By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Jan. 14: In what is seen as a move to further relegate Tibetan language and identity in its native land, a university for Tibetan and other ethnic minority students in occupied Tibet has ended classroom instruction in Tibetan language. All of the university’s 11 specialization courses are now offered only in Chinese language.
The Tibet Minzu University in Shaanxi province’s Xianyang city located in eastern Tibet have put a stop on classroom instructions in Tibetan language, Radio Free Asia
reported Jan. 10.
The university’s specialised courses such as education, finance, information, engineering, sports, law, management, foreign language, ethnic studies, journalism, and Tibetan medicine are now taught in Chinese language, undermining the education of over 3000 Tibetan students who account for more than half of the total student count at the university.
A student at Tibet Minzu University told RFA, “Currently there is only one Tibetan language class offered as a second language, and one scholarship offered for Tibetan studies in the whole school.”
“The Tibetan students specializing in Tibetan medicine are facing a lot of challenges and problems of comprehension because their subjects are now taught in Chinese. Even courses for the study of ethnic nationalities are given in Chinese,” he further said.
Another student lamented, “There is an acute lack here of use of the Tibetan language. And there are no opportunities at all for taking specialized courses in the Tibetan language, which is very sad.”
Tibetan students at the school are reported to have created study groups on weekends to discuss and learn Tibetan culture and language risking persecution in the ever scrutinised heavy-handedness of the Chinese government in occupied Tibet.
Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk and many Tibetan poets and intellectuals fighting for Tibetan cultural identity were seen detained and imprisoned for charges like “inciting separatism” by the Chinese government.