16 June, 2021

Ladakh's schools are now more culturally rooted, thanks to SECMOL

Ladakh's schools are now more culturally rooted, thanks to SECMOL
In 1979, when Pink Floyd sang "We don't need no education", I thought they were speaking for me. Twenty-two years later, standing on a dusty campus in faraway Ladakh I realised that here were kids more unfortunate than me—who had probably not even heard the song—for whom the reality was starker.

Welcome to Ladakh—the largest district of the country, where the average pass percentage in the all-important matriculation exam in the 300-odd schools has oscillated between 0 and 5 per cent for the past 54 years. The winds of change have, however, begun sweeping this remote land forgotten by the triumphant forces of progress, thanks to the tireless efforts made by the Students' Educational and Cultural Movement of Ladakh (secmol), an ngo trying to improve the lot of Ladakhi students.

Formed in 1988 by a small group of enthusiastic youth—who had themselves experienced the harrowing education system and had emerged from it—secmol was determined to change the fate of thousands of students being crushed by the burden of a dark future in the schools of Ladakh. Having had...
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