We've been working a Winter Camp for the kids of the Domkhar area since 2006. Some years, we have so much fun learning through inquiry, playing games, village treasure hunts and through spending time with the elders and learning of Ladakhi traditions.
This year, the parents wanted the kids to "complete their homework." The children sat in a freezing cold government school building. With books open. And doing the same memorisation that they do all school year.
Over at Lalok (Taruk), the 80 Winter Camp students were allowed to learn about career planning, conversation, drama - and curricular memorisation.
The push in Ladakh to complete exams is the same as this global belief that testing equals learning. How we can stop this exam bulldozer I'm not sure. But I do hope some of the Taruk camp fun will seep back into Domkhar in 2015.
Cynthia will be blogging as she works with our Himalayan projects this year.