A married couple in India opened a school in 2016 which allows children to pay their school fees in the form of plastic collected from their community.
Assam, India – In a world plagued by poverty and plastic, one school has come up with a solution to both issues. By educating children, you give them the opportunity to lift themselves out of their circumstances. Sadly, sometimes children drop out of school because they cannot pay their way.
The Akshar School has implemented a way to reduce the amount of plastic within the environment and ensure that their students stay in school.
Each week, students line up to pay their weekly school fees. The prices are 25 pieces of plastic. This means that each child is assigning value to recycle, an idea that can take the community very far. Before the school implemented the trade, the town used to burn the plastic.
The toxic smoke from burning plastic used to waft into the classroom during the day, causing many problems for not just the children but also the environment and atmosphere.
The plastic collected by the students is turned into EcoBricks and used to build up the school. Students who have graduated out of school can work part-time in their recycling centre, which earns them much-needed money while looking for full-time employment.
By implementing the exchange of plastic over money, the community has completely transformed. Parmita Sarma and Mazin Mukhtar, the couple behind the concept now hope to model it reforming 100 schools government schools around India.
The model for this school could make a change globally and allow more children to access the education they deserve!