Maitreya School is a free school benefiting impoverished children from Bodhgaya and neighbouring villages.
The school gives children living in one of India's poorest states a precious opportunity. Not only do they have the chance of a traditional education but, more importantly, they receive life skills of compassion, honesty and loving-kindness presented through the Buddhist Mahayana vehicle. This is the core of the training and vision of the school, making lives meaningful.
Origins and growth
Started in April 2012 with an initial intake of 62 children, the school has successfully added a new class each year. In 2016, during this fifth year, we have a total of more than 200 students with nine classes ranging from Lower Kindergarten to Class 5, completing the classes of Indian primary school.
The school currently employs ten full-time teachers including a principal.
The subjects taught are English, Maths, Hindi, General Knowledge, Buddhist Principles, Social Science, Arts & Craft, Computer Principles, and Physical Education including Yoga. The main language medium for the school is English.
This new school year (beginning in April) saw the addition a new class-year, Class 5, and an intake of 35 new students. This has meant finding funds for an additional teacher, more materials, uniforms and desks to accommodate the expansion. Funds are always being sought to improve the facilities and school resources.
As part of the vision, our spiritual director, Kyabje Thubten Zopa Rinpoche would like our school to create its own Buddhist curriculum from texts used in Tibetan schools, translated into Hindi. We will also add to the curriculum particular advice, prayers etc. recommended by Rinpoche, which should be maintained very carefully so that they can be made available to other schools in India.
Rinpoche's advice to Pema (one of our teachers):
The 16 human guidelines are the values we should consider. These values are based on Buddhist principles and philosophy which has vast and profound explanations with much reasoning and evidence. Education of these values can benefit the whole world.
If education of these values benefits our society then in the near future we plan to build many schools in different places like Bodhgaya and Kushinagar. Therefore, this school should be an example for the rest.