A day-long meeting of Tibetan school administrators is underway to discuss safety and security of students, especially girls, in Tibetan schools. Administrators from four major Tibetan schools including the Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV), Tibetan Homes Foundation (THF), Snow Lion Foundation, Nepal and Sambhota schools, along with officials from the Department of Education are taking part in the meeting.
Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, in his inaugural address, underlined the immense importance the Kashag places on gender equality and women empowerment in Tibetan society particularly the safety and security of the girl-child in Tibetan schools.
Sikyong severely condemned the incident in Gopalpur school where a minor girl was sexually assaulted by a school staff. He urged the school authorities to pre-empt such incidents.
Sikyong added that such shameful incidents create an impediment to the usually favourable narrative associated with the Tibetan community. “Tibetans are known for their humility, integrity and resilience. The world supports the Tibetan cause because of these honourable virtues. If such incidents keep on happening, it would not only disgrace the Tibetan community but also harm the good name of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” he said.
Sikyong assured the strictest possible measures to curb such incidents in the future, and urged that there would be zero-tolerance towards such incidents. “The culprits would be directly reported to the police without any hesitation. The benefit of doubt in such circumstances would be given to the child as they are supposed to be under the care and purview of the school staff,” he said.
Sikyong also announced a guideline published by the Kashag to create a sexual-assault free Tibetan society, to emphasise the Kashag’s attention towards the matter.
Besides sexual assault, the day-long administrators’ meeting will also discuss substance abuse in Tibetan schools and the Kashag’s novel policy towards families with more than three children.