By Tenzin Sangmo
Parents and preschool-age kids in Jangthang with Tibetan baby box gifts. PC- MES
Leh, Ladakh, July 21: Manjushri Educational Service (MES), a non-profit educational NGO based in Dharamshala, funded by the Tibet Fund, conducted workshops on Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) in five nomadic regions in Ladakh in the last few weeks.
This is part of the Strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) project of the non-profit organization.
The project covered five regions in the high altitude plains of Jangthang, from Debring, the summer camp in Samay, to Sumdho, Nyoma, Makyu and Tsakyang. They are all situated at an average height of 4000 metres.
Parents of preschool-age children were given workshops on good practices and professional guidance covering information on the critical period of brain development, the importance of talking and reading with children, the harmful effects of excessive screen time and positive disciplining techniques.
Parents were then handed ‘Tibetan Baby Box gifts’ which includes information brochures, posters, baby board books, sensorial aids and essential hygiene products for babies.
A total of 60 baby boxes were distributed, 45 in Jangthang and 15 in the Leh region.
Mr. Ngawang Tsetan from MES, who spent close to a month travelling between Jangthang and Leh area interacting with parents, local youth and non-governmental organizations, said “I found it important to carry out project like this here, especially in Jangthang where the kids are sent to school much later in some places and the parents cannot be as attentive owing to the demands of harsh lifestyle.”
Tsering Dhondhen, a final year student from Jangthang Samay has been running a tent school for pre-school kids in Samay where there is no school and children are admitted to the main TCV (Tibetan Children’s Village) school in Leh at the age of six. The tent follows the seasonal movement of the nomads.
Tsewang, a father of two from the same region said, “It feels great to have people coming to your door to guide and facilitate the pre-school education of kids.”
The nine nomadic clusters in Jangthang administered by the Sonamling Tibetan Settlement Office in Choglamsar has a recorded data of 2000 members with just about half of them staying permanently.
The ECCE project has previously been carried in Mundgod Tibetan Settlement in Karnataka, and Dharamshala and its adjoining areas.
Manjushri Educational Services (MES), works to improve the quality of education in the exile Tibetan community and other underprivileged communities in India.