Dr Gyal Lo is available for interview between Monday 27 and Friday 31 March.
Please contact [email protected] to make arrangements.
Dr Gyal Lo, the world’s leading expert on the Chinese government’s controversial assimilation and education policies in Tibet, is visiting London between Sunday 26 March and Friday 31 March.
His visit follows denunciation by the United Nations of the Chinese government’s residential boarding schools policy earlier this month.
The policy has seen approximately one million Tibetan children between the ages of four and 18 separated from their families and communities and placed in boarding schools and pre-schools where they are deprived of education of their mother tongue and culture. Almost 80 per cent of Tibetan children are now in these schools (1).
At the same time, schools in Tibet using the Tibetan language as their primary language of instruction have been forced to close, and in some cases, teachers have been arrested (2).
The United Nations Committee on Economic, Cultural and Social rights condemned the policy on 8 March and urged China to close this system of schools down (3), while in February, a group of United Nations human rights experts expressed alarm at “what appears to be a policy of forced assimilation of the Tibetan identity into the dominant Han-Chinese majority, through a series of oppressive actions against Tibetan educational, religious and linguistic institutions,” and noted that Tibetan children are “losing their facility with their native language and the ability to communicate easily with their parents and grandparents in the Tibetan language, which contributes to their assimilation and erosion of their identity (4).”
This is a developing story that has already attracted coverage in Newsweek and Time magazine (5) and which was raised by Alicia Kearns MP in parliament last week (6).
During his week in the UK, Dr Gyal Lo will meet MPs, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office and the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. He will also attend a Sunday school run by the Tibetan community in the UK.
He is available for written or video interviews in English or Tibetan. To arrange an interview, please contact [email protected] to make arrangements.
Dr Gyal Lo was in Amdo in north eastern Tibet. After graduated from school in his home region, he pursued a Master’s Degree in Tibetan Language and Culture Department at Northwestern University for Nationalities in Lanzhou, China. He left China to obtain his PhD in Educational Sociology at the University of Toronto, Canada before being appointed as a professor at the Yunnan Normal University Institute for Studies in Education, where he taught from 2017-2020.
In December 2020, Dr Gyal Lo left Tibet and has since become an advocate for the inclusion of Tibetan language in the education policy designed by the Chinese government.
- Full quote: “The Committee reiterates its recommendation that the State party take all necessary measures to ensure the full and unrestricted enjoyment by peoples and minorities of their right to enjoy fully their own cultural identity and take part in cultural life, and to ensure the use and practice of their language and culture, and immediately abolish the coerced residential (boarding) school system imposed on Tibetan children, as well as allowing private Tibetan schools to be established. The Committee also recommends that the State party ensure that Mandarin is not the only language allowed as the language of instruction vis-à-vis ethnic minorities and peoples.”
- https://time.com/6253481/china-tibet-million-children-separated-residential-schools/ https://www.newsweek.com/china-tibet-human-rights-culture-language-1786558