I was living in the same area with the community in Noida, sector 8, and even made friends among local children. Through several interviews with parents and children especially I could understand the main reasons of skipping school and lack of interest in general.
Most of the children skipped their classes as they have to help their parents at work or look after younger siblings. The other part of the children were not interested in going to school and they preferred to play outside with peers. Also, there were not enough teachers and study books so most of the children had to study in mixed classes and seat on the floor.
It seems that formal education simply doesn’t work in informal settlements. Instead, the knowledge should be delivered to pupils just like water to families, by rickshaws in small and entertaining portions.
There are three main ways how drinking water is distributed in Noida:
Edutainment (education and entertainment) is the key to promoting the curiosity of learning, educating in an engaging way, to encourage members of the community to produce more forms of education and distribute it to a wider community.
Knowledge delivery is as important as water and the approach of rickshaw can be easily implemented.
Local climate and site dictate the form and look of architecture: paths, shades and division on public, private and semi-public areas.
Education in the form of edutainment can teach, encourage and empower members of the community, especially the younger generation. The place to meet, teach and learn provides also economical support for the community and the “knowledge factory” as their craft can be sold in the local supermarket for locals and tourists as well as changing the perception of slums.