You have seen it right! Akshar Forum, a school in Guwahati, Assam, accepts and welcomes plastic wastes as fees. This school, founded in 2016 by Mazin Mukhtar and Parmita Sarma, has been unique in many ways. It collects 20 plastic items per week as school fees. “We never charged any fees, but thought of collecting plastic waste from our students’ households and recycling it,” says Mukhtar. Akshar collect around 10,000 plastic items per week, according to Mukhtar. The founders have now been approached by the Delhi government to replicate their ‘Plastic as Fees’ in the capital.
With only 110 students, Akshar provides meta-teaching system, that is, older students are employed to teach the younger students, so that they aspire to become teachers in future. Apart from teaching, the older students give mentoring and provide moral support to the children, because teens can relate to the children better than adults in some of these respects.
Most of the students of Akshar Forum are from underprivileged backgrounds. Hence there are a great deal of pressure on the teens to drop out of school so that they can earn more. Akshar pays teens to work part-time in school, learning and earning, and families are happy to send them to school. It combines carpentry with mathematics, solar technology with physics and recycling with ecology and so on. Teens are also employed part-time in the campus Recycling Centre, where eco-bricks are made by recycling the plastic wastes. The school also pocess an animal shelter within the campus which founds homes for at least 20 dogs and their vaccination, proper clean-up and finding a proper home are done by the teens for Akshar Forum themselves.
In the days, where use plastic is rampart not only in Assam but also all over the world, such an initiative is very essential to save the world from biodegradable wastes and also encourage the future generation to achieve themselves the best possible solutions for a good environment and society.
- News18 – https://www.news18.com/news/india/this-unique-school-in-guwahati-accepts-plastic-for-fees-teaches-students-how-to-recycle-2132255.html
- The Logical Indian – https://thelogicalindian.com/get-inspired/assam-school-charges-plastic-waste/