It is evident from the statistics that the condition of primary education in Arunachal Pradesh raises grave concerns for the whole country and if not addressed timely, it will lead to further worsening of the dropout rate in the state.
Within the relatively darker picture, there is a ray of hope coming in from Arunachal Pradesh’s Lohit district. In a one of its kind initiative, the district administration has begun quite a unique and interesting educational experiment. They have converted an old and abandoned bus into a classroom.
This classroom is replete with tables, chairs, books and stationaries and is thus standing out as a timely effort to challenge the growing dropout rates in the state.
The conversion of an old and abandoned bus into a classroom is also able to address an important challenge posed due to space crunch in government run schools where children from the primary sections were often compelled to sit with children from the higher classes and teachers would simultaneously teach both the batches. The limited space and infrastructure available but make learning-teaching extremely difficult for the younger children, who generally require more clarity and teacher attention as they learn new subjects. Space crunch in schools was one of the major reasons why junior children would dislike going to school or would not be able to gain much from the schooling lessons.
The school on a bus concept has thus gained great currency in the district and thus the students of the government run primary school at Thowang village in Lohit district are very happy to attend classes.
The bus offers a very interesting classroom experience to these children and also makes it possible for them to study comfortably and understand things better.
The initiative has not only solved the problem of space but has also infused elements of fun and excitement into the whole process.
Efforts have been made by the district administration to colour and make the bus as attractive and welcoming for the kids.
The exterior of the bus has paintings of the political map of India, the national animals and the human body.
Inside the bus, there is a beautiful and symmetrical arrangement of tables, black boards, chairs and all the necessary stationary and books for the children. The teachers at the school are also overwhelmed to see such a positive feedback from the children as now they really enjoy coming to school, learning freely and have begun to love the classroom space so much that they are willing to stay back even after the school hours for the thirst of learning more!
Building on the success of this unique classroom on the bus experience, the district administration now plans to acquire many more buses and convert them into beautiful classrooms for the children.
This was they can solve the problem of space crunch as well as improve attendance levels of the primary sections.