China introduces new textbook for Tibetan children as Beijing urges unity

18 Sept 2015. Students follow a Tibetan-language lesson at the Lhasa-Beijing Experimental Middle School on the outskirts of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China.
18 Sept 2015. Students follow a Tibetan-language lesson at the Lhasa-Beijing Experimental Middle School on the outskirts of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China.
18 Sept 2015. Students follow a Tibetan-language lesson at the Lhasa-Beijing Experimental Middle School on the outskirts of Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Credit: CTA.
4th March 2019

Beijing releases new textbook for Tibetan children.

The Chinese government is releasing a new textbook for schools in the Tibetan county of Gyantse (Chinese:Gyangze). It aims to teach children to be patriotic and learn the Communist Party narrative of the “integration and lineage” of Han and Tibetan cultures, Tibet Watch and an official Chinese news outlet have reported.  

The textbook which will be released this semester is written for primary and middle school students and is called “beautiful Gyangze county.” It was produced by officials in Shanghai who were sent to Tibet to “aid” the education authorities there, the report in the Global Times said.

It has chapters with official CCP accounts of Tibet’s history, geography and a section on “civility.” The old Tibet under the Dalai Lama is labelled as oppressive in the book, compared with the new system under Chinese rule which it says is helping Tibetans.

“The policy to obliterate the Tibetan faith and its Lamas and to replace it with love and loyalty to the Chinese nation through education, namely patriotic education has been gaining momentum… This [textbook] means greater suppression in Tibet,” research group, Tibet Watch said following its release.

News of the new textbook coincides with a statement by Xi Jinping on 21 February at the Party School of the CCP Central Committee, where he urged party officials to eliminate major risks to Chinese stability at grassroots level.

The address comes at a time when China’s economic growth has slowed, and amid concern about the younger generation in China drifting away from the ideology of the Communist Party, Tibet Watch said.

Some Chinese students in Shanghai will also learn from the new textbook which is written in Tibetan and Chinese, to introduce them to Tibetan culture, Guo Shubao, the deputy director of the education bureau has said.

Information supplied in-part by Tibet Watch.