Bhopal: Rio Tinto’s Bunder project in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh announced the results of a number of educational initiatives aimed at improving opportunities for families in the 15 communities surrounding the diamond project.
Through a range of coaching initiatives and adult education programs the Bunder project is working towards its goal of enhancing opportunities in the local region and ensuring that the local communities are well placed to take up employment in the developing diamond mine.
The Bunder project’s high school coaching program comprises eight teachers managing five coaching centres for secondary school students. Over the past four years the Bunder project has reached 381 students with an 85 per cent pass rate.
The coaching centres provide an important resource to students at risk of dropping out of school because of lack of resources or because of the long distances to travel to a school. Girls, who traditionally have not been encouraged to complete high school, have been a particular focus of the project.
Tarun Malkani, Chief operating office for Rio Tinto India said, “In an area of India where literacy rates are very low, these are milestone achievements for students who can now look to a much broader range of employment options. We will continue to work in close consultation with the communities to develop programs’ that will make a real difference.”
In addition to expanding the coaching centres a key focus for the Bunder project over the next two years will be providing students with support for entrance tests together with a workforce education and training plan.
Adult literacy programmes along with professional and industrial training will be features of the Bunder training plan aimed at ensuring the local community can take advantage of the many business and employment opportunities that the Bunder mine will provide throughout its life. It will also equip them for other employment opportunities within and beyond the Madhya Pradesh region.