Located in Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, 760 kilometers from the nearest major city at an altitude of, Padma Middle School has improved the quality of education for its students with the help of a new computer lab.
In 2003, The Bridge Fund (TBF) provided the hardware needed to introduce computer classes at the school, in the form of 33 computers, including a network server. As part of the project, 10 teachers were trained for 20 days in computer operation and maintenance. Following installation of the equipment in 2004, the school introduced a new computer curriculum designed to benefit each of the approximately 500 students who attend the school.
Two years later, Padma Middle School considers the project, funded by TBF, a great success. With regular classes and trained teachers, it established the first functioning computer lab in the Golok educational system, a milestone that set a new standard for the area. From the quality of the computers, to the supplier maintenance contract, to the teacher training, every aspect of the lab’s creation received careful attention. Soon other middle schools in the prefecture began to follow Padma’s example by installing new computer labs, one of them (Matod Middle School) with Bridge Fund support.
In the first year students and teachers alike were trained in basic computer skills, and one year after the first classes began, TBF staff observed students ably typing and editing documents in both Chinese and Tibetan. The school built on this foundation in the second year, expanding computer classes from 131 students to 298. Older students were given priority, with the goal that all students would receive training before graduation.