Since 2001, the Druk Padma Karpo School in Ladakh, in the Indian Himalayas, has offered local children a high-quality education in line with local cultural traditions and spiritual practices. The school caters to boys and girls aged four to 16 years. Today, it serves more than 900 children.
The Druk Padma Karpo Educational Society owns and operates the school. The society is an Indian NGO funded by a number of organisations including Live to Love International, Drukpa Trust and Drukpa UK.
A notable supporter is the Craniosacral Therapy Educational Trust, which was founded by Craniosacral Therapist Michael Kern. The Trust supports the school with an annual donation of a percentage of its profits.
A Modern Education Grounded in Local Culture
The Druk Padma Karpo School provides a practical education to prepare students for the modern world, while not losing sight of traditional Ladakhi culture. Older students are taught in the English language and the education is such that – after graduation at 16 – they are equipped with the skills needed to enrol in further academic education.
In keeping with the grounding in local culture, the academic subjects are taught side-by-side with traditional subjects including dance, arts and crafts. In this way, students are able to contribute to the continued thriving of their local communities.
The school keeps alive close links with other educational organisations around the world, including in the UK, the USA and Europe.
Making Education Available
Ladakh is an area that presents geographical and financial challenges to pupils who want an education. International funding allows the school to provide facilities to those who otherwise would not be able to attend school, including scholarships and on-site accommodation blocks that currently house around 40% of the students.
With the goal of delivering a varied educational grounding, Druk Padma Karpo School provides vocational training alongside academic opportunities. This vocational training includes gardening and food-growing, and education in health. The school also provides on-site health care facilities for pupils.
A Foundation in Culture
The school takes care to celebrate and respect the ancient and rich culture of the Ladakhi people throughout the school year. Sports including archery and polo are taught, and traditional singing and dancing are also celebrated and enjoyed. The Druk Padma Karpo School has been granted many awards since its inception in 2001 and these can be viewed in the attached infographic.