GALLERY   Young nomad boys study at Bayan Monastery
Recess for students at Bayan
Recess time outside the small school at Bayan Monastery.
Throughout the nomadic regions of eastern Tibet the traditional role of monasteries included a close and symbiotic relationship with the surrounding community of lay people. An important function fulfilled by the monastery was providing elementary education for nomadic children, especially those from poor families.
In keeping with that custom, the monks at Bayan Monastery today offer essential literacy training for over a dozen young boys from the region's nomadic families. Many of the children are from very large families which are struggling to survive from day to day. Even the basics of feeding and clothing their offspring present huge challenges; the goal of educating them is completely out of reach.
TOC has helped support the launch of this small school for Tibetan children (where the classroom also serves as the kitchen and at night – the dormitory). Despite the limited facilities, a vital community service is being provided at Bayan.
Click on the images below to enlarge them.
The pointers held by students are made of either bamboo or metal and help them focus as they read aloud
In Tibet memorization is emphasized for the youngest students because it's easiest at this stage of life
This pecha (traditional style text) is a hand-written copy of a work by one of Tibet's great masters
The brightly colored quilts behind these children are their bedding at night when the classroom becomes a dormitory
At mealtime, the young residents take turns with kitchen chores
Part of the classroom is set aside for the basics needed to prepare and cook food
Shoes outside the classroom
Taking a break from studies
The boys and their tutor