Lower TCV School Celebrates Silver Jubilee
15th October 2009
The Tibetan Children's Village school (TCV) in lower Dharamsala today completed 25 years of excellence in imparting both traditional Tibetan studies and modern education to thousands of Tibetan children in exile.
Established in May 1984, the school was formally blessed by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in October 1992, following which the school marked its founding anniversary every year.
This year's silver jubilee celebration was marked with great fanfare as schoolchildren showcased house-wise parade, cultural performances, philosophical debate and photo exhibition. A large number of school alumni were invited to participate in the event.
In his address, Mr Tsewang Yeshi, president of the Tibetan Children's Village, paid rich tribute to Ama Jestun Pema and late Tsering Dolma for their invaluable service and selfless dedication. He expressed immense gratitude to the government of India for building the foundation of the education of Tibetans in exile.
Mr Tsewang Yeshi called on the parents to "play a bigger and equal role, and dedicate their efforts in the education and healthy upbringing of their children".
Kalon Tripa Prof Samdhong Rinpoche urged the school administration to "introspect on their past experiences and accordingly reform the education system to achieve excellence in imparting quality education".
Kalon Tripa underlined the need to shift the focus on research-oriented education system to develop innovation and to excel in different fields of studies.
Speaking on the lack of opportunity and educational facilities for children living in Tibet, Kalon Tripa said the Tibetan children in exile should not waste the opportunity of studying both their traditional studies and modern education.
Kalon Tripa said the fundamental aim of education system in exile is not make students own a job and material gain, but to instill the sense of values in order to serve for the betterment of the entire humanity.
The school was founded in May 1984 under the aegis of Ama Jestun Pema to provide immediate care to a hundred new Tibetan children from Bhutan to ease pressure on the overcrowded main TCV school. Ama Jetsun Pema took the responsibility of providing education and care to hundreds of thousands of poor and needy Tibetan children from her late sister Tsering Dolma.
With initial seed money of one hundred thousand rupees donated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and much of the remainder coming from Herman Gmeiner Fonds Deutschland, the TCV school constructed a new school at lower Dharamsala at a poultry farm it owned.
Initially only 100 newcomer children from Tibet were housed there. Later as the situation changed and other TCV branches could absorb more children from Tibet, Lower TCV was completely turned into a residential school, with the aim of meeting the pressing needs for educational facilities for children of parents who could afford school fees.
Over the years the school has developed into one of the best residential schools in exile solely financed by Tibetan parents. Today, Lower TCV has 791 children comprising of 421 boys and 371 girls, and 81 staff members.