By Tenzin Choephel
School Principal Ven Jampa Phuntsok and Mr. Stefan Holmstrom.
Kathmandu, 28 April - Srongtsen Bhrikuti Boarding High School celebrated its silver jubilee anniversary at the school premises in Kathmandu today amidst various activities for the whole day in the presence of Chief Guest Mr. Stefan Holmstrom, former Secretary General of Swedish Organization for Individual Manniskohjalp (SOIR-IM) Sweden, chairman and members of donor organizations, over 60 foreign sponsors, Tibetan officials, guests, parents and students. The Tibetan school in Kathmandu, Nepal has come a long way from beginning in a rented house in 1982 with only over hundred students to a full fledged non-profitable Tibetan boarding school with 682 students and 66 teachers and staffs.
The school principal Ven Jampa Phuntsok welcomed all and addressed the gathering about a brief history of the school, according to him the school has been achieving its objective of imparting quality education to large number of underprivileged Tibetan children of the school, preserving and also propagating our rich and unique religion and culture. He still remembers those days when he used to teach students in rooms with tin sheet roofs that were hot in summer and cold in winter.
A young Tibetan girl playing ‘yangji’ instrument.
The SOIR-IM generously provided the funds for Classroom building in 1990, Hostel building in 1992 and staff quarter in 1994 including the necessary furniture and a separate building for kindergarten children was funded by EU. At present, this school is regarded one of the finest Tibetan school in Nepal studying Tibetan language, culture and traditions is one of its primary objective; there are about 15% students of Himalayan Regions of Nepal who also compulsorily have to study Tibetan. So far, 345 students have successfully passed the SLC exam beginning from 1997 to 2007. The results of 7 batches of class X students were 100%. The school thanked all the donors with tokens of appreciation and certificates for their lasting help. At the same time, they also awarded incentive prizes to the members of School Management Committee and Staffs according to the duration of service toward the school.
Tenzin Dorjee of SFT speaking while Shannon Service looks on.
In the course of celebration, there was another remarkable felicitation that coincided with the happy occasion, the members of Students for a Free Tibet organization who staged a peaceful protest against China at Everest Base Camp on Wednesday were invited to the celebration and the members including Tenzin Dorjee were felicitated with ceremonial khatas and given a standing ovation for their feat by over 800 people, two members Tenzin Dorjee and Shannon Service addressed the gathering briefly about their actions inside Tibet.
During lunch break, there was science and photo exhibition, then after lunch there was lots of cultural and modern dance performances by students of different Tibetan schools in Kathmandu, Tibetan Opera Association, ex students, etc. To mark the silver jubilee year, the school has announced various academic and sporting competitions throughout the year including Tibetan essay and debate, basketball and football.
A cultural dance by school students.
The Tibetan schools in Nepal and India have come a long way from being poor facility schools to full fledged excellent residential schools imparting quality education to Tibetan students for over 40 years in exile, preserving Tibetan language, culture, traditions and religion and they have been successful in doing so and they are proud of their identity, however, the majority of Tibetans are in their homeland Tibet where children are void of such Tibetan education and this is evident from the number of children fleeing Tibet every year to seek Tibetan education in India.