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Government of Canada provides $2 million for education of Tibetan children in India and Nepal

June 15, 2015

Canada Tibet Committee, June 15, 2015 – The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will contribute CAD 2 million to improve the quality of education in Tibetan schools in India and Nepal.

According to the DFATD website, “the project aims to improve the quality of education and learning for more than 23,000 Tibetan children (11,337 girls) at 76 schools in India and Nepal. Activities include: (1) providing teacher training; (2) introducing new text books to primary teachers in Tibetan schools; (3) developing mobile science exhibitions; (4) producing animated and dubbed videos in Tibetan; and (5) improving school library book collections. The expected intermediate outcomes for this project include: (1) increased use of high quality teaching and learning materials by Tibetan teachers and educators; (2) improved Tibetan student achievement in science subjects and on standardized tests; and (3) increased teacher and student retention at targeted Tibetan schools.”

The project’s Canadian implementing agency, Calgary-based Agriteam Canada, has lengthy experience managing projects inside Tibet.  The “Basic Human Needs Project”, a poverty alleviation initiative in the Tibet Autonomous Region, ran from 2001-2007.  The “Bombardier Tibet Tourism Training Program” provided livelihood skills for rural Tibetans from 2007-2010. This is the first diaspora-centred project for both Agriteam and Canada’s development agency.

Education has been a primary focus of the Central Tibetan Administration since 2011.  In 2012, CTC Board member Matilde Bernabei, whose PhD thesis centered on Tibetan education in the diaspora, was invited by the CTA to serve on its newly created Education Advisory Committee. In March 2015, Tibetan education minister, Kalon Ngodup Tsering, visited Canada where he met with DFATD officials in Ottawa.  In April 2015, Agriteam representatives travelled to Dharamsala where they visited Tibetan schools and had a private audience with the Dalai Lama.

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