Authorities in the Golog (in Chinese, Guoluo) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture have ordered schools to stop teaching all subjects in Tibetan except the Tibetan language in first grade classes, according to documents seen by RFA’s Tibetan Service.
The new directive in Golog, which takes effect in fall, changes the practice in which all subjects are taught in Tibetan except the Chinese language and requires subjects such as history, geography, math and biology are to be taught in Chinese.
The directive was carried in an official document titled “Article 101,” which says says the goal “is to provide more academic opportunities for the students” and the decision was “taken on the basis of recommendations from various research advisory committees in the Golog area.”
“The implementation of this decision will eventually begin with all the elementary and middle schools. The county education office will supervise their respective schools and help make sure that the law is implemented.
“By this fall all the first graders must be taught in Chinese, and workshops will be organized for the teachers in the future to improve the standard of their Chinese language and get accustomed to the new Chinese textbooks,” it said.
Golog lies in the historic region of Tibet known to Tibetans as Amdo, incorporated into northwestern China’s Qinghai Province.
Authorities in Tibetan-populated areas of China have long sought to restrict the size and influence of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, traditionally a focus of Tibetan cultural and national identity, sources in the region say.
Reported by RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. Written in English by Paul Eckert.