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.
64 new students enrolled this academic session 2019, our eighth year. Now we have a total of 305 students (143 girls, 162 boys) with 10 classes ranging from Lower Kindergarten to Class 8.
The school currently employs 12 full-time teachers including the principal. The main language medium for the school is English.
The subjects taught are:
- General Knowledge
- Buddhist Principles
- Social Science
- Arts & Craft
- Computer Principles, and
- Physical Education including Yoga.
This new school year (beginning in April) saw the addition a new class-year, Class 7. 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.