(TibetanReview.net, Apr24’20) – Although expected to be met only with disdain at best but vengeance if they persisted, Tibetan nomads in what is now part of China’s Sichuan Province have made clear their determination to defend their linguistic heritage: They have appealed to the Chinese government to drop a plan to make Mandarin Chinese the only language of instruction in Tibetan schools in the traditionally Tibetan prefecture of Ngaba (Chinese: Aba).
Switching to Chinese as the main medium of instruction would have an “adverse impact on relationships between parents and their children and goes against regional ethnic laws,” the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Apr 23 quoted a delegation of nomads as saying in a letter Apr 20 to the authorities.
The letter, submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, was quoted as saying the consequences of the switchover would be “far-reaching on future generations of Tibetan students with nomadic background.”
“Their welfare and happiness depends on a sound Tibetan education through their mother tongue,” the letter was further quoted as saying.
The members of the delegation were stated to represent Amoi, Meywa, and Serde villages in Ngaba.
“They have complained that the proposed change to the medium of instruction goes against Chinese law in general, and particularly the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law,” a former political prisoner in Chinese ruled Tibet with local contacts and who now lives in Australia was quoted as saying.
He has said that many teachers in Ngaba, Zogue and Chungchu Counties had spoken out openly against the planned switchover by writing dissenting views in articled they published on online social media platforms.