News of the school and the children :
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.
12O students are currently educated at the Rigjung Public School, with
10 teachers sharing the course load.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
l'Ecole Dans le Ciel - Landrevie F-24290 Saint Léon sur Vézère
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
- web : http://edc.dhagpo-kagyu.org
tel: 33-5-53504966 - fax: 33-5-53508054