The Walking School Bus (NGO) launches operations in India

Mumbai: The Walking School Bus (TWSB), an independent Non-Profit Organisation headquartered in Canada recently launched its operations in India.

The Walking School Bus supports access to education by providing a holistic, research-driven approach to educational attainment. Its three-prong approach of Transportation, Nutrition, and Curriculum helps students get to school, ensures they’re well fed, and enhances their education for optimal impact.

The Walking School Bus works on a very innovative module that is revenue generating and self-sustaining. For instance, the access model involves helping students get to school through transportation infrastructure (School Buses). These buses are put to commercial use during the course of day. Secondly, the nutrition program focuses on three areas; water catchment systems, chicken coops, and Community Supported Agricultural Programs (CSA). This model ensures providing small, self-sustaining investments that improve overall nutrition. Finally, the curriculum program is geared towards improving student literacy through the SiMBi Reading App.

In the Indian expedition The Walking School Bus will work with 3 participating schools and communities across Uttarakhand to improve Access, Nutrition, and Curriculum.

As its first Indian initiative, The Walking School Bus has started a new campaign; “Search for Jugaad”, sponsored by Nestaway, a brand that strongly believes in The Walking School Bus mission. Nestaway as a brand believes that every individual regardless of their situation must get the opportunity to grow and learn without facing any discrimination. With this project Nestaway hopes to partner with TWSB in removing any barriers and challenges to education in the three schools in Uttarakhand through innovative ideas that can succeed in the Indian context. This synergistic partnership aims to empower innovation and educational attainment across India.

In recognizing that every country faces its own unique challenges regarding the issue of education, TWSB is inviting students from across India to join the “Search for Jugaad” initiative. This is a call for innovative and scalable grass roots ideas that can enable communities to face the challenges of education in their own backyard.

Entries will be judged based on a set of criteria by a panel of experts around the world who specialize in disciplines which range from Economics, to Engineering, to Education. The ideas must be supported by strong research and a vision to implement and scale up.

The top entries will be shortlisted by March, 2018 and THE WINNER will be awarded a grant of $1000 USD and access to mentorship and research resources to help expand the idea with input from experts in the field. In April, the winner will be invited to join a Walking School Bus expedition to work towards realizing their innovation and bringing it to fruition.

Aaron Friedland, Founder and Executive Director, said, “Research is at the core of The Walking School Bus. It is our first step in implementing our three-prong approach of Transportation, Nutrition, and Curriculum which helps students arrive at school safely, ensures they’re well fed, and improves their curriculum. The winner of the competition will research with our Think Tank which was created to provide university students the opportunity to meaningfully engage in academic research that mutually benefits their respective areas of academic pursuit while also vertically integrating the research for our organization. We’re incredibly excited to attract top researchers to join TWSB and to work with us to sustain ably improve access to education.”