(TibetanReview.net, Mar11’22) – Children have returned to schools in Tibet after the winter break to a totally alien learning experience: they are now being taught all their subjects only in Chinese language, according to the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Mar 9. Such a move is in keeping with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s broader call for a stepped-up, all-out Sinicization of the PRC’s so-called ethnic minority regions. In the case of Tibet, the focus of this homogenization move has especially been on religion and language.
The report cited local sources as saying teachers were also being given workshops on starting to teach children in the Chinese language.
The report cited one local source as saying the move was being seen by local Tibetans as being designed to brainwash their children. He has said that all the subjects in the schools in Tibet’s capital Lhasa were now being taught in Chinese, though most of the children feel more comfortable learning in their mother tongue.
Likewise, in the Tibetan prefecture of Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) in Qinghai province, all the school textbooks have been translated into Chinese, with some of the translations having been completed by the beginning of last year. As a result, except for the Tibetan language class, all the subjects are now said to be taught in Chinese.
The emphasis is now stated to be on Chinese language-based teaching in all Tibetan schools. Besides, the so-called Xi Jinping thought is now a key theme for instruction.
Chinese authorities are said to be suppressing public discussion of these changes to prevent protests by parents and others who may be concerned about their impact on the young Tibetans’ connection to their culture and identity.
In order to strengthen its Sinicization drive, China has been closing down monastery- or privately-run schools that taught Tibetan language and culture, including the running of such programmes during school holidays and outside the routine school hours.