TAKDAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
The Takdah Elementary School, also known as the Diwakar Elementary School, is an elementary educational institution for boys. It accommodates approximately 150 students and teachers. The school lies in a quiet and rural area about one hour away from Darjeeling, India. Classes are held in a traditional English school building that is almost 100 years old and the kitchen and the dormitories are in a new building.
The children receive basic education for five years. They study reading and writing in Tibetan, English, and Nepali. They are introduced to the art of ritual and to playing traditional instruments. In addition to that they are taught moral ethics and social skills. They learn to take care of themselves and to practice basic hygiene.
Most of the students come from Nepal, Bhutan, and India. Almost 60 are orphans and depend entirely on the School for their livelihood. The youngest boys are only six years old; the oldest students are fifteen.
The language of instruction is Tibetan but the students also learn Nepali, the language mainly used in the area, as well as English. Students also receive an introduction into Buddhist Philosophy and rituals as part of their education. After completing Takdah's program, students can choose to continue their education at Diwakar's monastic secondary school or continue their secular education elsewhere, preparing them for future employment and ability to lead a productive and more financially stable life in society. On the campus they can also play volleyball, football, and badminton as well as do other sports. Even though they sometimes wear robes, the boys are not necessarily monks.
Following the wish of the 14th Shamarpa, the School does its best to raise these children and give them not only a bed and an education, but also spiritual value and ethics that will guide them throughout their life.