Shamo Thar

To respond the tremendous need in education opportunities in the area, I founded a non-profit organization, the Pentok Intitute to promote quality education for Tibetan girls. Together with my team, we raised millions of grants for the programs. We worked closely with ten public schools and 7,000 children in the communities. We provided “culturally relevant curriculum” and teaching practice via several programs during summer and winter holidays. In 2014, I established the very first private school in the area with authorization from the local government. It is a Montessori pre-school that uses teaching practice of Montessori techniques but combined with culturally relevant materials and activities. Later on the local government employed the Montessori teaching philosophy in the region and shifted the traditional teaching mindsets of local Tibetan teachers for early years of children.


My passion for education grew while I was a teacher at the English Training Program at Qinghai Normal University. Better known as ETP, this program has transformed the lives of numerous young Tibetan students, many of whom were the first university students in their families and communities. Through ETP, I established a Development Studies Program and taught English, Development, and Education. ETP modified conventional teaching strategies widely employed in the area and proved that culturally appropriate, student-centered teaching helps maximize students’ learning outcomes. While teaching Development Studies in the classroom, I organized students to bring their real ideas to action in the service of their villages and communities.


In 2010 I was one of very few Tibetans invited to speak about Tibetan Education for nomads at a conference on Tibetan Herders' livelihoods at Leipzig University in Germany. Other participants were Western or Han Chinese Tibetologists. My presentation was well received. I spent the next two years conducting field research on education in our program area. This is when I realized that I would need a more advanced study to expand my knowledge in the area of education. With my spare time, I also write stories in Tibetan language for young Tibetan children. The first published illustration book “looking for a baby yak” touches the souls of many young readers in Tibetan language.


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On-Campus Student