His Holiness the Dalai Lama visiting one of the foremost CST schools in Bylakuppe, south India.
DHARAMSHALA, July 11: All Tibetan schools currently being managed by the Indian government will be soon handed over to the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration.
At present, the Central Tibetan Schools Administration, a body under the HRD ministry, set up in 1961 by the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru manages these schools. The late Indian prime minister appreciated the importance of retaining and refining the Tibetan identity and gave the go ahead for the large-scale education programme.
“The department of education has made consistent efforts to take over the administration of Tibetan schools from the CTSA for an all-round management of education and welfare of these schools. We have also raised the matter in the meetings of CTSA board of directors. Moreover, Kalon Tripa of the 14th Kashag has continued the followup work by meeting CTSA chairman and other senior Indian leaders. As a result, we have been asked by the CTSA to submit a detailed takeover proposal, which we sent on 8 May 2012,” the department said in its press release on July 10.
“The CTSA has already forwarded its recommendations to the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India,” it added.
Under the plan, the Indian teachers currently employed at the schools will be given the option of either continuing service with their present benefits or joining other schools under the HRD ministry.
However, the Indian government will continue to bear the expenses of running these schools.
There are currently 7,555 students and around 761 staff members in 63 CST schools.
Thousands of Tibetan students have since studied in these schools and continue to serve the Tibetan exile administration.
It has been reported that the then foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, following her 2010 meeting with the Dalai Lama, had written to school education and literacy secretary Anshu Vaish last March to consider handing over the schools in a phased manner by 2014.
However, concerns over the gradual deterioration of the quality of education and academic performance in these schools prompted demands for a handover of the schools to the Tibetan administration, which has done a reasonably good job of managing a number of its own schools.
“The schools run by them (CTA) are in fact doing very well. Their results are better than the CTSA schools. Hence, it is only pertinent that the CTSA schools are also handed over to them. While the Centre will continue to give them grants, the schools will, under the transfer proposal, be run and operated by the Tibetan government-in-exile,” a senior Indian official was earlier quoted as saying by an Indian newspaper.
The 63 schools are spread across the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh.
All the schools are affiliated with the Central Board of Secondary Education and follow the National Council of Education Research and Training curriculum.Article updated on July 12, 2012 IST 15:03