Modern education and culture preservation: Tapriza Culture School in Dolpo (Nepal)
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The aim of the article is to present a case study of an educational project that combines modern education with local culture preservation. Tapriza Culture School is community-based school in Phoksumdo Village Development Committee in Dolpo, a remote region in north-western Nepal, a culturally Tibetan enclave inhabited by Tibetan-speaking adherents of native Bön religion. Tapriza Culture School seems to be particularly interesting educational project in many respects. First, the school is located in geographically isolated and economically disadvantaged region, where access to education is not a standard, but a luxury; rates of illiteracy are high and educational facilities are sparse. Secondly, in Tapriza School local history, tradition, and religion teaching is integrated with standard national curriculum. Thus, children receive an education, which enables them to maintain their cultural and religious identity and to get skills, which widen the repertoire of their life and professional options in the future. Thirdly, it is successful joint effort of western based NGOs and local community, a project that aims not only to educate children, but also to improve a quality of life of the whole community. The article is partly based on data the author collected during her fieldwork in Dolpo in 2008.
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