CHINA County temples in Qinghai told to stop illegal Tibetan lessons


County temples in Qinghai told to stop illegal Tibetan lessons

Global Times

08:10, February 01, 2019


(Photo: VCG)

A county government in Northwest China's Qinghai Province asked temples to stop illegally Tibetan language for students during holidays as they lack teaching qualification and infuse students with ideas threatening social stability.

Some Buddhist temples in Nangqen county, under the administration of Qinghai's Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, have been "secretly organizing Tibetan language courses to students on holidays."

These students include college students who return to their hometown from other cities, and primary- and middle-school students, an official surnamed Jiang from Quji village told the Global Times on Thursday.

Jiang said that, in such courses, some monks claimed that students, especially those who are studying in other parts of China, have few opportunities to be exposed to the Tibetan language, which is false.

"The Nangqen government has always been promoting bilingual education (Putonghua and Tibetan) in schools, and encourages students to learn Tibetan in qualified institutes," Sonam, an official from the Nangqen publicity department, told the Global Times on Thursday.

The Qinghai government has invested 640 million yuan ($95.36 million) from 2012 to 2017 to push bilingual education, including the construction of teaching venues and hiring people.

It also implemented preferential policies for ethnic minority students from the Tibetan Prefecture for them to teach the Tibetan language.

Bilingual education is officially promoted in China, with the Constitution of China stating that all nationalities have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages and to preserve or reform their own customs.

The ethnic textbook center of Qinghai has compiled and translated more than 1,800 textbooks in Tibetan since the 1980s, amounting to 200 million words, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Jiang said his village received the county government's notice at the end of December 2018 to rectify temples that are providing unqualified "teaching activities." 

These temples did not register their teaching activities with the government, and most of them hire monks to teach Tibetan, who do not have teaching qualifications, said Jiang.

He noted the government found that some monks tried to infuse students with ideas that threaten social stability and tell them that the government did not pay much attention to protect the Tibetan language.

According to China's Non-state Education Promotion Law, teaching qualification requires applicants to provide detailed information, including the venue, qualification of teachers and founding.

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