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16 Sep 2004
A Learning Station at the top of the world

Stok Learning Station is entirely solar powered.
The Hole-in-the-Wall Learning Stations have a history of being deployed in out-of-the-way and out-of-the-mind locations, and perhaps none more so than Stok, a village in Ladakh. Stok is on the outskirts of Leh, the capital of Ladakh - about 15 km from it. Setting up a Learning Station in a place like Stok throws up its own set of challenges. With an altitude of over 11000 ft and temperatures going as low as minus 30 degrees celsius in winters, the cold desert is not the usual Learning Station setting. On top of that, the village is off the electricity grid. Consequently, the Learning Station is run entirely on solar power.

The Learning Station is set up in the government high school in the village and started operating in September 2004. Since then the Learning Station has been used by children in and around the village, who have shown a great deal of interest. The children have managed to learn the basics of computer usage and some of them have improved their scores in their school subjects. Overall, the Learning Station has proved to be quite popular among the children. In fact, some children have requested for extending the Learning Station timings.

Children working intently at the Stok Learning Station.
Here's what the teachers of the Government High School have to say about the Learning Station:

Avtar Singh: "This is a very good opportunity for the children of Stok as they are cut off from the city, and do not have any other means of exposure to computers."

Kunchok Nawang: "I have seen that children enjoy learning at the computers because there they have music, sound, color, and pictures. Apney aap, khel khel mein seekhtey hain [The Children play and, in the bargain, learn on their own.] They can learn in an interesting way at the computers, so their mind stays fresh."

Ravi Bhat: "This is an important means of education, useful not just for the children of this school, but for the entire Stok village."

Tashi Dolkar (Headmistress): "Children learn in a play way, they find pictures interesting, they find it fun to do things hands-on; books contain only theory."

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Interested onlookers at the Stok Learning Station.

Learning Station at the top of the world!


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