About Siddhartha School

Khen Rinpoche Lobzang Tsetan, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and educator, founded the Siddhartha School in 1995 in his remote home village of Stok, Ladakh. What started in a one-room shed is now an exemplary private school with over 300 students in grades K through 10. The Siddhartha School gives the children of Ladakh access to the highest-quality, thoroughly modern education in the region, while also honoring their way of life and traditions within the school curriculum and activities. Children at the Siddhartha School learn four languages (English, Hindi, Tibetan and Ladakhi), computer skills, sciences, math, creative arts and social studies. Unique in Ladakh, Siddhartha School does not deny admission on the basis of need.

Why is the Siddhartha School Important?

“His Holiness the Dalai Lama, a Siddhartha School donor, encourages others to support the project. He enjoys vacationing and teaching in Ladakh during the summer, and has taken a special interest in promoting education for Ladakhi children.”

Located in the high Himalayas of northern India, Ladakh is among the last places on earth where a traditional, Indo-Tibetan Buddhist culture remains unrepressed. But rapid modernization and the global market economy threaten Ladakh’s sustainable, communal and deeply peaceful way of life.

The Siddhartha School is unique in comparison to other private schools along the Indian Himalayan range. As government schools are not addressing community needs for a culturally sensitive curriculum, other private schools have emerged in recent years. Regrettably, the majority of these schools are for-profit private businesses, rather than not-for-profit, social welfare organizations. Siddhartha School is a trusted, community-run school serving the district of Ladakh known as Leh and outlying nomadic areas. The school employs local Ladakhi and Tibetan staff, has a local board of directors, as well as a parents organization that works with and other international NGOs to improve the school for the children served.

For over 20 years, Siddhartha School has provided a dynamic, sensitive program of academic excellence for children of Nursery age through Class 10, regardless of economic means. The school has demonstrated consistently high achievement. Since the first graduating class in 2008, 100% of our students have passed the government exam. In 2008 and in 2009, a female student in each class set, and then surpassed, the highest exam records ever achieved in all of the Jammu and Kashmir regions. Siddhartha School students continue to produce ‘district toppers’ who score in the top 20 on the government exam, setting a standard of academic excellence for an area once plagued with illiteracy. In 2014, two of our graduates became the first Ladakhi girls ever to receive scholarships and education visas to complete their high school education in the USA.