Education has changed not only my own life: Kelsang Dekyi - Politics - Tibetol

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Education has changed not only my own life: Kelsang Dekyi
By:China Tibet Online
update:March 16,2018

Mar. 16, 2018 -- Kelsang Dekyi, a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress from southwest China's Tibet, was born in 1978, the beginning of an era in which she could rely on knowledge to change her destiny.

Kelsang Dekyi grew up in Gendang Village, Bangxin Township, Medog County, which was once a remote, poverty-stricken, and information-poor area.

She comes from a family with five members, including her father, mother, and two younger brothers. When she was seven years old, she began attending a private primary school. At that time, the school curriculum consisted of only Chinese, Tibetan language, and mathematics. Because the teaching materials were incomplete and teachers were scarce, the dozen children used the first and second grade textbooks over and over.

"Our school building was very poor; teachers and students had to pick grass to cover the roof. The grass was taller than we were, so when we were walking back we'd often trip, and we often had our hands cut. However, if we didn't pick the grass, we couldn't cover the roof, and rainwater would leak into the classroom," Kelsang Dekyi recalled.
Since 1984, the central government began opening ethnic schools and Tibet classes (classes made up of Tibetan students) in places like Beijing and Shanghai in order to strengthen the cultivation of educational talent from Tibet. The state also increased funding for education in Tibet.

In 1989, Kelsang Dekyi began to enjoy free education. With a stable learning environment, she studied particularly hard. In 2001, after graduating from an ethnic college, she was offered the opportunity to work in Lhasa, capital city of Tibet, but she turned it down to return to her hometown as a village teacher.

Kelsang Dekyi said, "My childhood, my memories, my faith, and my dreams were all in my hometown."

The Bangxin Township Primary School was no longer the same as it had been when she was a student.

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