Khyentse Foundation helped support a 3-day working conference, held by the Community Gompa Education Initiative in Nepal (CGEIN), dedicated to the implementation of educational programming for Nepal’s rural gompas. The conference, which took place November 3-5, 2017, brought together Nepali government agencies, educational development experts, and other stakeholder organizations to initiate work on the design of education for grades 1 through 8 that will integrate basic dharma instruction and secular education.

The initiative was born of a shared concern that both dharma and secular subjects should be taught to the young members of Nepal’s smaller monasteries and their surrounding communities. Dr. King Beach, who led the CGEIN conference, received an Ashoka Grant from Khyentse Foundation to help cover costs. The Nepal Buddhist Federation, a nonsectarian Buddhist organization, co-hosted the event. An immediate outcome of the initiative is the formalization of a CGEIN consortium, a working group that will define an action plan to pursue the goals defined by the conference. We are impressed by and grateful for all the effort that went into making this historic meeting possible.

Khyentse Foundation is dedicated to the academic development of the ordained sangha so that they can continue to produce teachers for the future and propagate the dharma. According to Beach, “Thanks to support from the Nepal Buddhist Federation and Khyentse Foundation, we are working with the large central gompas across Buddhist traditions and with the Government of Nepal to increase access to education (academic and dharma) for tens of thousands of Nepal’s novice nuns and monks. This working conference is merely a first step.”

This spring, KF’s new education initiative, Middle Way Education, will launch a comprehensive Buddhist education resource website. In addition to providing resources for teachers, parents, and homeschoolers, the website will have a dedicated area for monastic education. The aim of the site is to create a network for the many programs that provide secular English and science programs for ordained sangha, to share their knowledge and resources. We invite anyone who is running such a program, teaching at a monastery, or developing resources for monastic education to contact info@middlewayeducation.org.