Siddhartha School Project

International Fellowship of Buddhist Youth Ladakh distributes flood relief

IFBYL (INT’L FELLOWSHIP OF BUDDHIST YOUTH LADAKH) today, 22nd August, 2010, visited three of the most affected remote far flung villages of ladakh. We met with all the people who were affected by the flood. We distributed 49 nine set of com…plete beddings (one double sized bed quilt, one mattress, one blanket, one pillow and Rs. 2000 cash to all those people who were badly affected. This is our first phase of the RELIEF WORK. Our next phase of relief work will be to visit the hospital on Tuesday, and talk to all the patients and distribute a small packet of fruits and bread, and also pray for their speedy recovery. Third phase will be to visit more remote villages which are currently cut off as the roads are washed away. The army is fixing the road and once it is ready we will immediately rush to the affected areas with our relief goods and cash.

— Tsering Norbu Vivek, Siddhartha SchoolIFBYL team


Floods Devastate Ladakh
August 7, 2010, 10:20 pm
Filed under: School News

On 5th August around 12 mid night the whole Ladakh was rocked by a devastating mudslide due to cloudburst. The most affected areas are lower Leh and Choglamsar areas [just a few miles from the school]. Apart from these two places many other villages were badly affected by the flood. Many… lost their lives and hundreds still missing. The army was put into action for the rescue operation. Both the civilians and the army are actively working to rescue all those stuck under the debris. Many tourists are also volunteering in the rescue operation.

Our school is fine. The school is closed for the summer vacation from the 1st to the 10 of august 2010. All our children are at home and some of them probably lost their relatives but we will have to wait and see… we don’t know anything yet. Hopefully all our children are safe.

So far around 120 died and about 800 missing. The situation is still not under control. People are desperately searching for their lost loved ones with a hope to see them alive. The hospitals are crowded with people either with injuries or …coming to find their relatives or friends and some coming to identity the dead bodies. Many people are homeless. Many lost their family and relatives. We have lost so much its hard to imagine the  loss.

Mrs. Dechen, our Hindi teacher at Siddhartha High School was among the worst affected. She was in her house and didn’t know the situation will be such a night mare. Around mid night Dechen was awakened by a strong thunder and lighting and heavy rain fall. When she woke up she saw muddy water seeping in her kitchen and before she could even think she quickly grabbed her baby and a mountain of mudslide just pushed her away along with her house. In an instant she was separated from her one year old baby.
For about 20 metres both of them were washed away by the mudslide before she ended up in a house debris under a staircase. She thought her baby was dead and just as she came to senses she heard her baby scream in a distance. She just ran and grabbed her baby who was completely covered in mud and ran back to the only shelter. She spend the whole night sitting in of the half damaged house hoping and prayer for her life. By morning the rescue people rescued her and her baby. Both ended up in the hospital for couple of hours. They got a few stitches and now they are recovering. I was happy to see both of smile and grateful for a new life. But she lost everything. She is happy to be reunited with her baby at least.

Second Term Exams
July 26, 2010, 3:23 pm
Filed under: School News

From 11 – 17, July the children had their second term exams, which is an important exams as whatever marks they gets added to their marks in the final or the third term exams.

All the children did well in their exams and are hoping to pass with good marks and percentage. Now Teachers are busy preparing the results which will be declared on Thursday, 22nd July. The school is closed on Monday as the teachers need time to prepare their result sheets.

On 22nd July, all the parents will come to take their children’s results and also take time to talk to the teachers regarding their child’s performances, etc.

Siddhartha School Picnic
July 18, 2010, 9:52 pm
Filed under: School News

On 19th June the school went on a picnic to a small village called Phuktse, along with the new bus — which was quite exciting for the children. We had a wonderful picnic. All the children danced, sang and splashing water to each other, getting completely drenched, and also had a lot of fun exploring the new village.

New School Bus!
July 5, 2010, 3:16 pm
Filed under: School News

This news just came from Vivek at the school:

On 13th June, 2010, Siddhartha School got its new school bus. All the members of Siddhartha School, staff, students and the parents were very happy and grateful to all the sponsors and supporters for their kind generosity. All of us here at Siddhartha school and all our members of the Siddhartha Welfare Society [the local organization that oversees Siddhartha School] express our sincere heartfelt thanks and gratitude to all those who helped fund the school bus. We are indeed very thankful to all our well-wishers, sponsors and supporters.

