Magic Bus equips young people with life skills to help them thrive in their lives and careers.
Dhanashri Brahme, Chief of Programs
Magic Bus is equipping teachers in Haryana government schools to impart life skills education, ensuring students have the skills to unlock their potential.
Teaching Vital Life Skills to Help Students Thrive Amid Challenges
Barnil has wanted to be a professional footballer ever since he was a child, shouting “Goal!” from the bustling streets of Birubari, a village in the hills of the Guwahati, India. However, at just nine years old, Barnil suffered a severe injury in a bicycle accident, crushing his dreams of becoming a footballer. In the years following his surgery, Barnil lost his confidence and motivation in school and withdrew into solitude.
But when Magic Bus India Foundation (MBIF) introduced the Life Skills Education Program at his school, the support of an encouraging mentor from the program set Barnil on a new path. It was the beginning of a transformative journey that boosted his resilience and self-esteem.
Barnil’s struggles aren’t uncommon. When students face adversity, it can have a major impact on their academic and life outcomes. Half of the students in India are behind their grade level in reading and arithmetic, 33% drop out before completing high school, and 60% of 18- to 21-year-olds are not prepared for the job market, contributing to a youth unemployment rate of approximately 20%. Harnessing the power of India’s young people is vital to the future of the country, and Magic Bus is helping equip students with the life skills most critical to their success.
What Are Life Skills?
Life skills are abilities that help individuals navigate through adversity and succeed in school, at work, and throughout their lives. Examples of life skills include problem-solving, the ability to define a problem, generate potential solutions, and take action to reach a goal, and empathy, the ability to understand what other people feel and respond appropriately.
Building a Teacher-led Model for Life Skills
Life skills enable a person to navigate various experiences with personal confidence and professional competence, and research shows these skills are essential for positive outcomes in education, employment, and well-being. To empower students with these crucial skills, YuWaah UNICEF launched 15 life skill pilots across the country and the Magic Bus teacher-led model emerged as the highest impact solution in the school setting. Building on this promising early evidence, the organization partnered with the state of Haryana to incorporate its life skills program in public schools across three districts of the state.
The Magic Bus teacher-led program is working to train 1,200 educators to teach essential life skills to middle and high school students (grades 6 through 10), including lessons on self-management, empathy, collaboration, problem-solving, and negotiation. Additional time has been allotted within the school calendar for delivery of the life skills curriculum. By training teachers at government schools to deliver these lessons and providing educators with ongoing support, the organization has designed its model to rapidly scale and reach more students.
“As an educator for 20 years, this is the first time I’ve attended a training like this. When we practice these activity-based life skills in our schools, we see a boost in attendance numbers in as little as one week.”Manish Yadav Teacher
The Impact So Far
Magic Bus is on track to reach 80,000 adolescents across 570 schools in the Panchkula, Gurugram, and Yamuna Nagar districts. The program is also helping pave the way for similar in-school programs across India in states including Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, ensuring thousands of children, like Barnil, have the tools they need to thrive.
By providing access to valuable life skills, Magic Bus is increasing youth job readiness, empowering students to harness their potential, and supporting the future of India’s economy.