Metta (Loving Kindness) School was established by Venerable Metteyya Sakyaputta at the young age of 15, to bring the benefits of education to the underprivileged children of Lumbini and its surrounding villages.
The Metta School is guided by various teachings and meditation practices of the Buddha. It incorporates these teachings with pedagogical methodologies to provide an education which creates awareness of local issues and prepares the children for further education. Metta School also runs on the Buddhist principal of “Dana” or generosity, so only capable parents donate a small fund to help run the school.
Originally a camp intended to tutor tenth graders, Venerable Metteyya organized a small study group in the shade of the countryside’s mango trees.
As news of this study group spread, children of all ages began to appear. At first, the high schoolers explained that this was just a tutoring program. But with poverty smeared on their clothes and faces, the children came anyway - because there was no school in this village, and they wanted to learn. Inspired by the teachings of the Buddha on loving kindness (Metta), Venerable Metteyya and his friends became teachers. They were young and they saw a need, and they believed in what they could do to make a difference on that day – even if there were no funds or future plans.
Soon there were classes, and Venerable Metteyya organized a volunteer teaching force that carried sickles into the fields to cut the straw and bamboo needed to make their first office.
The first classroom building had no walls, and it was built like most homes in Venerable Metteyya’s village, by hand and with hope.
It flooded in monsoon season, but the children did not stop coming and Venerable Metteyya did not stop giving, working, and talking with mothers and fathers, raising mere rupees, speaking on the importance of education, and receiving land donations.
Indeed, Venerable Metteyya realized at this young age that there was a great lack of opportunities for the rural children to go to school. Most families were unable to afford the cost of schooling and girls especially were discouraged from pursuing an education.
He did not wait to proceed through official channels or even for money. He motivated people.
The young Venerable Metteyya envisioned what this small tutoring project could become, and so it was. Today, that space under the mango trees is called the Metta Gurukul School. It teaches 685 students and employs 18 teachers to teach kindergarden through the eighth class.
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