The Czech NGO Brontosauři v Himalájích has been helping in the village of Mulbekh in Little Tibet for more than ten years now. Their latest project is called Czech Science to Little Tibet and aims to provide regular teaching of science, with the help of Czech teachers and scientists.
The village of Mulbekh, located at 3,500 meters above sea level, is the first Buddhist village on the way from Kashmir to Little Tibet. The NGO Brontosauři v Himalájích has been supporting the development of the local public school, called Spring Dales, since 2008.
Since then, the number of children has risen from 80 to 250; students have become the best in the district and they have raised around 14 million crowns for investment, including donations from the Dalai Lama.
Their new project, called Czech Science to Little Tibet, which is to be officially launched this summer, is intended to improve the teaching of science, explains the NGO’s director, Jiří Sázel:
“During the summer of 2020 we will finish a new building for the classes specializing in IT, physics, chemistry and biology. And we would like to assist our school in initiating these classes.”
Why have you decided to focus on science?
“First of all, science is an important part of education but there is also pressure from the local government to teach these subjects.”
Who can take part in the project?
“We are looking for two categories of people. First of all, people who are keen on science. They can attend a two-week holiday volunteer programme, where they can do any kind of science activity with the kids, such as making their own headlamp or programming a robot.
“The second category of people we are looking for are teachers and scientists. They will spend month and a half in our school training local teachers how to use the new school equipment and how to apply the new methodology for teaching science.”
Is there a shortage of science teachers in Little Tibet?
“Of course, just like here in the Czech Republic, especially in village schools.”
For those of us who don’t teach, are there other ways to support the project?
“For those who cannot go to Little Tibet, they can contribute their own science equipment, such as donating astronomical telescopes, which they bought for themselves or for their kids and they no longer use.
“They can also provide financial aid, by simply going on our website and choosing what kind of equipment they want to buy for the new school laboratory.”
The deadline for Czech teachers and scientists who want to take part in the Czech Science to Little Tibet project is the end of this week and several dozen people have already applied.
Among those who pledged to attend the official launch of the project this summer is the former presidential candidate and head of Czech Academy of Sciences, Senator Jiří Drahoš.