Upgrading our school facilities step by step
An improved library and rooms for practicing traditional music and dance, a playroom for the kindergarten and storing sports equipment
In 2020, we have been working on upgrading our library, in addition to furnishing rooms where students can practise Tibetan dance and music and access sports equipment and where our younger children can go to kindergarten. We are very happy that our students will now be able to use all of these facilities.
Our aim was to give students and teachers access to relevant teaching materials that allow them to systematically study and learn in line with what is needed for the transition to high school or to obtain a job in the region or elsewhere. We also wanted to facilitate a strong connection to our Tibetan culture, give young children the opportunity to gain the relevant preparation for their early schooling, and enable our students to achieve long-term well-being and mental and physical fitness.
Our library now has a more comprehensive stock of books
Our library always had a good range of Tibetan books, as the Office of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has generously supported the library with book donations. However, the collection of books in Hindi and English was limited and rather random. We have therefore been redesigning, renovating and furnishing the two library rooms and have purchased relevant books in Hindi and English. A computer and printer are now available, and two teachers will receive librarian training at the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), once it reopens after the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.
An opportunity to strengthen our Tibetan culture
We finally have a music room equipped with the traditional Tibetan instruments and costumes used in the Spiti region. Tenzin Dhondup, a local singer from a village in Spiti valley, is receiving one year of specialised training at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) and thereafter will become our music and dance teacher.
An educational playroom for our youngest
We also now have a special kindergarten room that is equipped with educational games and toys, which will be available for the youngest members of our school so they can engage in appropriate learning and preparation for their upcoming start at school.
In addition, we now have a good set of simple and robust sports equipment that will enable our students to engage in regular exercise to promote their well-being, and health and mental fitness, which will aid their learning.
The implementation of these improvements was started in May 2020, at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic was imposing numerous challenges worldwide. We thank the LTWA, Tibetan Children Village (TCV), Thangtong Lhugar Tibetan Performing Arts and TIPA and their music teacher Mrs Tsering Paldon, who have kindly supported this project with advice and training opportunities; the Master Tailor Phuntsok Tsering, the local painter Tenzin Kesang, craftsmen, suppliers and truck drivers, who always went an extra mile in order to help complete this project despite the many constraints imposed by the pandemic; and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, who generously enabled this work by providing a grant.
Author: Acharya Tenzin Dorjee, Principal of Serkong School
30 March 2021