Located just north of the capital of Bhutan, in the beautiful mountain valley of Kabesa, Choki Traditional Art School is the only private institute that provides free education to underprivileged youths who have a keen interest in learning the traditional arts and crafts.
The school focuses on developing solid background and skills of the students so that they can go on to become independent and contribute to preserving Bhutan’s unique art and culture.
“I have been in traditional painting my whole life and now, nearing the end of my life, my humble contribution will be to pass the skills to the younger generation. We must preserve our values and customs, our culture and tradition. This is one of our identities, if it disappears,it’s gone forever.”
Choki Traditional Art School (CTAS) founded by Thrimdep Choki Dorji in 1999.
After his retirement from Civil Service, Dasho Choki Dorji was approached by children who were interested to learn arts but could not get admission in the National Painting School due to qualification requirement. His interest and love for the profession and zeal to keep alive the zorig chusum (13 Arts and Crafts) inspired him to teach these children at his house. These students came from humble families far away, so he kept them in his house and provided free food and lodge. Soon enough the news spread and many parents started bringing their children. Thus the idea to establish a small school and provide learning opportunities for the economically and disadvantaged children was conceived.
“The school has provided me the opportunity to develop myself and now, not only am I able to support my family but I can also give back to the school by supporting the school as the chairman of the Alumni Association.”
“I am grateful to the school and all the well-wishers and supporters who have created such an opportunity and paving a bright future for youths like us. I wouldn’t be where I am without it and I am thankful and happy to be where I am now.”
– Thinley Dorji
Chairman of CTAS-AA
On the very special occasion of the completion of the 45-day long “Monastic Summer Retreat”, a Buddhist tradition which dates from the time of Buddha, CTAS was blessed by the presence of His Holiness Gyelsay Tenzin Rabgay along with the Tago Dorden Buddhist University President, Khenpos and Lecturers together with 400 monks of Tago, Chari and Dodena.
The five students who attended the Y-PPER Training of the Trainers program organized by Department of Youth & Sports and awarded peer educators, conducted an awareness session to the school on 12th August coinciding with the International Youth Day.
The Alumni Chairman Sangay Tenzin, along with four other Alumni experts, will carry out a month-long project starting from 10th August. They will conduct lessons for senior drawing and painting students who have expressed interest, as well as looking into areas of improvement.