The International Campaign for Tibet is deeply concerned by recent evidence of Chinese authorities’ further suppression of the Tibetan language in schools in eastern Tibet.
According to a report by Radio Free Asia, Chinese authorities have banned Tibetan as the language of instruction for all subjects in state schools in the so-called Tibetan Autonomous Prefectures of Kardze and Ngaba (Sichuan Province) since the start of the autumn semester in September.
“The ban on Tibetan as a language of instruction in schools in eastern Tibet is the next momentous step toward the eradication of the Tibetan language and culture. The international community must act now, it must not continue to stand idly by as the Chinese government pushes forward its Sinicization policy against Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongols and others without consideration,” said ICT Germany Executive Director Kai Müller.
According to RFA, the ban affects several elementary and middle schools in the region. As a local Tibetan source further reports, some middle school students will be allowed to complete their school- leaving certificate in the Tibetan language in the next two years. From 2025, lessons for all grades in all subjects should take place exclusively in Mandarin.
From ICT‘s perspective, the recent bans on Tibetan as a language of instruction in eastern Tibet are part of a major campaign by the Chinese government to erase Tibetan culture and language. This also includes the Chinese system of forced boarding schools for more than 1 million Tibetan children, which deliberately alienates children from their families, their language and their culture.
Among others, the UN Social Committee and the German government had recently expressed concern about human rights violations in Tibet and the threat to Tibetan language and culture posed by the Chinese authorities’ forced boarding schools for Tibetan children.