Major problems:

  1. Students do not attend schools
  2. Drop out rates are high, especially post class 9th
  3. Teachers are not able to engage the students
  4. Teacher Abstenteeism
  5. Poor Infrastructure



Education was the focus of today’s classes. The first speaker was Sonam Wangchuk, an entrepreneur, an educationist and truly an original mind who is transforming lives of people in Ladakh.

Mr. Wangchuk grappled with the same questions many of us do when it comes to education. In the 1980s, he witnessed depressing pass rates of Ladakhi students, as low as 5% in class 12th. He told us, when he saw this, he wanted to change it. Despite deep interest of parents and students in education, for some reason the pass rates were abysmally low. It was the schools, they were in a poor state. The teachers were demotivated, the curriculum was foreign to the students and the schools were in dilapitated condition.

Learning in own mother tongue begins even before birth — Abhimanyu

Ladakhis are not only a cultural and ethnic minority but also a climatic and technological one.

State + Community + Civil Society

Operation New Hope

1991 Prototype School –> Saspol School

Used theatre comedy

The ANTS Army

Learning by doing and learning by living

Each family donated 1 week of labour to build schools

Train teachers rather than blame them

1998: Teachers’ welcome Day on March 1. Use of radio

Sustainable change doesnt come from the top it comes from the people

“Peoples’ Programming” is root of all change

1996; New Hill Council Government


2015: Pass rate is 75%

Phey Desert 1994 –> Created SECMOL Alternative school by 1999..managed by students themselves

3Rs to 3Hs

Rukmini Banerjee, Pratham