Tibetans have raised their concern over increased Chinese government interference in the Education system of Tibet at an international webinar. As per a report by Tibet Press, Tibetan experts held an extensive discussion on “China using education as the last tool to colonize the minds of the Tibetans”. They recognised that Beijing is trying to “de-Tibetanize” the Tibetans by brainwashing the students. At the webinar, the experts added how the Chinese Communist government established a movement through a chain of residential schools. The experts claimed that the Chinese government has targeted children by brainwashing them through colonial and communist tools. A Research Fellow at the Tibet Policy Institute, Karma Tenzin stated that the destruction of Tibet had started a long before when Mao Zedong was the President of the country. The researcher noted that Mao Zedong began destroying the education system in the name of the Cultural Revolution. Later, the President completely changed the education system of Tibet and tried to practice a new Chinese education policy. At that point of time, the CCP’s main motive was to eliminate the Tibetan Language and to impose Chinese Mandarin as the medium of instruction for the Tibetan students. According to the research, the youngsters were being taught biased and wrong history lessons where Tibetans were portrayed as inferior to the Chinese people. It acted as the main tool to colonize the Tibetan mind. A vast body of research has noted that Tibetan children attending the colonial boarding school have long term and intergenerational harm. The entire experience of Tibetans cannot be fully checked due to the strict controls in Tibet by the Chinese authorities. Yet, the accounts from Tibetans in exile of life in earlier Tibetan boarding schools show serious deprivations and abuse. Scholars within Tibet and China have also documented high rates of mental and emotional distress in colonial boarding schools today, suggesting that students are likely to suffer long term, adverse effects.
In the meantime, Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren, the co-founder of “Tibet Solidarity”, in his report found that over 86,000 Tibetan children were forced to go to Chinese boarding schools and were asked to detach from their family members. His research found that the books were made in such a way that the students could forget their cultural identity. The research claimed that the Tibetans were coerced to practice the Chinese Communist identity. Yet, the forceful education had not succeeded; rather they had to face criticisms among the local people. Crackdown on the Tibetan language and cultural education continues as China orders the closure of all Tibetan private schools in Dzachuka. As per information obtained by Tibetan Centre
for Human Rights and Democracy, (TCHRD), China authorities in Sershul County, Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, had ordered early this year that all Tibetan private schools must be shut down and students enrolled in government schools by 20th April where the medium of instruction is Putonghua( Mandarin Chinese based on Beijing dialect). Even the monastic institutions are being forced to prioritize Putonghua teaching and propagation. TCHRD revealed that Chinese authorities threatened any resistance to the order with imprisonment. The majority of the schools affected by this order are primary schools located in nomadic communities. This includes six known Tibetan schools namely Gemang primary school, Bumser primary school, Troshul primary school, Asey primary school, Phendey Choekong primary school, and Warong primary school. Local Tibetans have submitted a petition against the order saying that those targeted schools are the only available means of Tibetan medium education in the remote nomadic region. Local sources believe that the petition will have little effect and that the authorities have made a definite decision not only to close all the private schools but also to demolish the school buildings. The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy and Asian Dignity Initiative released a joint report, “ Sucked Our Marrow: Tibetan Language and Education Rights under Xi Jinping, the report talks about how, there is a forced cultural assimilation policy under the guise of ‘ ethnic policy in the new era, has devastating consequences on education and language rights in Tibet. Under Xi Jingping’s campaign to build an education system that violates constitutional guarantees for regional autonomy and the principle of equality and non- discrimination.
On April 22, 2022, China’s Ministry of Education Published “The Tibet Autonomous Regions 2022 Regular College Admission Regulations”. The regulations have their good parts as the rules exist in many other countries. But, from section 12, there is a conflicting criterion for studying at a University. Under the heading “ Ideological and Political Morality Assessment”, it goes further saying that being an outstanding student is not enough to be enrolled in a University in Tibet. Ideological and political morality is the main standard for admission. Universities make sure that the candidates have never supported in words or in action movement or activities that endanger the unity of the motherland or national unity. In plain words, the CCP consider these activities and movements as reverence to the Dalai Lama and what the CCP refers to as the “separatist Dalai Clique”. The regulations say that the candidate has not been involved in “xie jiao” (“illegal” religious movements). In the end, it did not bring all bright young Tibetans to college. Such newly introduced admission regulations are baseless on so many levels. It is a universal human right to have access to education. Everybody deserves the right to have basic education. And it is beyond unethical to put these types of criteria on students. Before introducing such criteria onto Tibetans, they should take note of Chinese Students who believe in their own systems or not. If not, they should re-read or study the Tiananmen Square incident.