Lho Mon Education has been blessed with dedicated teachers and motivated students, and is in the process of creating the vital link between the two: a holistic, innovative curriculum. In that aim, we have been fortunate to recruit the services of Ms. Jackie Mitchell, a cofounder and 20 year veteran teacher of the Shambhala School in Halifax, Canada. Jackie, whose work at the Shambhala School focussed on mindfulness as a key aspect of education, has agreed to spearhead the curriculum design aspect of the program, building on to the work that has been done already and reenergizing the project.
In order to fully introduce her to the LME, Jackie was brought back to Bhutan (where she had previously attended the Educating for GNH workshop in 2009) to visit and meet the staff of SJI and Chokyi Gyatsho Institute, the site of LME's pilot program. SJI was also fortunate to recruit Mr. Jangchub Tenzin of the Royal Education Council and Mr. Sangay Wangchuk from the Samtse Teacher's College to assist in the new effort.
For three weeks, these three, along with SJI staff Dr. Ronald Colman, Dawa, and Brodie Lewis, met with everyone from CGI Director of Studies Drubgyud Tenzin Rinpoche and SJI Executive Director Dashon Neten Zangmo to the LME students, local villagers, and educators that make up our comunity here in Dewathang.
Besides conducting many formational meetings, the team visited healers in Martshala, farmers in Rekhay, incense makers in Domphu, and community leaders in Orong Gewog in an effort to both make an inventory of local resources and the keepers of local knowledge, and also to make sure that our curriculum is grounded in a firm understanding of the local culture, history, and geography. The team even took a Sunday morning to take a walk exploring the biodiversity of the area with Leki Dorji, a monk and former LME student with a keen eye for local fauna.
SJI would like to thank Jackie, Jangchub, and Sangay for their visit, and also to all of the people in our community who welcomed them and shared their realities with the team. Tashi Delek!