1) News of the school and the children :

Since its creation in 1996, the Rigjung Public School has grown significantly. Originally comprised of one small building holding twenty pupils and two teachers, it is now a real school with several classes from kindergarten to the 8th grade.

General organization
12O students are currently educated at the Rigjung Public School, with 10 teachers sharing the course load.

There are three main sections: kindergarten, primary and secondary classes.
The kindergarten has 30 children from 3 to 6 years old sharing a large classroom that also serves as nursery and play area. Two primary school teachers and an assistant take care of the children, teaching the oldest among them the basics of writing, drawing and math using educational games.
The primary school houses grades 1-4; it has 30 students from 6 to 10 years old. The children have to learn to read and write in Ladakhi (Tibetan alphabet) from age 6 onward, and also must familiarize themselves with the two official languages of the Indian Union: Hindi and English, neither of which are spoken around them. Most teaching is done in these two languages. From the earliest age on, they are required to learn three alphabets and three ways of writing belonging to three radically different cultures.
Middle school currently offers four classes (grades 5,6 and 7) to 30 students from 11 to 14 years old. Grade 8, which is the highest class offered in middle school, was opened in November 2002.

In the years to come, we'll open high school grades 9 and 10 (the Indian Union inherited the British scholastic system), thus wrapping up the education undertaken by the vast majority of Ladakhi and Indian students.

The refectory
Since the last school year began, the children have been able to have lunch in the refectory. They are served a hot meal composed of rice, lentils and vegetables, supplemented by some meat, an egg or a yogurt. If the market allows it, fruit may be served as dessert.
In Ladakh, very few schools serve a hot lunch. Generally, children bring their own lunches to be eaten outdoors on the sports field.

The library
The library is located in the big new building that will also house the temple. It is comprised of a reading room and a corner where the shelves are already filled with books. In addition to donations from abroad, we bought school books describing Indian culture and the great kingdoms of the Himalayas and Tibetan books for teaching Buddhist philosophy in Delhi.
All books have been classified by subject. Professor Kalzang is in charge of library management and lending policies. All students and teachers will have access to the library.

The infirmary
Last summer we set up a fully equipped room that serves as the infirmary. A table, chairs, medicine shelves and a bed with a cover where children who don't feel well can rest are the main features. The ground has been covered with washable plastic floor material.
Martine, a professional nurse, joined the project late last summer and was given the task of organizing the infirmary. She came with a variety of drugs and other medical paraphernalia that she listed and classified. She also put the many drugs that had been brought to the school by previous visitors in order. She translated all the instructions into English and explained their use to Palmo, who was given the responsibility of the infirmary, so she can use them appropriately when Martine isn't present.
Martine taught Palmo the ABCs of child care hygiene, how to clean cuts and scrapes, etc., then she gave each child a quick para-medical going-over: weight, height, eyesight, hearing, etc. She wrote out a file for each child so that his or her progress could be recorded. She also made a connection with the amchi, traditional Tibetan doctor, who regularly supervises the children's health. They spent several days together speaking about their respective methods and remedies. It was important that these two medical traditions be perceived as complementary rather than competitive.

2) Documents: The journal in the Sky and the brochure :
Le journal dans le Ciel is a French periodical published twice a year by members of the association. It shares the latest news, presents current projects and explains the project's financial state of affairs. Le journal dans le ciel is free – you can have it mailed to you by sending us a written request and stamps (or the money to buy them). If in France, please send a SASE with a 50 centime stamp. Our website also carries articles found in the journal. To read the editorial from the last issue, click here.

Association l'Ecole Dans le Ciel - Landrevie F-24290 Saint Léon sur Vézère
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tel: 33-5-53504966 - fax: 33-5-53508054