Tibetan students from Qinghai province have appealed the local Chinese authorities in a letter for the allotment of more teachers who are able to instruct students in Tibetan in addition to the present status of them able to give instructions only in Mandarin. The dominant situation inside Tibet is that there is a shortage of teachers able to teach in both Tibetan and Mandarin.
“Tibetan students living in China’s Qinghai province have appealed at the beginning of the 2018 school year for more teachers able to give instruction not only in Mandarin but in Tibetan, saying that of 359 teachers newly hired in their district, not one can give instruction in both languages.” said the report in the RFA on Friday.
Qinghai authorities in 2010 proposed to make Mandarin the sole language of instruction in the schools. However, it faced a large-scale protest by Tibetan students concerned over the erosion of Tibetan language, culture, and national identity in Tibetan areas of China. Though the implementation of the policy was postponed, the appeal highlights the fact that there is no equality among languages.
According to the recent verdict of Qinghai court that sentenced Tibetan shopkeeper and language activist Tashi Wangchuk, 33, to a five-year prison term for promoting “separatism” following his efforts to preserve and promote the use of his native language in Tibetan-populated regions of China, Chinese government suspects that teaching in Tibetan language would sustain a strong sense of the Tibetan people’s identity and many Tibetans who made efforts to raise issues connected to the Tibetan language were suppressed by the authorities.