HOPE, a community school in Delhi, helps children who cannot access online education because of the pandemic. It helps underprivileged children learn through mobile classrooms and provides them with free education and mid-day meals.
An NGO called Tejas Asia started the community school seven years ago to reach kids in underserved areas. The school uses buses, called 'Hope Buses', to go to places where the kids do not have access to school, said Marco Phillip, the founder of Tejas Asia. They take the schools to the students. The students are also provided with mid-day meals cooked in the Hope Kitchen in Tughlaqabad, reported Hindustan Times. "We have seen so many lives touched and impacted through this", Phillip said.
Four Buses In Eight Locations
The community school has four buses running at the moment, and they go to eight different locations in Delhi to teach students. The buses start from Saket in Delhi. Philip has also started a project in Gurugram.
The children study for two hours inside the buses, and then they are provided with food. The students are provided with slates, colouring pens, and whatever they can provide in the tiny space. Ebina, who manages the bus, said that the children are taught basic educational skills like maths and language skills. And after they see some potential in a child, they enrol the kid in a government school.
Bus Services Resume: Increase In Number Of Students After Pandemic
Students whose schools closed during the pandemic also came to study in the Hope Buses. One of the student's fathers, a rag picker, said that he sends his child to study on the bus to do a little better in their lives and help the parents. Another rag picker who sends his child to study on the bus said that he is not educated to teach his kids at home, and now when the bus services have resumed, he has again started sending his children to mobile buses.
The community school identifies a needy location where kids have no education. They survey how many kids are not going to school and the reason behind it. If they find there is a need, they start the bus project in that locality. The pandemic was very tough, admitted the founder.
Philip said that all kids were asking when the school would open, but they had to wait till the government gave permission. The buses have seen an increase in the number of students after the COVID-19 pandemic.