One of the major reasons why so many children drop out even before they reach secondary school is the idea that the time invested in education could be better utilised by doing labour that would offer a respite to families in the form of monetary support.
According to a 2016 report by UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Global Education Monitoring, India has the highest number of adolescents dropping out of schools in the world at a staggering 47 million.
Sadly, a large percentage of this number comes from the rural side of the country, where more than 50 per cent of children drop out of schools before reaching the age of 13.
While poverty and a pinched financial state are significant factors leading children to take up chores and help increase household income, other reasons like common indifference and lack of awareness revolving around the need for education is usually why children continue to drop out of schools.
Another important factor is the way our education system is structured which solely adheres to a curriculum-completion target — which hardly contributes to the holistic development of young and curious minds.
In order to help such children get a second shot at education with a sustainable model of growth and learning, Chennai-based Ashok Leyland launched the ‘Road to School’ project in 2015.
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Focussing on ‘late bloomers’, the initiative works in close collaboration with local government schools and incorporates various unconventional teaching methodologies to push even the late learners into the mainstream.
With classrooms titled ‘learning centres’ where every child gets individual focused attention and carefully curated child-friendly learning modules, Road to School aims to guide the learning process and as a result, paving the path for a brighter future.
Starting in Anchetty and Shoolagiri beside the Hosur plant, the initiative has now expanded its reach to regions like Minjur, Puzhal and Namakkal, impacting the lives of 19,700 students across 153 schools.
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