(TibetanReview.net, Aug03, 2017) – A famous school for the blind in Tibet that has been widely reported on, including in the Chinese government media, is threatened with closure, with no official explanation, after operating for 19 years, reported the German news agency DPA Aug 2, citing a co-founder of the school.
The school – The Braille Without Borders – is a preparatory school for the blind in Lhasa, as well as a vocational training farm located five hours west of the city. The school could be shut down despite its results having repeatedly been praised by authorities over the years, Sabriye Tenberken, a German who founded the school with her Dutch partner, was cited as saying.
The school is said to have so far trained about 300 children aged 6 to 15. It is said to be run in partnership with the Tibet Disabled Persons’ Federation (TDPF), a public agency under the umbrella of China Disabled Persons’ Federation.
Tenberken has said that she was notified by the Tibetan agency that the school and vocational farm would be shut down, with the result that the training that aims to help blind people to integrate into society would stand discontinued.
“We don’t know why it has to stop,” Tenberken was quoted as saying, adding that Chinese authorities had always supported and lauded the project.
Tenberken has received a slew of awards from Chinese authorities over the years for her work in Tibet.
While authorities are yet to make a final decision, the plan to discontinue the school that provides care to the blind children is on, a person who worked for the local authorities but wasn’t authorized to speak with media was cited as saying.
Students would be placed in special schools where, according to Tenberken, they won’t receive the specialized training for the blind necessary for them to become self-sufficient.