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Open spaces, open minds: the benefits of learning outside the confines of school

learning world

Open spaces, open minds: the benefits of learning outside the confines of school

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A school is much more than bricks and mortar. Indeed, some education establishments claim to be much better places of learning for not having walls and a roof.

In this edition Learning World looks at two schools that fly in the face of convention, offering their students real-life skills outside the confines of the traditional classroom environment.

Inda: University of Life

This is the story of a resourceful and determined Indian man who set up a special school, the University of Life, in his home village to encourage young people to stay in the area and contribute to the life of the community. Sachin Desai was dismayed that migration was depriving his area of talent and labour, and also destroying the fabric of family life.

His school offers education in agriculture, business and crafts and gives students the skills they need to find jobs or set up their own businesses at home, rather than having to move to other parts of India to earn a living. Morevover, the young people really enjoy learning on the job, whether in the fields or in workshops. Sachin himself describes it as a ‘school without walls’.

Caribbean: High Seas High School

Every year some 60 lucky students from around the world get to take part in an amazing voyage of discovery with Class Afloat. This unique programme allows them to continue their normal academic education while sailing the oceans on an historic tall ship. During this high seas odyssey they also learn key sailing and navigation skills. It’s a broadly character-building experience; the students all play key roles as crew members and so develop senses of responsibility, team-playing and mutual respect.

Watch the video to find out more about both these stories.


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