By Lobsang Wangyal
NEW YORK CITY, US, 29 July 2018
The Education Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) opened a two-day workshop for teachers of the Weekend School for Tibetan children in the New York and New Jersey area.
After giving an inaugural speech to the community leaders and the teachers, the Minister, Pema Yangchen, gave a talk on “Teaching Pedagogy: Interactive teaching strategies”.
Tenzin Chime Nuba, a retired English teacher from Los Angeles, spoke on Child Psychology and US education perspectives.
Another resource person, Tsering Samdup, the Director of the Education Council of the CTA Department of Education, spoke about teaching Tibetan as a second language and the use of technology.
Samdup said that he focused on listening power, assessment of how much the children learn, and the importance of parents speaking Tibetan with their children.
“Language is the best gift that parents can give to their children,” he said.
The team had earlier conducted a three-day workshop for 45 teachers in Minneapolis. The teacher’s training workshop was organised by the Office of Tibet, Washington DC.
More than 300 children attend the Weekend School in New York, with about 30 teachers teaching. The thriving Tibetan community in New York and New Jersey has more than 10,000 Tibetans.
Seeing the danger of losing Tibetan language and culture by the new generation of Tibetans born and brought up in the US, Tibetans in New York and New Jersey started the weekend classes in 1996.
A new community hall has been built, but pending approval by the city council, the classes are held at a public school. Children are taught Tibetan language, Buddhist philosophy, dance, and music.
Currently, there are 24 such schools in the US and five in Canada, with a total of around 2,000 children registered in these schools, according to the Office of Tibet website. About 150 teachers work in these schools during the weekend, mostly as volunteers. Each school is managed by its local Tibetan Association.