Sinicization: China shuts down privately-run school over its Tibetan-language medium

Representational image: School in Tibet. (Photo courtesy: China Daily)

(, Jul21’21) – China shut down a prestigious privately-run school near Tibet’s capital Lhasa this month apparently because it was teaching in Tibetan language, according to London-based Free Tibet campaign group Jul 21. No official reason was given by the ruling Chinese Communist Party for ordering the school’s closure, the group said, citing “confidential sources inside Tibet.”

The Sengdruk Taktse middle school, apparently located in Taktse county of Lhasa City, was forced to shut down and all its students told to enroll in government-affiliated schools in the region where education is designed to Sinicize the Tibetan people and their culture.

The report cited Khandrul Jigme Kunsang Gyaltsen, co-founder and head of the school, as saying the school was established in full compliance with relevant Chinese laws, including with the approval of concerned prefectural and county governments.

The group as cited its research partners Tibet Watch as saying concerned members of the Tibetan public had submitted a petition, appealing to the authorities to keep the school open, apparently to no avail.

The group noted that on Jan 20 this year, Shen Chungyao, the Director of the Legal Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (the Chinese parliament), had announced that schools in minority areas were no longer allowed to teach their own languages, declaring such education to be “unconstitutional”.


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