Children Pay Their Student Fees In The Form Of Plastic Waste In This One-Of-A-Kind School In India


In this remarkable school, students are required to pay for their tuition fees in the form of plastic waste. Ashkar Foundation School, which is located in Pamohi, Assam, India boasts originality because they run their own recycling center and every student is required to bring up to 25 items of wasted plastic to school every week. 

From the waste that children bring, it is then divided between recyclable and non-recyclable items. The children help build and turn all the non-recyclable plastic into eco-bricks that they use for simple, yet useful construction projects inside the school campuses. 


This idea of using plastic waste came to mind when the school founders Pamila Sarma and Mazin Mukhtar opened their first school in India and noticed that the norm of burning plastic in bonfires was done in order to stay warm, while the stench of the fire wafts towards the direction of their campus. 

The founders took the time to explain and educate the families within the community about the harm that these toxic fumes from the burned plastic causes, and therefore the idea of the recycling scheme implementation began. By paying their tuition fees in the form of plastic waste, instead of burning them, these children will help with the town’s waste problem and at the same time, learn about improving the environment. The school’s main objective is to educate the children, provide them with a responsibility, and give them a job to do. Teaching them how to recycle and reuse is a big step towards achieving a sustainable community. 

Source: Instagram

Usually, children living in rural areas have part-time jobs and contribute to the total of their families’ income. The school has hit two birds with one stone by giving them a way to pay for their student fees on their own, as well as employing them in the recycling center where they can earn ‘toy money.’ This form of currency is used in local stores where the students can buy small items such as snacks, toys and clothes. 

Apart from this amazing feat, Ashkar Foundation also provides housing for over 100 students and follows a peer-to-peer learning model wherein senior students, who are taught by expert professors pass on their knowledge and tutor the younger students. Some of the subjects that they teach about are caring for stray animals, gardening, carpentry and farming. 

Do you think this new way of schooling will create a shift in all the rural areas of India to follow this model sample and refrain from burning plastic waste? 


What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

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