You must have had such curious questions as a child. Children are curious. Curiosity is a crucial part of childhood. Children ask millions of questions because they are excited to learn new things and find solutions to problems. But not all children have an opportunity to find out the answers to their questions. According to the UDISE+ Report 2021-22, 12.61% of adolescents drop out of secondary school.
Magic Bus works with adolescents between 12 to 18 years belonging to underserved communities. By empowering them with life skills through activity-based education, they can look beyond the destabilisers like poverty, work as child labour and start dreaming again.
For us, going to school is not just about studying. It is also about providing a secure and healthy environment for adolescents to grow and develop. That’s why it’s important to create a shift in the community’s mindset so they can act as a catalyst for change. Adolescents, especially girls, who drop out of school rarely ever come back to continue their secondary education even though it is made mandatory and free by the Government. With our flagship childhood programme, we want to reach out to these adolescents and bring them back to school.
Right after the pandemic, we saw a massive dropout rate. Some of the key reasons behind these dropouts were that adolescents had to start earning or contributing to household chores. Other reasons were the learning gap and low confidence. Through the intervention of our school support staff and community coordinators, we brought the children back to school.
To bridge the learning gap, we integrated the Foundational Literacy and Numeracy component in our existing Community Learning Center (CLC) programme. We adapted our programme to include digital learning through tabs to help adolescents understand subjects properly. The emphasis was for the adolescents at the bottom of the learning curve to have access to additional educational support to reduce their learning lag.
With the mission to equip and empower adolescents with fun-filled sessions, our innovative School Completion and Learning Enablement (SCALE) programme model creates a never-ending chain of life skills delivery. From training government school teachers to deliver life skills through activity-based sessions, we ensure life skills education is sustainable at the broader level.
These fun-filled sessions are one of the main reasons why adolescents increase their school regularity. Once these adolescents learn the activities, they in turn start delivering the sessions to their peers – we call them peer leaders. From one student to another, the chain continues.
With just a ball, and a teacher delivering life skills, we build back their confidence– one session at a time. During these sessions, the adolescents learn to manage their emotions, understand themselves, communicate with others, work in teams and understand gender equality, address various issues and learn how to learn. The best thing about these skills is once an adolescent learns them, they become a part of their lifestyle and thinking. These skills not only help them complete their secondary education but also prepare them to take up a decent job once they become an adult.
At Magic Bus, we aim to empower every adolescent with life skills and educational support. We want to offer learning without any barriers like gender barriers, disabilities and destabilisers like child labour or migration. Magic Bus has always stood up for a safer and equal world for adolescents. To know more about our initiatives, visit our website.