Theory and Discourse
The Next Learning Revolution |Sonam Wangchuk
LA 50
'Future Talks'

Education today has been eclipsed by the teaching of objective facts and theories with no room for experiential learning. Sonam Wangchuk, founder of SECMOL (Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh) intendes to bring cultural reforms to Ladakh through an alternative university in Ladakh that will be the product of collaboration between the people and their leaders. This institute in Phyang will base itself on a hands-on methodology wherein the curriculum focuses on the more important life skills of the heart and hands. It will engage the youth in research and development targeted at the problems faced by the inhabitants in the mountains in the spheres of education, culture and the environment.
Everything around us has changed drastically in the last 150 years... from riding on horse backs to flying by aeroplanes, from using pigeons for mail to emails and smartphones; but in our schools, colleges and classrooms... almost nothing has changed. Chalk, talk and paper... paper knowledge, paper evaluations and paper degrees- all too 'papery' and all too theoretical; very little that prepare us for the real life in the real world. No wonder, graduates coming out of most our colleges and universities finish a ritual and get their degrees but are highly unemployable, according to various studies. Often, employers end up re-educating the fresh recruits at their own expense.

We, in the mountains, are in minority in many senses. We are not just linguistic and ethnic minorities; more than that, we have a climate and technological minority. We cannot expect solutions to our problems to come from New Delhi or New York. We have to find our own solutions because they are very different up there. And that's rare. We must engage our future and our younger generation to find real life solutions to real life problems. That should occupy their education, rather than a ritual of some years for some certificate or some papers. Therefore, I will share with you the nursery that nurtures these solutions in Ladakh and how I got into working with education.

"I never let my schooling interfere with my education."
- Mark Twain

How about you? Do you miss your school and college days? You perhaps do. But not for the classrooms and teachers. You perhaps wished every day that the school be closed the next day so you could stay home. But here is a school in Ladakh where the most dreaded punishment is to be sent home for two weeks, where students learn by doing things, where they engage in various innovations to solve real life problems like climate change. They run school themselves like a little country, like an elected government and learn management and governance that way. Where they learn communication by running the campus newspaper and radio, science by designing and building their own school solar heater to mud building that stays at +15 0C even in -15 0C in winters. Where they learn kindness and compassion through introspection and meditation. A school where the criteria of admission is not your percentage but the conventional system as failures.



 


ISSUE NO: 50
tribute
Remembering Anupam Mishra

Geeta Wahi Dua

looking back, looking forward
Looking Back, Looking Forward

Ram Sharma, Rohit Marol & Savita Punde

And much more...
GeetaWahiDua

Pooray Pachaas
Selected Contents List

nature & city
Rhythms of the Seasons

RanjitLal

nature & music
Evoking Landscape Through Music

Pt. Shivkumar Sharma


living with nature
The Next Learning Revolution
Sonam Wangchuk

Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, Ladakh


profile
Just a Space

M/S Prabhakar B Bhagwat

interview
Architecture, Landscape and City of the Future

Gautam Bhatia


students' competition
Landscape: Change is the only Constant

Landscape Foundation Students' Design Competition 2016

Jury & Results

Prize Winning Entries

List of Participants 2016


seeing the unseen
Stepwells of Ahmedabad

Riyaz Tayyibji


book review
The Cultural Caldrons of the City
Celebrating Public Spaces of India

Review by Kavas Kapadia

Tracing Transformation of Public Spaces
Indigenous Modernities: Negotiating Architecture and Urbanism

Review by Amita Sinha


know your plants
Acacia senegal Kumattah

Green Circus







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