Creating Education Alternatives for Bhutan
The Issue: The exam-based education system in Bhutan, inherited from colonized India, is not adequately preparing Bhutanese youth for global change. A Thimphu high school student is more apt to choose a plastic bottle of artificial juice from Bangkok over a glass of locally pressed apple juice, the first cases of anorexia are surfacing in the country, boys are beginning to model behavior they've seen in Korean gangster films. Villagers are selling their land or going into debt in order to buy flashy cars, or simply letting the land go fallow.
Though it has been less than fifteen years since the country opened its doors to western media, the youth have quickly been indoctrinated by powerful consumerist messages that contradict the concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). In many ways, the ancient cultural practices and Buddhist belief system of the Bhutanese people are essentially contemporary and progressive, but in the face of modern 'development', young Bhutanese are losing their connection to this wealth of tradition.
In collaboration with existing education institutions and in harmony with government goals, Lho Mon Education seeks to create education alternatives that reinforce these ancient Bhutanese wisdom traditions while introducing the best of progressive sustainable development practices.