CTA's Effort to Strengthen Tibetan Language and Reading.

March 25, 2019

Distribution of Tibetan Children’s book, initiated by Department of Education, CTA

SARD, Dharamshala: Recognizing that effective reading skills are an essential prerequisite for skill development and learning in other areas, the need for a multi-year strategy and policy support to strengthen early grade reading in Tibetan Schools was a primary recommendation of the Education Advisory Committee (EAC) constituted by Department of Education (DoE), Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) at its first meeting in June, 2013. The EAC advisors noted that poor classroom practices, under-utilization of school libraries, severe shortage of creative and age-appropriate children’s literature in Tibetan language in most Tibetan schools have contributed to unsatisfactory learning and achievement levels in other subjects.

To address the challenges, the Tibetan Early Grade Reading (TEGR) Program was initiated by the DoE, CTA with support from USAID under Tibetan Education Project (TEP) from 2014 – 2016 where a total budget of INR 39,285,392 (USD577, 725) was approved. The TEP program was continued under Tibetan Self Reliance & Resilience (TSRR) where a budget of INR 67,98,700 (USD 101,475) was approved in FY2017. INR 98,58,924 (USD154,055) was approved in FY2018. INR 110,19,846 (USD157,427) was approved in FY19. Focusing in particular on Tibetan language reading in grade 1 – 3 and English reading in grade 4 – 5, the program strategy combines the following core components:

  1. EGR Support and training for Educators: Following trainings were conducted for teachers to obtain effective reading skills.
  1. EGR Training for Parents and Foster parents: Community outreach to increase parent awareness and support for early child reading is crucial. Hence, the training for parents were provided in different Settlements, reaching out to more than 950 parents and educating them about the importance of early grade reading. More foster parents will be included in the FY19 upcoming trainings.

III. Librarian empowerment and Professional Development:

School librarian training and mentoring in effective strategies to improve school reading cultures and child reading habits, in conjunction with improvement of school library collections. Took services of expertise from Ms. Sujata Noronha and Ms. Usha Mukunda as resource person and key advisors. Following activities are being carried out under Library program:

  1. EGR infrastructure Improvement
  1. Children’s Publication and Distribution: The first graded reading series in Tibetan language (40 books) was published in 2017 and 5 more story books (original) in 2018. Translation of high quality children’s book into Tibetan (18 books) in 2017 and 14 books in 2018. The books were distributed to all Tibetan schools and to the parents in the Settlement. The remaining books will be distributed to the parents in the coming years.

The Initial phase of TEGR Program has been carried out under the guidance of Prof. Krishna Kumar and Prof. Latika Gupta of Delhi University. TEGR Program is one of the most successful projects of DoE, CTA. The assessment report submitted by ERU Consultant Private Ltd to DoE, CTA in November 2017 has mentioned the following regarding TEGR Program.

“The introduction of EGR came in for high praise as teachers felt that many of the issues of reading, writing and speaking are being resolved. Classrooms have much more interactive material for children in Tibetan and also the availability of books in the library. This was also observed during the field visits. The most exciting and dynamic classrooms were the EGR classrooms.”

Courtesy: tibet.net