With the coming of the new bus now the children can come to school on time without having to wait long in the cold weather and without being crowded. All the formalities are done to get the new bus registered. All the process is underway for the bus to get all the insurance done. It will soon be done in a couple of days.

Our total strength of the school today is 272 students, 17 teachers, and 8 non teaching staff. So the strength comes to 297. When 297 members are divided into 4 buses, on an average each bus carries 74 students and staff which still is quite crowded but far better than just three buses.

Siddhartha School's new bus

Siddhartha School's new bus

On 14th Monday, June, 2010, our new driver Mr. Rigzen Pamper joined our family to take care of the new bus. He comes from Stok and is a good member of our school family. He has a lot of experience working as a school bus driver in the past.

10th Grade Exam Results
June 14, 2010, 1:29 pm
Filed under: Education in Ladakh, School News

On 11th June, 2010, the 10th grade board exams results of the Jammu and Kashmir state were declared. Thousands of students appeared for the exams. This is the important exam for all the students as it determines their future career. It is like a passport for them to go for higher education. All students eagerly wait to pass their matriculate or 10th grade exams as it is a shift from rote learning to more real learning.

After 10th grade students are free to choose their subjects either in arts, commerce or science and don’t have to necessarily study all the subjects.

It is mandatory, until 10th to study all the subjects and consequently lot of students fail in their exams and all those who pass usually memorise the lessons without really understanding the meaning of the subject.

This year, In Leh district alone 730 students appeared for the 10th exams out of which 233 passed which means 31.92 pass percentage. 707 students were from the government schools and 215 passed, 23 were from the private schools, and 18 passed.

Five students from Siddhartha High School appeared for the exams and two managed to pass and three of them failed, in either one or two subjects and they have to reappear for the failed subjects. Our school result is 40 percent.

About the Exams

The modern examination focuses only on the scholastic evaluation and the overall personality of the student is completely neglected. Right from class one a student is expected to learn three languages, English, Hindi and Bodhi, apart from mathematics, science, history, civics, geography and basic computers.

Unable to bear this pressure many students commit suicide each year especially during the 10th grade exams. Witnessing this high rate of suicide cases amongst high school students, the central government came up with a new idea of student’s evaluation.

CBSE, the central board of secondary education, government of India, have taken pioneering steps in the recent past to impart quality education and reforms its evaluation method. The CBSE now introduced radical reforms in which there is a paradigm shift from marks to grades and from rote learning to real learning. It introduced CCE, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation.

The CCE scheme aims at addressing this in a holistic manner. A number of National Committees and Commissions in the past have consistently made recommendations regarding reducing emphasis on external examination and encouraging internal assessment through School-Based Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation.

Through CCE the all aspect of the student is taken into consideration, scholastic as well his overall personality.

The state board continues with the old method and hopefully it will move in the footstep of the central government and adopt this new method of CCE, Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation and lessen the pressure on the students.

More News on Nursery Building Repairs
June 7, 2010, 6:20 pm
Filed under: School News

Recently on 27th may 2010, on the Buddha’s birthday, Ladakh experienced an unusual sand storm damaging many buildings and properties in different parts of Ladakh. Fortunately were no causalities.

Siddhartha School also had its nursery classroom completely damaged. The roof was flown away about 5ft from the building. On the next morning, Mr. Angdu, Mrs. Kunzom, Mr. Vivek, members of the school, along with the teachers and principal inspected the site and called for an emergency meeting to assess the damage and to take immediate action to restore the classroom.

Later in the day all the teachers, students and staff got together to clear up the mess. The carpets were removed, cleaned and put in storage, along with some of the study materials that could be reused. A committee was set up under Mr. Angdu and Mr. Vivek to assess the damage and to prepare an estimate to restore the classroom immediately.

According to their report it was not only the roof that was damaged but also some parts of the wall. Therefore the total estimate to restore the classroom comes to Rs. 1, 35,000 Indian rupees, approximately US$ 3,000.

The cost includes:

  • Replacement of steel beam with stronger beams
  • Replacement of broken corrugated sheets
  • Replacement of the plywood ceiling
  • Repainting the wall
  • Provide new study materials like charts etc.

We appeal to all our donors and supporters to kindly donate towards the restoration of our classroom.