The Department of Education is organising for the first time a symposium on dialectics for students from Himachal and Ladakh at Sambhota Tibetan school in Chauntra near Dharamsala from 27 August – 1 September. Students and religious teachers, including 33 boys, 33 girls and 11 teachers, from six TCV, three CST and two Sambhota schools, participated in the symposium.
The symposium was inaugurated by Geshe Lobsang Dawa, a teacher at the Institute of Buddhist Dialetics. The settlement officer, members of local Tibetan assembly, directors, principals and headmasters of Tibetan schools, attended the opening ceremony.
In his opening address, Education Officer Tsering Samdup said: “A sustainable implementation and development of dialetics as teaching methodology in the Tibetan schools are His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s vision and one of the quintessential part of the 14th Kashag’s numerous educational initiatives.”
Greater emphasis would be laid on teaching different subject through dialectics in
the schools, he said adding, it was introduced not to compete with traditional dialectical conventions in the monastic institutions, but as a novel way to promote educational exchange between the schools.
Two students each from TCV Suja, CST Shimla, and Sambhota school Chauntra, took part in a dialectical debate on Tibetan language, mathematics and science, followed by a debate among the teachers of the host school. The principle of Sambhota school Chauntra, Dhondup Dorjee, spoke about the efforts being made by the school on dialectics, adding that students passing out of this school act as proficient assistants to religious teachers in other schools.
In his address, Geshe Lobsang Dawa spoke about the genesis of dialectics in Tibet and described dialectics as an indispensible factor to make our students a qualified person, pure Tibetan and perfect Buddhist.
He said dialectics helps us to realise knowledge and wisdom in its entirety and it also acts a vital factor in leading one’s life. The wisdom and faith gained out of dialectics remain unshaken and long-lasting, he added.
He said earlier he viewed dialectics in school as a way of memorisation, adding, now I witnessed a high level of confidence among students in the foundation of dialectics. Praising the progress by students and teachers in the field of dialectics, he urged them to make further efforts and take interest in this field.
During the course of the 6-day symposium, students from other schools will attend their classes in the host school and gain experience in educational exchange from 9:00 am – 1:15 pm. They will engage in dialectics with students and take vows to learn the standard of dialetics of the host school from 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm. There will be dialetical debate among students from other schools from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. The students will devote 15 minutes every morning to debate on Tibetan language, mathematics, science and social science.
The education department said it would hold similar symposiums at four different zones – (1) 11 schools in Himachal and Ladakh in August, (2) 8 schools in and around Mussorie in October, (3) 10 schools in southern India and (4) 14 schools in and around Darjeeling and Nepal in 2013.