Ladakh is a very beautiful and scenic land with many high mountains, passes and snow-capped peaks. It is also the land of a very ancient and noble religion - Buddhism. But life here is quite harsh and difficult, especially in winter when the temperature usually drops down to -30 degrees Celsius in some areas.
Leh is the capital of Ladakh. Visitors often feel that Ladakh is not much behind the other cities of India in terms of development and education, but unfortunately their information is based on development of Leh and its surrounding villages. The availability of materials in Leh is easy, but Leh is not all Ladakh. Education here, though expensive is available in good schools, both government and private. But to access the true picture, you have to move out from Leh to the hills beyond the capital. There the children living in remote rural areas have very little chance of education. Majority of the Ladakhi people live in villages that are scattered in between the high mountains and most of these villages lack proper transport, communication, education and other basic facilities like medicine. Illiteracy and ignorance has been the bane of these simple folk for ages.
How Student Select : - Every year, from August to November, shepherds and farmers from the remotest villages of Ladakh trek to an unassuming building just off Choglamsar (a small town, 10 kms from Leh). Here, at Mahabodhi Devachan, they wait with their wards, mostly girls, some even as young as 4. It has been more than a decade since MIMC established its Residential School and Girls Hostel to provide schooling for the destitute and poor children of Ladakh. Parents, uncles and grandfathers come armed with the required papers – a letter from the Village Head or the Hill Council Representative, attesting their economic status; and their child’s vaccination papers – and a story of poverty and hardship that varies only in details. They know that if their child gets admitted to the Mahabodhi Residential School and Hostel, then their cycle of ignorance and poverty will be broken.
Mahabodhi has a unique admission and selection process. The students are first selected for the hostels, and care is taken to admit the most deserving candidates in terms of social and economic impoverishment. Once the hostel vacancies are filled, then day students are filled in. Again, priority is given to those who cannot afford to study at the many schools that have now sprouted around Leh. If after fulfillment of all these admission criteria, some seats are still vacant, only then is admission extended to the general public.
Once the admissions are completed, the schooling provided is as rigorous and comprehensive as any of the best schools in Ladakh. The many activities at the school and the Inter-School awards won by the students stand testimony to the passionate care invested in each child. After 10th grade, if the student wants to study further, Mahabodhi facilitates higher education, even in professional courses. But, it is not just excellence in academics, or extra-curricular activities that Mahabodhi aims at. Dhamma and good living is as much a part of the curriculum at the school as Math or Computer Science. Meditation, Compassion and Service; these are instilled through practice, not just instruction. It is heavy investment, and one that Mahabodhi is proud of.
The monetary costs for running this school are not simple; there is much to provide for. To afford even the basic necessities in the inhospitable terrain of Ladakh is not only expensive but also challenging. Our sponsors have been more than generous. Not just with funds, but also with commitment, time and good wishes. All the adversity seems worthwhile with each student of MRS who goes out into the world as a responsible and concerned citizen.
School Calendar :- 08 November: NEW Academic Session
14 December: School closes for WINTER VACATION
01 March: Re-opening
20 March: Unit Test -1
16 April: First Term Exam
01 May: Unit Test -2
02 July: Second Term Exam
13 July: School closes for SUMMER VACATION
25 July: Re-opening
31 August: Unit Test – 3
22 September: ANNUAL DAY
29 September: Annual SPORTS DAY
20 October: Annual Examination