It doesn’t matter whether you travel in Thailand, Burma, China, Nepal or the northern parts of India – wherever Buddhism is practiced, you will pass monasteries where sometimes thousands of novices and monks live and study.
Previously, these monasteries were the only educational institutions with the main task to preserve and practice the teachings of Buddha. Meditation, performing religious services, helping to maintain the monastic insitution as well as self- and group-studies dominate the daily routine of even the youngest kids. As education is often not confined to religious subjects, monasteries are – until today – bridging the accessibility gap in the state-run education systems, especially in rural areas and for poorer parts of the society. In particular in monastic universities, students are taught everything from Buddhist and non-Buddhist Philosophy to Grammar and Composition, Logic, Mathematics, Medicine and even the Fine Arts.
I took this photo a few years back in Sikkhim (India) and as you can see – like in any other school in the world – there are sometimes more interesting things to pay attention to than to the teacher.