Qinghai graduate held for criticizing Sinicization of Tibetan education

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File-photo: Tibetan graduate held for criticizing Sinicization of Tibetan education. (Photo courtesy: Xinhua)

(TibetanReview.net, Jan12’22) – Authorities in Golog (Chinese: Guoluo) prefecture of Qinghai Province have taken away a Tibetan college graduate for criticizing the Sinicization of education in his Chinese occupied homeland. He is being subjected to political education with no family contact being allowed, reported the Tibetan Service of rfa.org Jan 11.

The report said Loten, 23, was taken away on Dec 20 in the prefecture’s Matoe (Maduo) County after he had objected on social media to the Chinese government’s policy to replace Tibetan-language textbooks in local schools with Chinese-language ones.

The report quoted an exiled Tibetan source with local contacts as saying Loten had expressed concern that “China’s policy will eventually disconnect young Tibetans from their own language in the future.”

He is said to be held at an unknown location in the provincial capital Xining.

“His family was only informed of his arrest over the phone and hasn’t been allowed to see him yet. They were told that Loten is now being given political education,” the source has added.

Acting under President Xi Jinping’s renewed and emphatic call for Sinicization of Tibet, authorities in Qinghai have since Sep 21, 2021 replaced Tibetan with Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction in Tibetan schools, with more focus given to classes in written Chinese language and basic Chinese speaking skills, the report said.

The report noted that Qinghai authorities had earlier detained two Tibetan students, identified as Gyuldrak and Yangrik, both 19, in Golog’s Darlag (Dari) County in August for opposing plans to use the Chinese language as the only medium of instruction in Tibetan schools.

The report said the education policy had aroused widespread opposition among Tibetans in Qinghai as well as neighbouring Sichuan, where Tibetan private schools were closed, and children sent to government-run schools to the dismay of their parents.

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