Computer literacy classes in the Tharpaling Monastery

Country: 
Bhutan
Region: 
Tharpaling, Bumthang
Project Duration: 
01/09/2014 to 31/08/2017
Status: 
Ongoing
Donor(s): 
Foundation UNESCO- Education for Children in Need, Recklinghäuser Zeitung, HOPE'87
Project Description: 

Tharpaling monastery was built in the 14th century by Lama (Great Master) Kuenphen Longchenpa during his self-exile from Tibet for 10 years. It is located at an altitude of 3, 600 meters and is in a very remote area of the country without any modern amenities. It takes a 10-11 hours journey by car from the capital Thimphu to Chumey and another two hours from the main road or a day's walk on foot to get there.

Parents in Bhutan send their children to monasteries to become monks so that they can receive Buddhist teachings and lead a spiritual life for their benefit as well as for that of all living beings. However, it is often also a question of poverty for the families to send a child to become a monk, as once accepted the monastery covers the basic needs of the novice. Children get enrolled as novices at the very early age of five years. At present, the learning process is still done like it used to be many decades ago untouched by the modern technology. 

However, in order to improve the living conditions and options of the young novices, they also need skills adapted to modern requirements, which is why upon request of the Rinpoche of Tharpaling monastery, Remoen and HOPE'87 will organize English and IT training programs for the youth. 

Language classes will help mastering read, listening and speaking in English. The IT courses will be designed to give the learners with no previous computer experience an introduction to computing. The topics covered will include: the first steps in using a computer, using the internet and email, how to be safe on-line and office software fundamentals. 

Project Background: 

Bhutan is a landlocked country located between China to the north and India to the south. The national language is Dzongkha and the majority of Buthanese are Buddhist. As of 2005, the population of the country is around 700,000. Under the guidance of the present King, the country elected its first democratic government in 2008.

The economy of the country is heavily dependent on agriculture and the main sources of foreing exchange earnings come from hydroelectric projects and tourism. The country holds strong economic alignments with India in terms of trade of imports, financial assistance and especially labourers. 

Most educational, social, and environment programs are administered by multilateral development organizations, whereby the government keeps an eye on their cultural and environmental adequacy.