Discrimination in school

The following information was provided by Jamyang Dhargyal who had studied in this school for three years.

Bayan County Nationality School in Amdo (Ch:Qinghai) is a day-cum-boarding school admits Tibetans and Chinese Muslims. In the early 1980’s the school fees and expenses were taken on by the government and a monthly stipend of 24 yaun per student was provided. Most of the boarders in the school were Tibetan while Chinese Muslims and other Chinese stayed with their parents all of whom nearby. Since the Tibetan parents lived far from the school, their children were compelled to stay in the school’s hostel. From early 1985 many Chinese students were admitted to the school which led to the exclusion of the Tibetan language from the curriculum. All of the Tibetans in the boarding school were then required to pay 180 kg. of barley, 1 kg. of potatoes, two and half litres of oil, and some charcoal to the school authorities in addition to expenses for stationery.

Tibetans were referred to as “pagmi” (Ch: phiya) which is a derogatory term for those who wear animal skins. They are also called “chedak” which means one who licks utensils. “Allo” is the Chinese term for “Kugpa” or fool which is also a common insult. The Tibetans were systematically humiliated in this manner. The teachers and the authorities in the schools are condescending and dislike Tibetans. In all disputes between a Chinese and a Tibetan pupil, it is variably the Tibetan student who is expelled. Tibetans are harassed by the Chinese when they leave the school and are often beaten. Tamding, a pupil at the school, was stabbed and had to be admitted to hospital for two months. These events cumulatively forced a large number of Tibetan students to leave the school. In 1992, thirty students left the school (which has strength of 850) and a similar number are reported to have left the school every year since.

The school has a faculty and staff of 80 people of which there are only five male Tibetans: Kelsang (50), Sonam (35), Shenpa (27), Norbu (48), and Pema Kyi (85).

All decisions regarding the functioning of the school are made by the Chinese. Of the 850 students, 250 are Tibetans while the rest are ethnic Chinese. The subjects taught in the school are Chinese language, Mathematics, Political Science, Science, Geography and History, Environment and English.

Most of the teachers are Chinese. The Political Science teacher is Chinese and he teaches Marxist and Chinese ideology, the Chinese constitution, and Chinese administration. However the Tibetan students are not interested in any of these subjects.



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