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flash1309102765Dharamshala: Mr Wangdu Phuntsok Gonsar, pioneer of the exile Tibetan education system and member of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), has passed away unexpectedly, on August 5 2010.

He will be missed by many, particularly the large community of students and teachers he worked with, and to whose lives he made such a difference.

Born 24 February 1954 in Yanor, Shelkar, western Tibet, Mr Wangdu came to India as an exile and was one of the few Tibetan students to receive a scholarship to attend the Branleigh Towers Cambridge Academy. He later graduated from Sherwood College in Nainital in 1973. He received a Bachelor of Arts in 1978 and a Master of Arts in 1996 from the Delhi University.

Between 1977 and 1989 he worked as a project coordinator then assistant director at the SOS Tibetan Homes Foundation, Mussoorie, India.

In 1993, Mr Wangdu was deputed as director of what is now the Namgyal Higher Secondary School, where his dedication and leadership saw it rise from tentative beginnings to one of Nepal's top-ranking schools.

He also worked tirelessly outside of his professionial life, giving time and energy to a range of projects in education, the environment and social welfare.

Mr Wangdu was the recipient of numerous awards and certificates from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the departments of Education, Religion-and-Culture, and Health, the Central Tibetan Administration, and various other institutions and organizations.

Mr Wangdu Phuntsok Gonsar is survived by his wife Chemi Dolkar Gonsar, sons Tenzin Sonam Gonsar and Palden Dorji Gonsar, and daughter Ngawang Youdon Gonsar.

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