Chinese authorities have ordered primary schools in the Rebkong’s Gyalpo Lang Tsang area to shut down, requiring its students to attend nearby schools in the County, an effort in line with their policy of cultural assimilation.
[Posted on T.T Tibetan site 15 January 2020] on January 14th , a source from Tibet told Tibet Times that primary schools in Rebkong’s Gyalpo Lang Tsang area in Qinghai province have been forced to shut down. Parents and residents in the area are reluctantly sending their children to primary schools in nearby towns. The Chinese authorities have declared that if a household with school-aged children does not comply, the household leader will be punished under national law.
The exact number of schools shut down in the 11 villages of the Rebkong’s Gyalpo Lang Tsang area could not be ascertained by the source, but he estimated it to be 4 or 5 when he was in Tibet.
According to a Radio Free Asia report on the same incident, appeals that were made against the order to concerned government authorities by parents of the children have been turned down. A man has reportedly been detained by the police after his participation in a parent-led protest against the draconian order to take their children away from them.
Similarly, Chinese authorities in Serchen County’s Botag town have ordered primary and middle schools to stop teaching Tibetan language and only teach in Chinese. The move to shut down schools in Rebkong is also aimed to force students to attend schools where only Chinese language is taught, thus raising a generation of Tibetans who speak only Chinese.
Over the years, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies aimed to eradicate the Tibetan language. The bulk of such policies are aimed at the youth who communicate widely through popular flash messaging platforms. These platforms are designed to disallow Tibetan language and instead promote the usage of a diluted mix of Tibetan and Chinese languages.