On a Thursday, we were at Thimphu’s Jigme Losel Primary School.This school has flourished thanks to its headmistress, Ms. Choki Dukpa, who has attempted to integrate environmental awareness into its curriculum since she started in the School in 2005. Evidence of her green techniques can be seen through the multitude of potted plants in old plastic jugs or green-painted tires converted into flower pots. Besides the in-class instructions emphasizing sustainable practices, students learn through experience by working together, by classes, to tend to their garden as well as their own hand washing stations.
Each classroom has numerous old plastic jugs filled with water and fitted with hand-made spouts so that children can easily wash their hands together before and after lunch. It's really quite a heartwarming sight to see. In 2011, Jigme Losel received international recognition when it won an award for Educational Innovation from UNESCO for their feeding program. During our visit the principal explained that students whose parents could not afford to provide an adequate supply of meals often performed poorly in school due to hunger. To solve this, faculty and parents sought to ensure that all students had access to proper nutrition. They were able to do this with the help of community volunteers who provide the food for students who cannot afford to bring lunches.
We all loved our visit to this primary school. In fact, we had to be herded out to get to our next event!
You can learn more about Jigme Losel here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2013/jan/02/nature-teacher-bhutan-conservation-classroom