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China to stop mother tongue teaching in a Tibetan county schools

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(TibetanReview.net, Jun17’23) – Following the lead in many other Tibetan regions under Chinese rule, implementing President Xi Jinping’s Sinicization drive, a Tibetan prefecture in Sichuan Province had announced in March this year that Tibetan will no longer be taught in all the primary and middle Tibetan schools there from 2024.

Reporting what is only the latest development, London-based Tibet campaign group Free Tibet said on its freetibet.org website Jun 16 that a notice to implement this policy had been announced by the Ganzi Prefecture Bureau of Education authorities in March.

Ganzi (Tibetan: Kardze) was traditionally part of the Tibetan province of Kham before the communists took over China in 1949 and annexed Tibet.

The group quoted a witness as saying, “I have graduated this year from Luding Tibetan Middle School, and this is the last year of Tibetan language class being taught in our school. When schools restarted after the Tibetan Losar break (New Year), the Karze Prefecture Bureau of Education issued a notice banning the teaching of Tibetan language classes in middle schools. The notice state that from next year, 2024, there will be no teaching of Tibetan language classes in Kangding Zangwen Middle School, Luding Tibetan Middle School, Karze Tibetan Middle School, Yajiang Tibetan Middle School and Dege Tibetan Middle School. This notice has been sent to all the schools, and they have been instructed not to share or post it on social media, etc.”

The unnamed graduate has said Chinese authorities had warned that anybody sharing this information will be punished.

The authorities have not given any reason why Tibetan children will no longer be taught their mother tongue; they have only cited higher authorities’ order for this decision.

The graduate source has said there were currently 5 or 6 middle schools, including those mentioned above, that had Tibetan language classes.

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