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Helping nuns at the Dolma Ling Nunnery improve their English language skills
03 August 2021
The Buddhist Women’s Educational Society (BWES) is a charitable organization who provide modern education and training to Buddhist nuns, while ensuring that the educational program design aligns with Buddhist traditions. The charity supports nuns undertaking the Geshema degree, which was first granted to twenty nuns in 2016, marking an important day in Tibetan history. Equivalent to a doctorate in Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy, the degree fulfils a longstanding commitment from the Dalai Lama to support the development of education for the Tibetan women in exile.
We were introduced to the BWES after learning that the Dolma Ling Nunnery were looking for high-quality English learning material for the Geshema nuns, who were part of a pilot project to help improve their level of English proficiency to assist with their years of study. The Dolma Ling Nunnery is located near the picturesque hill town of Dharamsala and currently houses over 200 nuns who are fully engaged in a 17-year study curriculum.
Our local trade team in India were quick to respond, offering the Dolma Ling Nunnery the Navigate series, in line with their specific learning requirements. The series,which is published in the UK and imported for users in India, combines a modern blended package with an innovative approach to language learning. It is based on latest research and practical teacher feedback to help students navigate texts, and to listen and read better over time. We also arranged for copies of specific teacher books to ensure that support was in place for all the course attendees.
The resources will enable the nuns at Dolma Ling Nunnery to utilize their knowledge of Buddhist philosophy and eventually serve their communities as teachers, lecturers, administrators, health workers, and social workers in the future. The feedback from the nunnery was extremely positive and we were told the nuns were 'proud' to receive their resources.
Sivaramakrishnan Venkateswaran, Managing Director of OUP India said, "This is a story that brought a smile to my face and reminded me of what motivates and drives us at OUP...a story of OUP colleagues exemplifying and 'living' the OUP mission even in these trying times."
Fathima Dada, Managing Director of the Education division said, ‘I have always admired the Dalai Lama for his teachings of love, peace and tolerance. Imagine my pleasure and surprise when a high school friend contacted me a few months ago to ask for help with getting the nuns at Dolma Ling nunnery in Dharamsala appropriate materials to learn English. Today, they are ready to learn. It really is so rewarding to work in education, and to know the quality learning resources can travel tens of thousands of miles across the sea and up mountains to their destinations.’