China’s Residential Schools Separate a Million Tibetan Children From Their Families, U.N. Says (Feb,2023)

Veiled behind the Himalayas, occupying a frigid plateau twice the size of Texas dubbed the “roof of the world,” Tibet is truly a land apart. Tibetans share a lineage with Chinese, Mongol, and Siberian peoples, though are distinguished by a genetic mutation that enables them to thrive at over 13,000 ft. above sea level, as well as by a number of stark cultural differences, including their own language, religion, and customs.An accelerating assimilation campaign waged by the ruling Chinese Communist Party is threatening to utterly erase Tibet’s way of life. When three U.N. experts warned that roughly 1 million Tibetan children have been separated from their families and placed into Chinese state-run boarding schools, as part of efforts to absorb them “culturally, religiously and linguistically” into the dominant Han Chinese culture.The scheme involves placing children from rural communities into residential schools, where lessons are conducted solely in Mandarin Chinese with scant reference to Tibetan history, religion, and certainly not exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. The result is that many children forget their native tongue and struggle to communicate with their parents when they return home, which is just for a week or two each year. While the proportion of Chinese students at boarding schools is around 20% nationwide, the U.N. experts believe the vast majority of Tibetan children are in large residential schools following the systematic shuttering of rural classrooms.