The Akshar school only receive plastic bottles from students instead of tuition. The reason behind this is fantastic, it is to make sure every child in the town can get access to school no matter how poor they are. This not only way to increase the education level of the town, but also help to make it a cleaner place.

Akshar is a school whose students are from 4 to 15 years old. This school is located in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, straddles the southern boundary of the Himalayas. It is found in June of 2016.

Each week, every student of Akshar school line up in front of the school with a hand full of plastics bottles, straws, plastic bags, etc. This is how the students here pay for their tuition. Every week, the students need to bring in 25 plastic waste items to submit to the school, this has become very popular around the town.

Why is the plastics?

In response to this question, the founder of the school, Armita Sarma and Mazin Mukhtar said that their classes used to be filled with exhaust fumes from the burning piles of plastic waste nearby the school. The farmer there used to collect waste plastic items and burn them up to keep themselves warm in the winter, not knowing how dangerous the fumes could be to the human’s health and the environment.

This is something worth to be concerned, however, cannot be stopped immediately. As a result, the couple decided to pay attention to the younger generation and educate them on how harmful this practice can be. By collecting plastic waste as school fee, it could help to discourage such dangerous practice and create more opportunity for the unlucky children to get to school. This has created a big change to the town, positively.

How did things start to change?

When the school was opened back in 2016, most parents at that time decided to let their children work in the nearby stone quarries, where they will make about $2.50 a day. As an effort to change the community, the founders tackled another common dilemma of affording the school fees by substituting positive impacts on the community as a replacement for fees. The school started to attract more students year after year, from 20 students when it first opened, now Akshar has more than 100 students participate in every day classes thanks to the focused curriculum and the passion of teaching. On the other hand, the community seems to support these efforts.

However, the couple does not want to stop there.

The special characteristic of the curriculum is that it pays much more attention to the environment. The school started to educate young children on how important the environment is to the human community and what could happen if we do not treasure what mother nature offers to us. The curriculum focuses on making the students aware of environmental issues and the need to be good stewards of their community.