Vinod Shankar Bairwa*
The Central Tibetan Schools Administration (CTSA) is an institution born out of the vision of two great visionaries, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and the Dalai Lama. CTSA not only has a transnational character but it’s an institution that is engaged in the preservation and development of Tibetan history and culture.
When His Holiness the Dalai Lama alongwith his followers came to India in 1956, he showed his deep concern for education of Tibetan children in India. The then Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru and His Holiness the Dalai Lama visualized the need of special schools for the Tibetan children. In order to provide the Tibetans children living in India with modern education, the Government of India established Central Tibetan Schools by a Resolution of the Government of India, Ministry of Education (Now Ministry of Human Resource Development) in 1961 and registered it under the Societies Registration Act XXXI of 1860.
The first school was set up at Mussoorie on 3rd March 1960, with 50 students on roll. Later on CST, Darjeeling and CST, Bylakuppe were established in 1961. The Tibetan School Society was duly registered under the Society’s Registration Act on 5th September’1961. Later, its name was changed from Tibetan Schools Society to Central Tibetan Schools Administration (CTSA). Initially, CTSA started three residential schools in Mussoorie, Shimla and Dalhousie and later on strived for setting up such schools in other Tibetan settlements. In 1965, the total number of students was 5600, amongst which 4359 were boarders and 1241 day scholars. Though these schools mainly cater to the needs of Tibetan community, local Indian Children to the extent of 10% are also admitted from Class VI onwards.
The success story of the fifty years of Central Schools for Tibetans is also the success story of India’s educational policy planning and its implementation. The Central Schools for Tibetans (CTS) have made a visible impact in every sense of the word. The main objectives of the CTSA is to preserve and foster the Tibetan culture engulfing its heritage, identity and ethnicity in the Indian soil along with facilitating and providing modern hi-tech scientific education to the Tibetan children, to ensure and improve their overall development and equipping them to face the challenges of the ever changing world.
Today there are nine Senior Secondary schools (six residential and three day schools), five Secondary day schools and seven middle schools, seven Primary Schools and thirty four Pre-Primary schools under CTSA.
Student strength in 1960 was 50, in 1965 – 5600; in 1980 – 9637; in 1990 – 10493; in 2000 – 10240; in 2010 – 8988 and in 2012 is 8671.
All such schools are duly recognized and affiliated to CBSE, adhering to the syllabi, curriculum and examination pattern of CBSE framework. The academic performance has shown near 100 percent success in class X and near 90% pass in Class XII. This academic success also reflects the advancement of young Tibetans who have taken to formal education with zeal. The alumni of CTSA have created a niche for themselves in all spheres of life.
Schools are equipped with modern facilities and devices for quality education. They possess modern computers, video conferencing gadgets and have resource centers where interactive classes are conducted. Each school has provision of play field equipment, staff quarters and multipurpose halls. Students of CTSA schools are performing excessively well in academics, co-curricular activities, games and sports.
From the year 2000 onwards, CTSA is receiving an annual grant of Rs. 6 crores, under Plan Budget every year for construction and repair of infrastructure i.e. classrooms building, hostels, playfields, boundary walls, staff quarters, multipurpose hall etc. With this budget, a substantial infrastructural development has taken place, there are 345 staff quarters, 45 school buildings, 29 play field and 7 hostel blocks. An ongoing process to build the best possible infrastructure in all schools under CTSA.
*Media & Communication Officer, PIB, New Delhi.