School on Wheels

Exhibition: Cities | October 11, 2011 by

India’s rapidly expanding urban areas rely on migrant workers to build new developments. As each new construction project begins, informal temporary settlements are erected for the workers and their families, who move to and from sites based on the job’s requirements. For the underprivileged children of these workers, even a basic education is difficult to come by. Many are not enrolled in school, and for those who are, high drop-out rates and low attendance are common. The children move when their parents move, and few have access to books or a place to study. The Door Step School brings quality education to these children with innovative programs that accommodate their transient lives. The School on Wheels is a bus equipped as a classroom that picks children up daily from settlements. It provides a stable setting in which students learn basic literacy and arithmetic skills, and ensures regular attendance. Buses can accommodate up to twenty-five children; there are two buses currently in operation in Pune and four in Mumbai.

When children move, it is difficult to track them and ensure they continue to receive an education. MyBook eases these efforts with another simple solution—providing students with a handbook to take with them when they are next uprooted. All children in the Door Step School’s various projects are given a MyBook, in which teachers maintain a record of the student’s academic progress. Importantly, it contains a list of phone numbers to free education centers in the city. The books are intended to help children learn with as much continuity as possible.

Designer: Door Step School. Pune, India, 2000–present

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