This autumn, the first batch of 360 top junior middle school graduates from Tibetan classes or schools will attend inland key senior middle schools, announced the Education Department of Tibet Autonomous Region.
The students will be distributed to more than 30 key senior middle schools in 18 inland provinces and municipalities, including Beijing Number 80 High School, Chongqing Nankai High School and Shuangliu High School of Sichuan Province.
The number of the key high schools is expected to increase to 72 in the future.
Wu Yingjie, head of the Education Department, said that the decision by the Ministry of Education was significant in the history of Tibetan educational development.
"It will be of great help to the development of Tibetan elementary education and the training of talented persons, playing an important role in promoting the economic and social development of Tibet," Wu said.
Since 1985, as a key state project to support Tibetan construction, Tibetan middle schools and Tibetan classes have been set up in 26 provinces and municipalities by the central government, taking in nearly 40,000 students, including more than 3,000 college students.
The schools offer the same courses as most middle schools except they include Tibetan language and culture.
Nearly 10,000 graduates, including masters and doctors have returned to Tibet. Seventy percent of the students' families are herders or farmers with no fixed income.
(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2002)