School on Wheels (SOW) is an integrated approach towards improving the quality of education for underprivileged children. It seeks to ensure pre-primary and primary education for all children up to the age of 14 leading to their overall development.
The project has been implemented in the South Mumbai slums by Plan India’s partner NGO Door Step School. The key component of the project is a bus designed as a mobile class room to provide alternate educational facilities to street children and pavement dwellers. Efforts are being made to enrol these children in formal schools at the beginning of the next financial year. Other key components of the project include a community based educational programme, school partnership programme and working with adolescent children from the community.
Since 2008, the project has so far directly benefitted more than 5,000 children between the age group of 3-18 years. Conducting four classes a day, School on Wheels has reaches out to more than 800 children a year. The parents have also started taking an interest, talking to the teachers about their child’s problems.
Apart from this, community based educational programmes were organised in seven slum communities with coverage of 524 children. 12 Balwadis reached 393 children (49% boys & 51% girls). 99% children associated with the project continued their formal schooling and did not drop out. 77% children were regular and had attendance of more than 50% with an average attendance of 20 children per class. Additionally, 756 children benefitted from attending computer classes and 726 children from Byculla Municipal School were supported through school partnership programmes. Approximately, 509 children from 1st – 4th standard were given reading lessons with 97% succeeding to reach the project target.