By Phuntsok Yangchen
Rinchen Dharlo, President of Tibet Fund (l) and Additional Secretary Topgyal Tsering of the Department of Education addressing the press in Dharamshala at the launch of the Tibet Education Project November 23, 2012. (Photo/TibetNet/Namgyal Tsewang)
DHARAMSHALA, November 23: The exile Tibetan administration today officially launched the Tibet Education Project, a two-year programme, aimed at improving the quality of education opportunities for Tibetan refugee students in India and Nepal.
Funded by the US Agency for International Development, the programme will be implemented in close cooperation with the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration’s Department of Education.
Earlier this September, USAID awarded USD 2 million to Tibet Fund, a US-based NGO operating out of New York City, to implement TEP.
In a release, the Education Department said the TEP will address the critical education needs prioritised by Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people.
“This new initiative will provide significant boost in strengthening the overall Tibetan education system and provide much-needed resources to realise some of the core educational goals of my administration,” said Sikyong Dr Sangay who is also the Kalon for the Department of Education.
“I want to thank USAID, Under Secretary Maria Otero and the Office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues for making this program possible.”
The project includes intensification of teacher development and training; expansion of Scholarship Program; Scale the Counseling Program; prioritising Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education; providing Test Preparation and Coaching for Secondary School Students and Improve Educational Management.
Sikyong Dr Sangay; Bill Hammink, USAID Mission Director in India; Sang Lee, USAID Agreement Officer Representative; Rinchen Dharlo, President of Tibet Fund; Bob Ankerson, Vice-President of Tibet Fund and senior officials of the CTA’s Department of Education attended the launch programme earlier today.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference following the launch, Additional Secretary Topgyal Tsering of DoE said: “TEP seeks to revitalise of Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal by strengthening the Tibetan education system in innovative, replicable ways that equip young Tibetans to succeed in modern professions, become strong and visionary leaders.”
CTA recently announced new scholarship schemes representing a 50 percent increase in the annual scholarship funding provided by the exile administration.