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Dalai Lama inaugurates 5th Tibetan General Conference on Education

December 28, 2009

Phayul [Sunday, December 27, 2009 18:56]
By Phurbu Thinley

Dharamsala, December 27: The exiled Tibetan leader His Holiness the
Dalai Lama inaugurated a three-day Tibetan General Conference on
Education, the largest meet-up on education in the exile Tibetan
community, here on Sunday.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama speaks at the inaugural session of the 5th
Tibetan General Conference on Education at lower TCV School in
Dharamsala, India, Sunday, December 27, 2009 (Photo by Dhonyoe)
Over 238 participants consisting of directors, principals, headmasters
and senior teachers, from 85 Tibetan schools, including three higher
studies centres, from across India, Nepal and Bhutan are taking part in
the conference.

The conference will witness exhaustive discussion on urgent matters
relating to education and schools in the exile Tibetan community. The
participants are expected to discuss on how to effectively implement The
Basic Education Policy for Tibetans in Exile, which was announced in May
2005, and accordingly find ways to improve academic and discipline
standards of the Tibetan schools and educational centres.

Discussions on the resolutions passed during the 4th general conference
and improving studies of Tibetan language and culture are also high on
the agenda.

Delivering the inaugural speech, His Holiness the Dalai Lama emphasised
on the need to further improve the quality of education in the Tibetan

?Of course there are flaws and inadequacies in our educational
standards, but being a refugee community we have comparatively achieved
considerable success in our educational endeavours,? the Dalai Lama said
referring to prevailing concerns over slackening educational quality in
the Tibetan schools.

?To make improvements and achieve further progress in our educational
quality, we must first have to identify the flaws, if any, in our system
and should have the courage to openly admit them,? the Dalai Lama said.
For that, the Tibetan leader said, it was necessary to conduct thorough
and systematic assessment of the educational system and policy from time
to time.

Tibetan Prime Minister Samdhong Rinpoche, in his cabinet speech, said
making education opportunities available to the Tibetan refugee children
was one of the most important tasks undertaken by His Holiness the Dalai
Lama in exile towards the realization of immediate and long-term goals
of the Tibetan people.

Expressing admiration and gratitude to the Tibetan leader for his
farsighted vision in establishing a number of schools in exile that
could care the children both with modern and traditional education,
Rinpoche noted that sound education alone can ensure the preservation
and promotion of the unique Tibetan culture and tradition in the long run.

Rinpoche said fulfilling the educational needs of the Tibetan refugee
children has been one of the most important tasks being carried out both
by the Tibetan people and the government.

 From the conference, among other things, Rinpoche said his
administration wanted to ascertain the obstacles and hindrances felt by
teachers while implementing the Basic Education Policy in the schools
and also to clearly understand the basis and reasons of disapproval
shown by a section of Tibetan exiles and educational experts on the policy.

Rinpoche also noted that his administration would seek suggestions from
the participants on how to encourage Tibetan students in pursuing
specialised studies and to increase the number of qualified
professionals in different fields in future.

Top officials of the Tibetan Government in Exile, including cabinet
ministers, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament Mr Penpa Tsering and
Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission,
attended the inaugural function here this morning.

The conference will be followed by a two-day seminar with scholars and
experts in different fields of education taking part in it.

The first ever Tibetan General Conference on Education was held in 1964,
four years after the Tibetan Government was re-established in exile. It
was later held in 1972, 1985 and 2003.
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