His Holiness the Dalai Lama visiting one of the foremost CST schools in Bylakuppe, south India.
DHARAMSHALA, January 10: In a major announcement today, the Indian Union Cabinet approved the transfer of schools run by the Central Tibetan Schools Administration to the Department of Education of the Dharamshala based Central Tibetan Administration.
Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram while making the announcement at a regular press briefing a few hours ago said the move was aimed at achieving a “better focus” on the educational needs of the students.
The much-anticipated transfer of schools from CTSA under by the Human Resource Department of the Indian central government, is slated to take over a three year period. However, the India central government will continue to fund the schools.
As indicated earlier, FM Chidambaram confirmed that the Indian teaching and non-teaching staff of CTSA would be “given an option to join the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan/ Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti / Central Board of Secondary Education /Demonstration schools of National Council of Educational Research and Training as and when CTSA schools are transferred to DoE, CTA.”
“CTA would be provided funds at the rate of Rs. 43 crore per annum plus an annual increment of 5 percent to CTA. The transfer would benefit 2220 residential students and 6455 day scholars through better focus on their educational needs,” Chidambaram said.
“There would be a potential saving of Rs. 69.29 crore for the Government of India over a 5 year period.”
CTSA was established as a Society in 1961 with the objective of establishing, managing and running schools for educating the children of Tibetan refugees who migrated to India while preserving Tibetan culture and heritage and promoting the Tibetan language.
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.
Mid last year, the Department of Education of CTA confirmed submitting
a “detailed takeover proposal” to CTSA, which was later forwarded to the HRD Ministry.
The Education Department further noted its “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.”
Sikyong Dr Lobsang Sangay, the elected head of the Tibetan people, who is also the Kalon for Education Department is believed to have consistently raised the issue of the transfer of schools during his meetings with CTSA chairman and other senior Indian leaders.
This move is seen by many as a reiteration of the close inner-working relation and the trust that the Indian government has on the exile Tibetan administration led by a democratically elected leadership.