Namchod Kyetsel is the name of our school given by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Loosely translated, it means the Garden of Knowledge.Namchod Kyetsel is TANC’s flagship project, which includes language and performing arts program. Preservation of the Tibetan language, rich cultural heritage, music and performing arts traditions has been one of the most important objectives of our members. Currently, we have over 180 students and 12 instructors, not including the volunteers. It meets every Sunday for three hours and children are taught a wide variety of Traditional Tibetan songs, dances, musical instruments as well as classes in Tibetan language. Through this program, we are successfully transferring our language and performing arts traditions to the next generation who will have the responsibility of preserving and keeping the rich traditions of Tibet alive. Musicians and performers from TANC participate in various cultural events, schools, and other venues throughout the Bay Area.
The school is overseen by the Education council, managed by the Principal and the TANC board, and supported by the parent association. The education council has the key role in activities such as revising the school curriculum and ensuring that the objectives of the school are being met while parents association helps the Education Council in various capacities (fee collection, fundraising, outreaching and organizing school events).
The school offers classes in Tibetan language, Tibetan folk dance and traditional Tibetan musical instruments, art, etiquette, rituals, Tibetan history, culture, and food.
The language curriculum includes grammar, writing, and spoken Tibetan. It also includes lesson on Tibetan history and Buddhist philosophy. Currently, we have 6 different levels of classes covering up to the eighth grade curriculum of Tibetan school run by Central Tibetan Administration, Dharamsala, India.
Classes in Tibetan music, dance, songs, and instruments are also offered at the school. Music class includes lessons on musical instruments such as Dranyen (Tibetan Lute), Lingbu (flute), and Yang-Jen (Dulcimer). Our performing arts classes include traditional Tibetan dances from the three provinces of Tibet and snippets of Tibetan opera.
The core focus of our school program is on the younger generation within the community. Many in this group (toddler to 18) are growing up in an environment increasingly distant from their own traditions and cultural heritage. Our program will not be successful as today’s without the kind and generous support of William and Flora Hewlett Foundation who have been supporting our program since 2008. Our other major supporters include Walter Elise Haas Fund and individual sponsors.
Arts & Culture:
TANC’s performing arts program seeks to preserve Traditional Tibetan opera, dance, folk songs, musical instruments, singing as well as other artistic skills such costume making, scenary construction, painting, and wood carving. The program aims to pass on and promote Tibet’s rich and unique performing arts traditions to younger community members and the Northern California community at large.
Classes in Tibetan music, songs, and instruments, and dances are also offered every Sunday at the Tibetan School. Students are introduced to basic notation and learn how to play Dranyen (Tibetan Lute), writing and practice, tuning, skills improvement, working with songs, and dancing to the lute. Classes are currently only available to children ages 5 to 14. We are working towards designing classes for youth and adults as well.
Musicians and performers from TANC participate in various cultural events, schools, and other venues throughout the Bay Area.
The San Francisco Bay Area is also home to Chaksampa, a Tibetan performing group; and Semshug Punda, a Tibetan youth ensemble. These two professional troupes perform both locally and nationally, and they serve as important resource for the Northern California Tibetan community.
We also have vibrant programs for Infants, Toddlers and pre-school age students. We offer quality early childhood Tibetan Language class for children age 0-5 every Sunday. We use songs, arts, music and story telling to help children learn. There is a strong parents enthusiasm and participation. The Parents stay with the children in the class to aid their learning.
First5 funding has enabled us to make our early childhood education program more structured with detailed lesson plan, and thereby continue to offer this valuable service to the Tibetan American and others interested in learning Tibetan language.
Our program also offers services to the parents such as parenting workshops and organizes support group meetings that enable them to interact and share their experiences.
Namchod Kyetsel Parents Association
- Dawa Chokyi (Co-chair)
- Tsering Youdon
- Tara Dolma
- Tenzin Lhagyal
- Tsetan Tashi
- Thupten Tharchin
Though school admission to Namchod Kyitsel School is open throughout the year, we strongly recommend seeking admission in mid-August every year. The school remains closed from 2nd week of June to mid- August every year for summer vacation. Please download application package (click here). You may also obtain the same form from the school principal during school hours.
Tuition/Fees: We charge the following nominal fee:
One Child : $200 for one academic year (10 months)
More than one Child: $300 for one academic year (10 months)
For more information/ fee deposit: Contact Mr. Tenzin Lagyal (Parents Association)
The Tibetan School (temporarily) operates every Sunday from 10am – 1PM (unless otherwise noted/ informed) at:
Berkeley Adult School
1701 San Pablo Avenue.
Berkeley, CA 94702
(Note: The entrance is on the Curtis Street)
Last day of school: 11 December, 2016
New Session: 8 January, 2017
Education Council Members:
- Tenzin Norbu
- Pema Dhekong
- Dhonyo Chinkalabrang
- Dawa Chokyi
- Phurbu Thakchoe
Principal: Mr. Pema Dhekong
Tenzin Palmo la – Dance teacher
Tsering Wangmo la – Dance teacher
Pema Seldon la – Ngondro Dangpo (F5 – 1)
Tenzin Dolma la – Ngondro Nyipa (F5 – 2)
Kalsang Yangzom la – Ngondro Sum-pa (F5 – 3)
Tashi Dorje la – Ka-pa & Kha-pa (A & B)
Tashi Wangchuk la – Nga-pa & Cha-pa (D & E)
Phurbu Thakchoe la – Chaa-pa & Jha-pa (F & G)
Gedun Gyatso la – Ghoocup Dangpo & Nyipa
Tenpa Jamyang la – Flute & group songs
Teaching Assistants (Volunteers):
Tenzin Dolma la – Ghoocup ( OC – 1 )
Tenzin Namdak la – Flute & songs
Ngawang Drongtso la (F5-1)
Oryen Sonam la (OC 1&2)
Tenzin Sonam Lama
The following events/ programs are organized by Parents Association with support from the Education Council. In the past also, the Parents Association have arranged/ organized talk events, presentations and religious teachings at the facility. We also felt the significance to motivate the parents and invest in their waiting time during the Sunday school by organizing such events. As wished, such programs/ events were also welcomed by the parents. In short, the merits earned and knowledge gained during such activities/ gatherings had/ has been seen reflecting positively to their own children, back at home. With this knowledge and understanding we do hope the following events would be beneficial for the parents and students alike.
– Namchod Kyetsel Parents Association (2016).
Namchod Kyetsel School Rules and Regulations
Download the school rules and regulation – 2015
PDF Tibetan version (Click here)
Note: Depending on the circumstances and feedbacks from parents association and teaching staff, the Education Council/ School Committee members will revise the above Do’s and Don’ts. After approval from TANC board, the committee will then update the above version and inform the parents/ teaching staff.
5200 Huntington Avenue
Suite 200, Richmond,
CA 94804 – USA
[Please submit this completed admission forms to the school principal Gen Pema la]