Tibet Education-Study in Tibet
The main education forms of old Tibet were monastic, public and old-style private education. There wasn't even one formal school in the modern sense in all Tibet before liberation, and the attendance rate was less than 5 percent while the illiteracy rate reached 95 percent. After the peaceful liberation of Tibet, a series of special favorable policies were carried out in Tibet by the State, which have greatly promoted the development of all forms of education in Tibet.
According to statistics, from 2001 to 2005, the Central Government allocated 1.85 billion Yuan for bettering the conditions for running the education system in the TAR. The total newly built school floor area reached 1.50 million square meters, including 1.25 million of elementary schools and middle schools in rural and pastoral areas. Moreover, every year, the State earmarks 720 million Yuan for children from rural and pastoral families, carrying out a boarding system in the schools of such areas, and implementing a policy of the government meeting the costs of food, clothing and shelter as well as providing free education, which greatly enhanced the enthusiasm of rural families to bring their children to school. By the end of 2005, there were 890 elementary schools, 1,568 teaching centers, with a total student number of 328,000 and an attendance rate of 95.9 percent for the children of school age; there were 93 junior middle schools, with 121,000 students and an attendance rate of 75.4 percent. At the same time, the scale of senior middle school has been enlarged and the unitary situation of secondary education has undergone dramatic change. Up to now, Tibet has 13 senior middle schools, with 33,000 enrolled students, as well as 10 secondary vocational schools. The total number of students in the senior-middle-school phase has reached 46,000 and the attendance rate has risen to 30 percent. The average number of years of study for 15-year-old youngsters has reached five. Popularization of education and the development of human resources have been much improved.
Meanwhile, the higher education is also expanding and its education level has been obviously improved. A large number of skilled workers and technicians have been produced for the modernization of Tibet thanks to the rapid development of vocational education, adult education and continuing education programs. Preschool education has made much progress; special education has also taken its first step.
At present, a comparatively integrated socialist ethnic education system, including preschool education, elementary and secondary education, special education, vocational education, higher education and adult education, has been shaped on the whole. The right of receiving education of every ethnic group has been guaranteed and the situation of comparatively low scientific and cultural qualities of the nation has been greatly improved. All the above factors have brought the Tibet education cause into a golden age.
Developing education for ethnic minorities is a question of fundamental importance for a hundred years of inheriting, preserving and developing ethnic culture. With the above purpose, local Tibetan students are preferred during school enrollment in the TAR; the Tibetan language is popularly taken as a compulsory subject in schools of all levels: classes are taught mainly in the Tibetan language in most elementary schools and partly in junior middle schools. Students must meet the requirements of mastering the two languages, namely Chinese and Tibetan, before graduation from senior middle school. With a history of 40 years, the Tibet College for Ethnic Groups has all along adopted the Tibetan language as a compulsory subject for all majors. And, in 1980, the Tibet University founded its department of Tibetan language. Now departments, branches and majors of Tibetan language, Tibetan medicine, Tibetan art and Tibetan history, and the establishment of special schools are energetically encouraged and supported by the government.
Special translation and editing institutions have been founded in Tibet and hundreds of textbooks in Tibetan languages have been compiled and published for the extensive utilization in all parts of the region.
In 1984, the Central Government decided to build schools in the hinterland for talent cultivation of Tibet¡±, and explicitly required that the teaching be mainly in the Tibetan language and the teaching contents be suitable for the economic and cultural development level of Tibet. According to statistics, by the end of 2005, the number of the junior middle school students enrolled in the inland Tibetan classes and Tibetan schools distributed in 22 provinces and municipalities had reached 29,000. Moreover, such classes and schools had graduated over 21,000 technical secondary school students and senior middle school students, 6,500-plus of whom had been admitted to inland colleges and universities. All these Tibetan classes and schools offer Tibetan language subjects taught by Tibetan language teachers designated by the TAR, and for which the teachers solely make teaching programs according to the realities of the local Tibetan students. Up to now, there have been over 15,000 graduates from technical secondary schools and above returning to Tibet, greatly accelerating its development.
Tibet University was founded in 1952, and now includes the Lhasa district and Linzhi district. Its head campus in Lhasa covers an area of 189.4 hectares, and with a floor area of 172,000 square meters and a green area of 237,000 square meters. Tibet University is a comprehensive university, including 11 schools, namely the school of literature, school of science, school of engineering, school of agriculture, school of medical science, school of economy and management, school of tourism and foreign language, school of arts, public education institute, school of continuing education and the Tibet Academy of China Central Radio and Television University.
There are eight specialties for Masters candidates, namely Tibetan language and literature, Tibetan history, Tibetan art, public utilities management, Crop Cultivation Science, ecology, preventive veterinary medicine and musicology. There are 49 regular specialties for undergraduates and over 30 regular professional training programs covering more than 10 disciplines such as literature, science, agriculture, engineering, medical science, management, law and arts etc. Together these have preliminarily formed a multi-level and multi-form educational system of graduate education, regular undergraduate education, adult education, distant education, correspondence education and foreign student education and so on. Of the 523 full-time teachers, the number of Tibetan teachers accounts for 62.5 percent and the other 37.5 percent come from the Han ethnic group as well as the other ethnic minorities.