By Choekyi Lhamo
Lhasa's Haicheng school (ICT)
DHARAMSHALA, JAN 8: Tibetan students in Lhasa have been barred from taking part in religious activities during their school break, with the parents being ordered to stop their children from any involvement in such activities, International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said. In a directive dated Dec 31 sent by the Lhasa Chengguan Haicheng Elementary School
, students can neither partake in any religious activity nor can they be taken to faraway places, reports International Campaign for Tibet (ICT)
Such restrictions were also imposed during previous summer and winter vacations of 2018 and 2019. Chinese authorities have also ordered Tibetan students and their parents to avoid religious festivals and gatherings during the month of Saga Dawa (the fourth month that marks the anniversary of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death).
ICT maintains that barring schoolchildren from such activities infringes “upon basic principles of freedom of religion as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights–which China agreed to—and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which China ratified in 1992.”
The Lhasa Chengguan Haicheng Elementary School’s announcement said it will start its winter vacation from Dec 31 and reopen on Mar 3. The announcement had seven points:1. All aspects of your child’s performance this semester have been noted in the “quality report book” which has been issued to you. Please consult it, and after comprehensively evaluating it fill in your parental opinion in the “parent comment box.”
2. In accordance with the actual situation in class, make appropriate arrangements for homework in each subject. It is hoped that parents will follow the teachers request for students to properly complete the assignments, and at the same time carry out a preview.
3. Arrange daily schedules, and allow them to frequently watch children’s shows, educational shows, “Man and Nature,” and news shows concerning national affairs. Cultivate their interests, and strengthen their awareness of helping parents and the elderly around the house.
4. Guide students to participate in life experience activities, and according to the different requirements they should complete essays and experiences.
5. Parents should press the requirements of the Four Forbiddens (it is forbidden to go down to the river to skate on the ice, it is forbidden to enter internet cafes and other entertainment venues, it is forbidden to carry dangerous items such as knives, and it is forbidden to go out alone), strictly educating and monitoring the behavior of their children, guaranteeing the safe lives of their children.
6. Parents must strictly enforce the “School Work Plan for the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases,” and do well with disease prevention.
7. Students are not allowed to participate in any form of religious activity during the break, and in principle long-distance travel with students is not allowed. In the event of an accident, all consequences are the responsibility of the parents.