Address by the Principal
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Address by the Principal
The editor  wsangpo time 2015-07-10browse (1968)source: This websiteprint

       Jigme Gyaltsen Welfare School is the first private welfare school approved by the prefecture government of Golok, Qinghai. With the guidance of the Law on Promotion of Private Education, the school had been gradually fulfilling its concept of “benefiting both the religious and the secular, and valuing both moral sense and intellectual excellence” since its establishment, and created the unique mode of welfare school with “mixed age groups, mixed classes, mixed languages, and reciprocal benefits for monks and non-monks”.

  With our efforts in the past decade, the school set up its fame among herdsmen in the Tibetan areas. We couldn’t have got those achievements without the support of the government and the financial assistance of various charity groups. The teachers and students in our school did not fail the expectation of our supporters and sponsors. We offered free education of 4-year primary school and 2-year junior high school to more than 800 unemployed herdsmen and young monks. 60% of our graduates (non-monks) were directly admitted into universities. The school was honored the China Charity Awards and Glory Enterprises Award of Qinghai Province.

  As the principal of the school, I was born and raised in Tibetan area in Qinghai province. My own pursue to education gave me more insights on the difficulty of the way to universal education. I love the Tibetan culture because it was nurtured in the unique natural and geological environment of the peak of the world. In Tibetan culture, the anthropology, history, sociology, linguistics, folklore and moral philosophy was inherited and would pass on to future generations. It was my greatest dream to combine the modern science and technology with Tibetan culture to help the children of the herdsmen to get education.

  The herdsmen in Tibetan areas of Qinghai scattered in remote areas, with inconvenient transportation and backward economy. Particularly, as for their children who cannot go to school, just the journey to school is out of affordability of the students and their parents. With small income, the herdsmen cannot afford to pay the transportation fee for their children to go to school. Therefore, when we set up this welfare school, we were supposed to give those children, as well as some monks who wish to accept modern education, the opportunity to go to school and learn useful knowledge. This is the reason why we make this school a boarding school and it is also the common aspiration of the teachers and working staff of our school.

  It is easy to talk about welfare school but far more complicated to operate one. We have to attend various issues including site-choosing, construction, teaching materials, teaching plans, school life, comprehensive management, and so on. We went through so many twists and turns that when we review our past, we have too many feelings to be described by words and expressions. It is my ultimate objective for life to make this school better and offer fundamental education to more herdsmen children.

  In 2005 when the Girls’ School was opened, we admitted 203 girls from herdsmen families into our boarding school at the altitude of 3,600m. Many people wondered why we established our school in such a remote area with no roads, no water, nor electricity. However, this place was the nearest to the herdsmen. And our decision was understood and supported by Associazone Per LaSolidarieta Internazionale InAsia (A.S.I.A) and Trace Foundation, who jointly donated 3.5 million RMB to sponsor the boarding welfare school where over 200 girls were studying in 2006.

  The days before and after the deadline of our autumn recruitment in 2006 was a period when I could hardly sleep. The Boys’ School could only recruit 613 students, in contrast with thousands pairs of eager eyes for school, which hurt me badly. Our school is a private welfare school with overloaded dormitories and teaching staff, inadequate school facilities and economic shortages, which upset and worried me a lot.

  The school is located on the protection section of the Yellow River in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. As the government launched the strategy of Three Rivers’ Source, more and more children from herdsmen families will face the problem of education and employment. In the era of knowledge economy, one will not keep subsistence without knowledge. As for herdsmen in the Tibetan areas, the education of girls was always ignored. We paid attention to this long-term problem. And we believed that the daughter today would become the mother tomorrow, and that the initial education of human being began from prenatal culture.

  We realized that the future education and development of the Tibetan people required us to focus on education of children at schooling ages. This is a centennial project. We began from preparing teaching materials and plans. In the past decade, we accumulated many teaching plans that were suitable for the children of local herdsmen. At the premises of conforming to the national teaching outlines, the useful methods of Tibetan Hetu-vidya (Logistics) were added into our modern teaching. Geshe Ci Zhi Jia Cuo and Geshe Yong Dan Jia Cuo, together with most of the teaching staff, worked persistently without pay or holidays. They kept organizing the students in debating on the topics learnt everyday, practicing and improving the students’ memory, logistic thinking and expression. This unique teaching mode was well-praised and recognized by all walks of the society.

  Some reports said we created a teaching miracle. In fact, this is not a miracle, but the result of our concerted efforts. The students value their time in school, learn as much knowledge as possible, and respect teachers who give them knowledge. All the students, monks or non-monks alike, help and benefit each other in classes with all age groups and grades, improve together in both cultural and moral senses. When we carry out our school concept, we also participated in building a harmonious society.

  In the past decade, we received donation from the Trace Foundation, Associazone Per LaSolidarieta Internazionale InAsia (A.S.I.A), the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the Embassy of Finland, the Bridge Fund, and other organizations and individuals. On behalf of the teachers and students of our school, I would like to extent my gratitude to all the individuals, charity groups, pro bono organizations, as well as line agencies of the government.

  In line with our vision for the next decade, we are applying for unconditional financial aids from the government for the yak cheese company affiliated to the school (though we may not get approval). We will assist the local government in admitting the children of migrant herdsmen in the Three Rivers’ Source project. With the guidance and support of the charity institutes, pro bono organization and individual donators who are committed to helping develop the Tibetan culture, we will launch vocational education to train technicians needed in local areas. We will make our share of contribution in building a Tibetan Culture Development and Research Center, which will invite experts from all over the world to discuss and do research on Tibetan culture and modern teaching after it has been approved by the government. To give the people in the world a better understanding about the Tibetan cultural heritage, and share with them Hetu-vidya, an intangible cultural heritage in Tibetan culture, is the vision of Jigme Gyaltsen Welfare School, as well as the objective we fight for in our lives.

  At last, I sincerely hope that men of vision and the public in China and abroad will pay more attention to the construction and development of Jigme Gyaltsen Welfare School, and support our school to realize a new leap-forward in the second decade. Wish every one of you an auspicious and happy life! Zha Xi De Le!

                                Jigme Gyaltsen

duty editor: Kha Sherubgyatso Bha Nongdol Whanshel Gyamyang

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