The Tibetans highly regard education as a pious and revered aspect of their lives which is an integral part of every human being’s inner self. The teachings instilled in any Tibetan ever since his birth is not only curricular in nature but also humane and rationalistic in approach just like their religion. Even when in exile, they have not forgotten their roots and still are greatly attached to their sources of origin both culturally and ethnically.
For the Tibetans in India who are in exile following their mass migration since the Chinese occupation of their homeland, India has become their home with equal ease. A large Tibetan settlement has successfully established its dominance in the Indian society and made its presence felt in their unique ways.
Even when in exile, education for Tibetans is still a highly regarded aspect even in this hi-tech age. For them, their identity is all about their culture, tradition, language and education for which they will always strive with perseverance. This aspect makes Tibetan knowledge an affair that is not bound by curriculum and goes much beyond academic boundaries.
The Tibetan Children’s Village Schools (TCV) has taken the responsibility to showcase this very intriguing aspect of the Tibetan culture. Thus for the very first time, a documentary has been created on showcasing this unique feat of the Tibetans in exile. This documentation of the education system being practised by the Tibetans in exile in India was recently screened at the TCV Day School in Majnu Ka Tila.
The documentary has been presented by the joint venture I-Imagine and Lha Yang Maa and has been titled “Beyond Education” which is actually a narrative by a simple Class VI student based on a day in the life of a Tibetan student at any TCV school. The documentary is a 45-minute treat describing their past present and future on film.
The movie begins with the scene of breakfast being prepared for the students while they are still asleep in their beds. Interestingly, most of the students are either orphans or children living separately from their parents who live far away in their homeland of Tibet. Over the years many such parents have been compelled to send their children to India in order to let them spend a better future far away from the turmoil of Tibet.
“The film is based on my realizations and experience regarding the Tibetan education system. In their schools they do not have any classifications between juniors and seniors. They merrily perform all their work and duties all by themselves,” says Irshal Ishu, the director of the documentary.
It is very astounding to note that they observe a day of the week as Tibet Day when they all wear their traditional dress, eat their traditional food and speak only in Tibetan language. “Where will anyone find such a system anywhere else in the world? I think this is the most rational way to teach children both about modernity and tradition by striking the perfect balance between them,” feels the director.
The document will surely prove how Tibetan education different from that of India or the rest of the world as well as prove how education just like their religion, primarily teaches them to be good humans at first and then strive for anything else.