Tibetan prefecture orders schools to switch to Chinese medium this fall

Tibetan children in school in Tibet.

(TibetanReview.net, May18’19) – In a further tightening of China’s so-called bilingual teaching programme, authorities in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) Prefecture of Qinghai Province have ordered schools to stop teaching all subjects in Tibetan except the Tibetan language in first grade classes, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org May 16, citing official documents. This rule will be applied for all other classes as well later on.

The report said the new directive will take effect in fall this year.

Currently the children are taught all subjects in Tibetan except the Chinese language. However, they will now be taught subjects such as history, geography, math and biology in Chinese language only.

The report cited an official document titled ‘Article 101’ as saying the goal “is to provide more academic opportunities for the students” and that the decision was “taken on the basis of recommendations from various research advisory committees in the Golog area.”

Making it clear that the implementation of the medium of teaching decision will eventually begin with all the elementary and middle schools, the directive was further quoted as saying, “By this fall all the first graders must be taught in Chinese, and workshops will be organized for the teachers in the future to improve the standard of their Chinese language and get accustomed to the new Chinese textbooks.”


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