DHARAMSHALA: The fifth Education Council and Advisory Committee meeting began this morning at the Kashag secretariat hall. The education council and advisory committee is the chief decision-maker in the education system of Tibetan schools in exile.
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay inaugurated the meeting, accompanied by Geshe Lhakdor, Chairman of the council.
In his inaugural remarks, Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay emphasised the importance placed on education by the Kashag and expressed his sincere gratitude to the council for their consistent efforts in maximising the impact of Tibetan education in exile.
Sikyong spoke about the basic education policy of the Tibetan people and expressed frank opinions on the need to review teaching methods especially in light of the new education policy being imposed on an old system and improving facilities in schools, describing them as falling within the ambit of limited infrastructure. Sikyong also suggested segregating schools based on areas of academic specialisation and within the purview of student’s areas of interest and called for a relaxation of extra burden on students.
“I think we should start establishing schools based on specialised subjects such as leadership, Tibetan language, science and commerce. so that children can focus on both personal interests and professional career choices from class six onwards. That way we could foster growth of more professionals and expertise on particular subjects within the community in the long run,” he said.
Sikyong further emphasised the need for secular ethics in Tibetan school curriculum and recommended that Tibetan schools should take the lead in incorporating the curriculum on secular ethics being drafted jointly by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other scholars for Indian schools.
Speaking about the Kashag’s Five-Fifty vision and explained the Kashag’s fervent efforts to achieve genuine autonomy for the Tibetan people within five years whilst securing the sustenance of the Tibetan community for the next fifty years.
He elucidated the efforts being made by the respective departments of the Central Tibetan Administration towards achieving the the Five-Fifty vision. “The more we strengthen our socio-economic foundation to make our sustenance more tangible in the next fifty years, the better it will be to achieve genuine autonomy in the next immediate five years,” he explained. Sikyong outlined preservation of Tibetan identity – religion, culture and language – and pursuit of human dignity as the primary mission of the 15th Kashag.
The agenda for the daylong meeting include reviewing the resolutions of the last meeting, discussion on curriculum of primary and secondary schools, discussion on secular ethics in school curriculum, and other issues as deemed necessary by the chairman.
The education council and advisory committee is composed of the director of Education Council, traditional and modern academic section head of Department of Education, director of Sambhota schools, education director of TCV and former principal of CST Mundgod , education officer of Tibetan Homes School, education officer of Snow Lion Foundation and Nepal Gangchen Schools.