Education on Wheels (EOW) is a unique programme where the school comes home, virtually to the doorstep of the student. Making the learning process exciting, novel and convenient, the EOW is a well-equipped bus which is mobile and it moves with teachers to different locations. It has on board computers, television and other essential education related materials.
Sukarya is working to promote the EOW model in Delhi (4 slums) and Gurugram (2 slums). As part of the project, the EOW bus moves in the project locations following a carefully prepared roster/schedule. The classes are conducted inside and outside the bus. Two batches of 25 students each are available at each location. At the end of a single day, learning exposure is provided to nearly 100 students.
The key objective of the project is to reach the vast majority of children who are living in vulnerable conditions and are unable to access education in a favourable learning environment. It aims to educate children living on the streets and in impoverished neighbourhoods by providing them functional literacy so they can manage their lives better and be an asset to their families and society. It is designed to enable non-school going children to acquire minimum knowledge and skills and mainstreaming them in formal schools.
It first identifies non-school going children from slum areas and then sees what is more suitable to their situation and setting – whether they will benefit more from remedial education or from non-formal education. Remedial classes are for those who have dropped out. In both instances, students are brought to a level where they can take the Open Basic Examination conducted by the Government of India. Once they clear the exam, they are given the option of getting mainstreamed into formal education system.
Offering avenues in non-formal education
The EOW specialises in non- formal education. It is a form of remedial education that puts students back into school, coaches and guides them on lifeskills, health, nutrition, careers and values.
It provides multi-grade teaching where children of different age groups and levels are taught under one roof by trained and experienced teachers who use special methods and techniques, putting the fun back into learning. The goal is to ensure children continue to learn and not drop out or discontinue.
The motto of EOW is to provide accessible, affordable and efficient education services to marginalised communities and go the extra mile in reaching the unreached. Towards this end, valuable support is being provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers India for the Gurugram chapter while the Delhi chapter is supported by Sukarya USA and Microsoft’s “Giving through Global Giving and Benevity.
The multi-grade system of teaching and the child-centric curriculum finds favour with those who get associated with EOW. The well equipped bus also provides basic computer education. There is a healthy interaction with teaching staff, including monthly parent teacher meetings and other extra-curricular activities. Proper records are maintained, attendance taken and follow-up done with home visits to discuss any gaps or challenges. Annual picnics and celebration of festivals adds to the bonding and sense of belonging to the EOW concept.