The house observing a minute of silence to mourn the official obituary reference
Dharamshala: Chaired by Deputy Speaker Acharya Yeshi Phuntsok, the ninth day of the 10th session of the 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile convened with the first list of business, the bill on official commemoration and obituary presented by Parliamentarian Lobsang Choejor, paying tribute to Tibet supporter and Indian Parliamentarian Shri Pandit Ram Swaroop, who passed away on 17 March 2021 at the age of 62. The house then observed a minute of silence to mourn the official obituary reference.
Continuing the deliberation from the previous sitting, a total of 29 Parliament Members participated in the discussion on the undertaking of the Department of Education (DoE). Parliamentarians expressed their appreciation to the DoE, its teachers, and staff who worked extra hard in facilitating virtual classes in a timely approach amidst the pandemic restrictions. Likewise, the exceptional result of Tibetan students in the 2020 CBSE board exam, especially of the Tibetan Homes Foundation (THF) was applauded by the Parliamentarians in unison. Suggestions were also made on the significance of focusing more on the all-round development of children with less emphasis on exam performance.
Kalon Dr Pema Yangchen of the Department of Education responded to the issues raised concerning the recognition of monastic schools by the DoE, provision of workshops to monastic teachers, publication and distribution of children’s books, uniformity in teachers’ salary, provision of facilities in the Tibetan schools, scholarships on higher education, the necessity of moral education, hiring of contractual teachers, shortage of teachers in certain schools, teacher’s retirement eligibility requirements, and so forth.
Suggestions on the integration of Tibetan songs into academic curriculum to instil an appreciation of Tibetan cultural identity, following up with Sikyong scholarship recipients on their academic achievements, provision of adequate nutrition to kids, observation of covid-19 guidelines as per the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) in schools were raised in the House. In order, to maintain a historical record of the great sacrifices of the brave Tibetans in the past, some Parliamentarians recommended including the life stories of these historical figures in the current curriculum of Tibetan schools.
Over children’s increased screentime usage as a consequence of the pandemic, Parliamentarians expressed concern over the matter and suggested the necessity of limiting screen time. Other issues such as the need to update the current teaching methodology of the Tibetan language in schools and a review of the current Tibetan syllabus were discussed.
Kalon Dr Pema Yangchen provided the requisite clarifications to all the questions raised in the House, in addition, to her assurance to consider the suggestions made.
The session then proceeded with the discussion on the undertaking of the Department of Home. Questions on the housing problems faced by Tibetans living in McLeod Ganj, the sale of the department’s estate, the implementation of the Tibetan Rehabilitation Policy of 2014, and others were answered by the Kalon Khorlatsang Sonam Topgyal. Deliberations on the undertaking of the Department of Home will continue in the next sitting.
The session adjourned till the next morning.
Kalon Dr. Pema Yangchen answering questions in the house
Parliamentarian Mr. Lobsang Choejor presenting official commemoration and obituary
Kalon Khorlatsang Sonam Topgyal of the Department of Home answering questions in the house today