New Delhi: Educational tours for school students have over the last few years picked up steam, with a variety of holiday packages now offering opportunities to take learning beyond the classroom.
Customised tours ranging from walks to neighbourhood forts and monuments to more detailed itineraries in foreign locales or even super-specialised learning trips, say to the facilities of NASA, are being targeted at school children.
A trip to South Africa with a chance to meet and learn the intricacies of cricket from icon Jonty Rhodes is the biggest attraction of an upcoming 10-day "Cricket Safari" organised by Delhi-based Acamor Academy for young sport aficionados from Class 8 to Class 12.
"We are seeking to combine the educational aspects of learning with out-of-classroom experiences in nature which will help develop problem solving abilities and inculcate teamwork and leadership qualities in children," says Charanya Chidambaram, VP Marketing, Acamor Academy.
Participating students also get a chance to explore the attractions of South Africa like the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, the oldest national Park there and the historic Robben Island where Nelson Mandela, the country`s former president, was imprisoned.
Tour operators say travel programmes for students remain a niche territory.
"This was something novel and when we first started in the year 2010, other company was offering such educational opportunities and global enrichment programmes to students from India," says Vishal Verma, MD Frontiers Edutainment, which has organised over 80 such trips since 2010.
The company offers programmes in the US, UK, Ireland and Singapore. "These range from 5 days to 14 days. We work with the education department of NASA`s Space Centers to offer programmes to Indian students," says Verma.
The cost of such trips, he says, varies from around Rs 60,000 to over Rs 2 lakhs.
Apart from overseas tours, students also get a chance to take learning out of the confines of textbooks by exploring local monuments and heritage.