(TibetanReview.net, Feb24’19) – Heads and teachers from schools in India and Nepal run by the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) and affiliated bodies have gathered in Dharamsala for a three-day, 7th Tibetan General Conference on Education beginning Feb 23. The main agenda of this five-yearly event is to discuss ways to improve the Basic Education Policy of the CTA and the incorporation of “secular ethics” to the policy.
A total of 242 principals, directors, teachers, and counselors from 76 schools are taking part in the meeting, said the CTA on its Tibet.net website Feb 23.They include schools run by the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV), Dharamsala; the Central School for Tibetans (CST), Delhi; the Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society, Dharamsala; the Tibetan Homes Foundation, Mussoorie; and the Snow Lion Foundation, Nepal.
The CTA report said the conference will also discuss ways to enhance the caliber of principles and headmasters and “to change the existing outlook towards vocational education in the schools”, as well as effective implementation of the basic education policy, which was introduced in 2004.
Other reports have suggested that the conference will also discuss the considerable decline in the number of students in Tibetan schools which are no doubt due to low birth rate, emigration of large number of Tibetan youths and even the middle aged due to severe lack of opportunities in India, and sharp decline in new arrivals from Tibet.
CTA President Lobsang Sangay was stated to have referred to the “huge improvement in the performance of Tibetan students in the academic field” and called education “the only way to defend our struggle”. He has accused China of implementing a policy of eliminating the Tibetan language, a point reiterated by Ven Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, Deputy Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament.
Education Kalon Dr Pema Yangchen has read her department’s annual report while pledging to further develop and implement the basic education policy.