By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, Sept. 21: Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister Suresh Bhardwaj has written to leaders in the capital including BJP National President JP Nadda, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Union sports minister Anurag Thakur urging not to hand over central Tibetan schools to an NGO overseen by the CTA and allocate the facilities under the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan.
The development comes as the Central Tibetan administration (CTA), also known as the exile Tibetan government and the Indian government are in the process of handing over six remaining schools under the Central Tibetan School Administration (CTSA) to Sambhota Tibetan School Society (STSS) that is overseen by the CTA.
In the letter, Bhardwaj said that the overwhelming majority of the student in those schools are Indian and that Tibetan students constitute a very small percentage. “Tibetans are running their own administered schools in the areas where they can accommodate their students, whereas the Indian students have no other option but to drop out from the schools if these schools are handed over to the Tibetan NGO,” Bhardwaj said. The minister’s letter is preceded by local opposition in Shimla over the handover of CST Shimla school.
The minister added that a decision was taken in 2013 to hand over all Central Tibetan Schools to Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society based in Dharamshala. The Indian government reportedly directed CTA in May to undergo administration change by 31st March, 2022.
Earlier this month, CTA President Penpa Tsering visited the schools during an official tour and took stock of the facilities that were to be transferred under STSS. CST Mussoorie, CST Shimla, CST Dalhousie, CST Kalimpong, CST Darjeeling and CST Herbertpur are the respective learning institutes that are soon expected to undergo transition from Indian government to the jurisdiction of the CTA.
According to CTA, a total of 55 Tibetan schools comprising 33 primary schools, 9 secondary schools, 5 senior secondary schools, and 8 K-12 schools have successfully been transferred from the CTSA to STSS overseen by the CTA’s education department since 2013.
With the talks of takeover underway, education department’s Secretary Jigme Namgyal earlier told Phayul that the enrolled students in those schools won’t be affected, “The transition won’t affect the students already enrolled and the curriculum will remain the same as per the CBSE guidelines. We will only provide better resources and facilities in the concerned schools.”