Since educational needs are often linked to financial and social problems, the Akshara programme also provides support of various kinds to the students’ families. Some 50% of these students are seriously malnourished and some 80% have illiterate parents. Following year 10, students in the programme choose between a number of pathways, ranging from vocational courses to participation in the Diploma Programme. By 2010, it is expected that some 25 places a year will be offered to local day students to be taught the Diploma Programme alongside the regular international community of boarding students at the college.
The Akshara programme will have a significant impact on the life of the college. The presence of 25% of local students in each year group will represent a genuine interaction between the college and the community. In so doing, the Akshara programme may stand as a model for other UWCs and, through them, the wider network of IB World Schools, for seeking creative local solutions to the global challenge of widening access to educational opportunity.