Join our Mailing List

"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Pandit Nehru's Support for Separate Tibetan Schools in Exile Remembered

November 18, 2010

Tibet.Net
15 November 2010
 
Golden Jubilee Celebration of the first Tibetan residential school in India, the Central Schools for Tibetans, Mussoorie, gets underway
 
Dharamshala: In a message to the Central School for Tibetans, Mussoorie, on its 50th founding anniversary, His Holiness the Dalai Lama remembered how Indian Prime Minister Pandit Nehru took personal interest in the establishment of separate schools for Tibetans.
 
?Upon our arrival in India in April 1959, Prime Minister Pandit Nehru assured me that the real way to serve the Tibetan cause was to give our children a proper education. He followed up this advice by taking a personal interest in the establishment of separate schools for Tibetans, with the direct support and assistance of the Government of India,? His Holiness the Dalai Lama said in a special message to the school.
 
?Over the last half century, many Indians have helped us generously and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and teachers of the Central School for Tibetans, both Indian and Tibetan, for the invaluable contribution they have made,? His Holiness said.
 
To the students of past and present, His Holiness said: ?I urge you to remember and preserve your Tibetan identity, while at the same time keeping in mind that your education has prepared you to be participating citizens of the twenty-first century.?
 
Speaking of imparting sound education to the children, His Holiness said: ?Giving children a sound education is an act of far-reaching generosity, because childhood is a time of learning and training in preparation for life ahead. We human beings are naturally intelligent and when we are children, unburdened by other obligations, we have some freedom and flexibility of thought and action. However, our natural freedom and intelligence will only become fruitful if they are given proper guidance and encouragement. This is why schools are so important. When children have the opportunity to receive an education they have the chance not only to improve themselves as individuals but to contribute to the development of society as a whole.?
 
?Education and knowledge are like an instrument. Whether that instrument is put to use in a constructive or destructive way depends on each person's motivation. An education system that cultivates smart brains alone can sometimes create more problems than it solves. However, it is clear that if a student in addition to receiving a good intellectual education happens to have teachers with a warm heart, and a sense of responsibility for both caring and discipline, he or she tends to grow into a more fulfilled adult. We all want to lead a happy life, but material goods alone will not provide us with genuine inner peace or happiness. Positive human values are essential,? His Holiness said.
 
The school made a humble beginning as Tibetan Refugee Educational Institution for six teachers and 50 children under the supervision of Mr Kundeling and Mr Jigme Taring.  Inaugurated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 3 March 1960, it came the first Tibetan residential school to be founded in India and was run by the Indian government in collaboration with the Central Tibetan Administration. Funding for the initial project came wholly from the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
 
Within only three months of opening, the school was to accommodate a further 304 children from the Tibetan Nursing School in Dharamsala. It soon became apparent that the school would need to expand. The most immediate concern was the need for additional classroom and living space. Towards the end of 1961, the office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama provided funds to purchase land on Honey Hill and Aren House worth Rs 20,000 and Rs 38,000 respectively.
 
Construction of the classrooms, under the management of School Principal, Mr Taring, began in earnest. More than 60 volunteers from Dalhousie worked on the project together with teachers and students. Funding was a problem but with the support from Indian government and Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama the building was completed.
 
Under the direction of Prime Minister Nehru, the Central Tibetan Schools Administrative (CTSA) under the Ministry of Education as a separate administrative unit was instituted to support Tibetan educational needs in 1961. From September of that year ill today the administration and funding of Mussoorie School has been supervised by the CTSA.
 
Today, CTS Mussoorie is a home of 734 students (Year 2010) with a considerably expanded curriculum and teaching staff. Tibetan language and spiritual teaching formed an essential part of the school curriculum. The school has three subject streams at the higher secondary level, namely Science, the Arts and Commerce, together with vocational training in tailoring for girls, and woodcraft for boys.
 
The current school principal Mr Vinod Kumar Sing is also making his contribution of the achievements of the school's founding members, and is supported by the school rector Mr Lobsang Dhundup, a teaching staff of 41 and non-teaching staff of 15. As always, the education and safekeeping of our children, and hence our future, is in good hands, a statement from the school rector's office said.
 
The highlights of the celebratory function on Monday are rendition of commemoration song by children, laying of foundation stone of new boys hostel and inauguration of new girls hostel, exhibitions, Tibetan and Indian folk songs and dances.
 
Dignitaries, including Mr Thubten Lungrig, Kalon for the Department of Education, Mr S C Khuntia (IAS) joint secretary at the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Venerable Karma Gelek, education secretary, CTA and Mr Alok Verma, director, CTSA, are attending the function.
 
--Based on report filed by Jigme Tsering, Head of Tibetonline TV
CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665   ctcoffice@tibet.ca
Developed by plank