The powerful earthquake of 7.8 Richter scale magnitudes left a visible trail in Nepal wrecking around one lakh houses. Of which 1383 schools are completely destroyed, that too out of 26 districts. (UN Report 2015). Similarly, the statistics provided by the Education Division of the Ministry of Education, shows 969 schools were found partly damaged.
Most of the schools are still not in the state of running a smooth administration. The massive quake led to the students traumatized and unable to attend the school with a sound mindset. With the fear of return of the quake, the insecurity among the students has ever so increased. Unable to cope up with the stress, they are deprived from attaining their education. With the risk of demolition of the remaining schools, the attendance of the students has reduced to quite a number.The monotonous schedule of the school along with the same books can fail to provide emotional support in unpredictable natural disaster. The ‘School on Wheels’ can therefore act as a medium whereby the children can interact, play games and read and write.
School on Wheels aims to provide storybooks and hope to the children in disaster-hit areas. The major aim of the project is to generate new teaching methods, lessons and resources. It will help to foster a love of reading in children by engaging them in storytelling, giving them better access to books, a thirst for learning and removes the thought of corporal punishment as a part of children’s upbringing.
School on Wheels will involve a team of 4 young people travelling throughout earthquake-affected districts in a bus library with the package of recreational hub and knowledge hub. The bus will visit more than 26 government schools and communities and will contribute 2 days of time for the specific school or locality. These two days are categorized into Recreation hub and Study hub.
In the first day with the school or community, Recreational hub will be conducted, which consists of Music, Mini-Olympic and Paintings. The first day aims to increase familiarity and create a bond with the children. Typical folk music will be the major attraction to grab the attention of children. Likewise, Mini-Olympic consists of series of games such as leg-race, tug of war, and marble in the spoon and kabbadi, also is a medium to get closer to the community. The paintings or the murals in some schools can equally play as a stress buster to the school children.
Educational Hub in the second day will be focused on creating a positive learning environment in the schools or community. Six hours study hub will help to provide the children with the space for reading and writing with the help of books of cartoon, geography, history books to name a few. Educational Hub will also be extremely beneficial to acquire knowledge which can be based both on curriculum and non-curriculum. Direct access to unique reading materials can help them to expand their knowledge and information received beyond their classrooms. Likewise storytelling session will also be conducted in order to emphasis on the toddlers of the community.
‘School on Wheels’ project is a joint initiation of ‘We’ for CHANGE, Shree Kutch Leva Patel Community, United Kingdom and Shree Swaminarayan Temple, London.