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Primary School and Kindergarten in the Himalayas

Internship and Volunteering Possible
 
We organize internships and volunteering in teaching at schools and kindergartens in the Himalayas in India. There are small state schools in Junga, near Shimla, amidst scenic mountain terraces at an altitude of about 1600 m and outside the town of Dharamshala, the sanctuary of the Dalai Lama. The private school in the village in the valley of Bhawarna outside Palampur also has a kindergarten.
 

Project Details

 

Small mountain schools in Junga (Shimla) and Dharamshala

 
The school is located within the boundaries of the village Maheshu in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the Himalayas, at an altitude of about 1600 m above sea level. From Delhi, it is around 350 km; the city of Shimla is half an hour away by car.
 
The area is sparsely populated and is characterized by natural forests, meadows and slopes, and agriculture on a small scale. There is also tourism to an extent, especially with urbanites from Delhi, who spend their weekends here walking, meditating or rock climbing in nature; one also finds foreign tourists who travel in the Himalayas or the Chail Nature Reserve, which is only 20 km away. There is pure and fresh mountain air and a stunning mountain backdrop.
 
You can travel by train from Delhi; the last stretch will be made through the mountains in a historic narrow-gauge steam locomotive, the "Kalka Shimla Hill Railway".
 
The people here are mostly modest and reserved. They are financially very poor; since everyone here has inherited land and does agriculture, they have to migrate to overpopulated cities for a much higher standard of living. Migration from these places is much more than any other Indian region.
 
In the five classes of public elementary school, a total of only 21 children aged 4-10 years learn, as there are not more children in the area. The children come from their farms through steep hills and narrow dirty tracks, but this is not a problem for them as they have grown up in this environment. Just 2 miles away is a comparable small school with about 30 children. The lessons take place from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
 
The school has only two teachers - one teacher teaches grades 1-3 and the other, 4-5. There is also a chef at the school.
 
Volunteers/Interns can familiarise themselves and then, teach at this school. Teaching is possible only for female participants who would mainly teach English, since the other subjects are taught in Hindi. Even the four-year olds begin by learning English along with the Roman alphabet and the Hindi script.
 
Other subjects taught are mathematics, Hindi, Social Studies and Environmental Studies. The specialist teaching environment is interesting because it also includes yoga and traditional Indian knowledge alongside the content of biology, geology and geography.
 
The school in Dharamshala is comparable in size and offering.
 
Participants can choose the location and are housed in two locations at the Chrysalid outdoor camp. At these schools, one can participate from one week duration to more, as per one’s convenience.
 

Dhanladhar Convent School

 
The Dhanladhar Convent School in Palampur is a simple private school in a village, about half an hour by public bus outside the city center. The school aims to offer a better standard of teaching than the public schools in rural areas.
 
There are 12 classes in the school with 13 teachers and 250 students, from kindergarten to 10th grade (3-16 years). The children learn English from kindergarten onwards.
 
Volunteers and interns teach English (especially conversation), math, the sciences and Sport (speedball, badminton, Hide & Seek), particularly in grades 1-5 (6-10 years old); these children can communicate well in English.
 
The school hours are from 9.00 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. followed by 90 minutes workshop to 4.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday.
 
Holidays are during the month of July, and 10 days in early January; but during the holidays, there are always holiday programs . These include free computer lessons for women from the village, as well as children. There are two groups with 20 participants each (one for women and one for children). Volunteers/interns can teach computer lessons - an introduction to beginner level in the use of Windows.
 
Mid-January to mid-March are not good times for an internship or volunteering in this school, since examination take place during this time, and the children have little time for other activities.
 
The facility is funded through school fees of Rs. 250 per month for kindergarten and Rs. 500 per month for the other children. For families who send more than one child, there is a discount; children from very poor families are given free education.
 
Volunteers and interns can rent a room with a family in the village. The minimum duration is one month.
Info Box
General
Location: Palampur, Maheshu in Shimla and Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh)
Availability: All year, Start date flexible (see holiday / exam times)
Minimum Duration: 1 Week (Palampur 1 Month)
Maximum Duration: 6 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Hindi
Accommodation:
Palampur: Family in the village or Guest House in the city; Maheshu and Dharamshala: Chrysalid Outdoor Camp
Internship
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Teacher
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
No formal qualification required
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Expectations:
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?
 
 
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