Public Engagement students at MECA&D are holding a fundraiser for the Siddhartha School to coincide with Khen Rinpoche (Tibetan Lama)'s lecture on Friday. The lecture is free and open to the public, but donations are accepted to help the Siddhartha School.
Khen Rinpoche will share the story and historical facts of the Buddha's life and introduce the key principles of the Buddha's teachings including the Four Noble Truths. Participants will learn the nature of karma, and the distinction between rebirth in Buddhist philosophy and reincarnation as it is envisioned in Hinduism and other religions.
About Khen Rinpoche, Siddhartha School
Khen Rinpoche Lobzang Tsetan, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and educator, founded the Siddhartha School in 1995 in his remote home village of Stok, Ladakh. What started in a one-room shed is now an exemplary private school with over 300 students in grades K through 10. The Siddhartha School gives the children of Ladakh access to the highest-quality, thoroughly modern education in the region, while also honoring their way of life and traditions within the school curriculum and activities. Children at the Siddhartha School learn four languages (English, Hindi, Tibetan and Ladakhi), computer skills, sciences, math, creative arts and social studies. Unique in Ladakh, Siddhartha School does not deny admission on the basis of need.
The Siddhartha School is unique in comparison to other private schools along the Indian Himalayan range. As government schools are not addressing community needs for a culturally sensitive curriculum, other private schools have emerged in recent years. Regrettably, the majority of these schools are for-profit private businesses, rather than not-for-profit, social welfare organizations. Siddhartha School is a trusted, community-run school serving the district of Ladakh known as Leh and outlying nomadic areas. The school employs local Ladakhi and Tibetan staff, has a local board of directors, as well as a parents organization that works with and other international NGOs to improve the school for the children served.
For over 20 years, Siddhartha School has provided a dynamic, sensitive program of academic excellence for children of Nursery age through Class 10, regardless of economic means. The school has demonstrated consistently high achievement. Since the first graduating class in 2008, 100% of our students have passed the government exam. In 2008 and in 2009, a female student in each class set, and then surpassed, the highest exam records ever achieved in all of the Jammu and Kashmir regions. Siddhartha School students continue to produce ‘district toppers’ who score in the top 20 on the government exam, setting a standard of academic excellence for an area once plagued with illiteracy. In 2014, two of our graduates became the first Ladakhi girls ever to receive scholarships and education visas to complete their high school education in the USA.