Free education for children of shepherds

By Zhang Jiaqi
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 24, 2017
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A high school in Lhasa, capital of China's Tibet Autonomous Region especially for high-altitude Nagchu students, and a vocational school with diverse majors for both the children of shepherds and other Tibetan students, have been providing competent and decent education free of charge to help them upgrade their education and achieve a good career in the future.

Yundan Zhaxi, a second-year student of Tibetan medicine major in the Second Middle Vocational School of Lhasa introduces Tibetan medicine in powder form in a model training laboratory of his school. [Photo /]

Yundan Zhaxi, a second-year student of Tibetan medicine major in the Second Middle Vocational School of Lhasa introduces Tibetan medicine in powder form in a model training laboratory of his school. [Photo/]

Vocational school preparing students for career by school-enterprise cooperation

"In the third year, I will go to a Tibetan medicine company for on-site training," said Yundan Zhaxi, a second-year student of Tibetan medicine in the Second Middle Vocational School of Lhasa. He spoke while sniffing a handful of Tibetan medicine powder in his fingers.

School-enterprise cooperation features the educational mechanism of the Second Middle Vocational School founded in September 2013 to prepare students for a future career. Students in all seven majors including the Tibetan medicine, Thangka painting, high-end catering services and computer graphic design, have the chance for work experience with a total of 145 companies in the Tibet Autonomous Region. There are also seven model training workshops and eight model training laboratories on the campus, in which students can gain first-hand experience related to their majors.

The "1+1+1" model of talent cultivation is as a highlight of education in this vocation school. Liu Chaoyang, a second-year Tibetan student majoring in computer graphic design just finished his "exchange" in Guangdong Polytechnic College for one year.

In the third year, he will go for the on-the-spot training in one of the three major communications operators. Like all Tibetan students, he need not pay the tuition or accommodation fees, and basic stationary is also covered by the government.

The national policy for Tibetan students to receive 15-year free education from kindergarten to high school provides all with a chance to receive education, and the market-oriented majors and the career-oriented talent cultivation will prepare students for employment.

School principal Gong Xiaotang said: "A vast majority of our students come from the shepherd families, and since they will enter the market and a professional workplace, their employment after graduation will have direct impact on the family, offering promise to poor families."

After years of dedicated efforts since its establishment, the school is preparing more and more students for their careers. In 2016, 792 graduates were all employed after graduation, and in 2017, 1,566 graduates, except for those going on to higher vocational education, were all employed.

High school in Lhasa offering competent education for high-altitude Nagchu students

"My parents are shepherds, but they want me to receive good education, so they send me here," said Zhaxi Meila, a second-year student in the Second Lhasa-Nagchu High School, the largest high school in Tibet, who also enjoys free education.

The increasing rate of admission into higher education of this high school year-on-year speaks highly of its reputation since its establishment with national investment in 2012. The rate has increased from lower than the city average at the beginning to 86 percent in 2016, and to 96.2 percent this year. This is now 20 percentage points higher than the city average.

The high school caters for students from Nagchu. Located in the education center of Lhasa, it avoids the frequent rough weather in Nagchu and can also make good use of the teaching resources in the regional capital, said school secretary Deng Song.

Like those in the vocational school, many of the students are also from shepherd families of Nagchu. "In this school, all my peers are from Nagchu, and many are from the shepherd families. I feel at home here. I like to go to school," said Zhaxi Meila.

"In the past, we were always trying to prevent our students from dropping out, but now, students want to enroll in our school," Deng added, attributing the progress to the government favorable policies and hard-working teachers.

Besides local teachers in Lhasa, there are also many coming from other parts of China under the Tibet-aid program. Li Fei worked in the 35th High School in Shenyang, a northeast city of China before becoming a Tibet-aid teacher here. He is working with another 44 teachers from different high schools in Shenyang on a growth system for the teachers and students in Tibet.

The growth system aims to equip teachers with more sophisticated teaching skills and the students with proper learning mechanisms and the awareness of future development. "I volunteered to come here like other teachers, but what we want to achieve is to build a more powerful teaching team by sharing our experience, so that even if we left, I mean if, they can go on to take the education here to prosperity," Li said, emphasizing that he and other teachers here would like to make a constructive contribution to the education here for the even brighter future of this far-reaching cause.

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