The Serkong School, Tabo is a school located in the Spiti Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India.
Spiti is a remote cold mountain desert, situated close to the Chinese border, with a difficult terrain and tough climatic conditions.
The winter temperatures can plummet to as low as -30 degrees C, and during those times, the valley is as good as cut off from the mainland.
The school was established in 1999 by the local 1000 year old Tabo Buddhist monastery to ensure that the children from this remote part of the country get access to a quality, well-rounded & modern education, in conjunction with keeping their (fast dwindling) local culture alive.
Emphasis is on children from economically constrained families of the Spiti region who otherwise could not afford a quality education, and hence would have to give up on their dreams of higher education & a promising career of their choice.
Due to the remote location and problems in accessibility, the school is in constant need of funds & resources.
However, the school has consciously chosen not to go down the ‘education for profit’ path and they do not charge children from poor backgrounds any fees.
As a result, it often struggles to cope with its day-to-day functional needs and unfortunately many aspiring children belonging to the region have to be kept on a ‘waiting list’ as the school simply does not have the resources to shelter and feed the new aspirants, despite desperately wanting to do so.
Currently, the student population is a sizeable 300, attending classes from LKG to Xth standard.
Since the school is a beacon of good quality modern education in this vast yet remote region, parents, especially from weaker financial backgrounds, are eager to enroll their children in Serkong School.
At the moment, there are mainly two ways to help:
- A donor can sponsor a needy child for a year. There are kids who are from very poor families, and/or have lost one or both of their parents (in most cases, the father). For a sum of Rs. 12,000 per year one such child can be supported.
This will take care of the needy child’s books for the academic year, a set of uniform, and boarding & lodging.
The other way is by sponsoring or donating materials/equipment that the school is in urgent need of; such as benches, desks, computers, blackboards, stationery, play kits, teaching aids, laboratory equipment, storybooks/novels, etc.
Currently the school is somehow making do with the extremely limited resources they have, and most of it is in pretty worn-out shape, due to constant passing down from one batch to another since the inception of the school.
The school also has plans to expand the hostel wings and construct a few more classrooms to accommodate the ever growing student population, but the funds crunch is proving to be the greatest stumbling block.
If anyone decides to sponsor a needy child, a photo and the details of that particular child will be sent to the donor.
The child shall write to his/her sponsor, and the sponsor can also write periodically to the child to inquire about his/her academic progress & general well-being.
Alternatively, if any individual/group/organization wishes to sponsor some critical equipment such as computers, science lab equipment, or school infrastructure such as a hostel wing/classroom, the same can be facilitated, with the possible provision of a plaque or nameplate to commemorate the generous donation.
SOME GLIMPSES OF LIFE AT SERKONG SCHOOL
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” – Bessie Anderson Stanley
You can download the same presentation here : Serkong School – A Photo Journey To Highlight
For any further details/queries, please feel free to contact:
Priya Asthana (Singapore)
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Siddhit Tamba (India)
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