Phuktal Monastic School provides students of the local Lungnak Valley of Zanskar with a complete education combining traditional subjects with a modern curriculum. By training young monks, we strengthen and preserve our unique Zanskari cultural-spiritual heritage for future generations, and enrich and expand the teaching of Dharma in the Zanskar Valley.
All students attending Phuktal Monastic School pay no fees. Room, board and all educational materials are provided by the monastery, with the ongoing support of sponsors.
The history of Phuktal Monastic School is closely tied to one of Phuktal’s most beloved teachers, Nagri Choszed (1920-1998). Originally from Tibet, Geshe Lharampa Nagri Choszed came to Phuktal in 1959 after the Chinese invasion, and brought with him a high level of Buddhist philosophical education and training, to which the isolated Phuktal monks had had virtually no access for several centuries. Through his teaching, Choszed restored the tradition of learning and scholarship at Phuktal. He instructed the monks in Buddhist philosophy, traditional ritual systems, and moral discipline, and eventually sent several members away to outside institutions for advanced studies. These monks returned to Phuktal and began to teach; in 1993 the Phuktal Monastic School was officially founded, at the advice of Choszed.
Students come from the farming communities of the Lungnak valley, whose families are some of the poorest and least educated in all of Zanskar. Most of the older generation is completely uneducated, and while there is now a strong desire for education, most families cannot afford to send their children to schools outside of Zanskar. Phuktal Monastic School offers the best of both worlds, by allowing youngsters to stay in the valley, close to home and traditional culture, while still receiving a fine, free of cost education.