangady, Bantwala, Mangalore and Udupi at the taluk level of undivided South Kanara District with the idea of bringing about active participation of the local community in the welfare of its schools and activities. In 2008 Valored extended its work to four more taluks namely Puttur, Sulya, Kundapura and Karkal.
The ERCs played a vital role in bridging the gap between schools and community, teachers and parents, teachers and children, the community and the education department. The ERCs took the initiative to conduct meetings for planning and implementation of programmes for the teachers, children and the community at large. There was a continuous dialogue with the education department officials and their cooperation was ensured.