Was reading up on some ongoing global educational initiatives and came across a very interesting model. In some northeast communities in India, a form of 'recycled education' enables underprivileged students to learn from older peers, who too arose from the same humble beginnings. Check out the BBC video on the topic:

While the project as a whole is remarkable, two things stood out to me in particular.

Firstly, the model is both unique and effective. By teaching their younger peers, older children give back to the communities they hail from. There is an inherent bond between the student teachers and the younger students due to the commonality of heritage. This connection undoubtedly enhances the relationship between the student teacher and the younger student and allows for a new approach to learning. Instead of entering a new classroom environment with teachers, younger children are able to learn in an environment in which they are comfortable and with instructors who are near the same age.

Furthermore, this method eases the transition from rural life to traditional classroom. Many underprivileged children are forced to work to support their families from a young age, and therefore miss out on the entire classroom experience. The leap from the fields to the desks can be a large one, and quite daunting at that. By interacting with students who have already been through the program, younger children are able to familiarize themselves with the protocol of traditional schools and ready themselves for standard education in future years.

The second aspect of the program that struck me was the mindset of the students. The children were truly excited at the chance to learn from their peers. Even more inspiring were the ambitions of the students. The sheer optimism that resonated in the room of students was incredible. Despite their difficult backgrounds, the children were still hungry for knowledge and eager to pursue professional careers. Programs like these go a long way to show that children of all backgrounds still dream for success and can achieve it if given the opportunity.