In the village of Qiewan, located 4200 meters above sea level, is located the school Golok (Snowland Grassland Girls’ School), attended by Tibetan girls from villages scattered over the surrounding mountains and the nomadic communities of the plateau.
In ASIA we support this school to safeguard the cultural identity of the Tibetan people and to ensure that the new generations keep the values and traditions of their people. We decided to help the girls in the county of Golok since it is an extremely poor area where more than 75% of women are illiterate.
In 2005 we started to work on the construction of a girls ‘school, the Snowland Grassland Girls’ School, now one of the few schools that remains active in such a remote area because it is highly appreciated by the families of students and by the local authorities. The school covers nine years of primary and secondary school, combining the program of the Tibetan government with traditional Tibetan teaching. In addition to modern and scientific subjects, the Tibetan language is studied as well as the method based on traditional Tibetan discussion and text analysis.
Because of its quality, the school has experienced an amazing increase of applications over the years since its inauguration, passing from 200 to about 600 students. The unexpected amount of new registrations along with the difficult climatic conditions of the plateau, with its harsh winters during which temperatures drop to -20° degrees and snow storms are frequent, caused a rapid deterioration of the dormitories and classrooms.
In the summer of 2014 we started the restoration of girls’ school of Golok, which consists of repainting the buildings, waterproofing of the roofing and the replacement of doors and windows that were too damaged to keep the heat inside.
In 2015 we completed the restoration of the seven buildings that make up the school.
The new spaces
The new students today have a kitchen, to keep a healthy diet for their development, and a dining hall where they can have a hot meals and get together to study and play. In October 2014 the construction of the new 87 m2 kitchen and of the new refectory of about 335 m2 concluded.
In 2015 we introduced a proper library for the students with 3.766 copies (538 books) in Tibetan language, chairs, desks and bookcases. The school in Golok did not use to have a proper library to borrow historic and linguistic books, novels and comics written in Tibetan to complement the school texts. As in many other schools of Qinghai, libraries here have mainly books in Chinese.
The training offer
In addition to the construction work, we wanted to strengthen the preparation and updating of the Tibetan teachers of the school, with training on the latest teaching methods of the Tibetan language.
At the same time, in order to prepare the future girls Golok, we have introduced English courses together with the normal training offer.