Dharamshala: Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama today opened the Fifth Tibetan General Conference on Education, which is organized by the Department Of Education, based in Dharamsala. The 3-day conference will discuss Tibetan education, specifically the basic education system. There are 241 attendees, including teachers and principals from 85 Tibetan schools in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
His Holiness said that he is proud of Tibetans’ educational development over the last few decades. He stated the during the "last 50 years in exile, Tibetan education has greatly developed, and that is our greatest achievement—although there were some difficulties and failures. But, as Buddha started his teachings on suffering from the Four Noble Truths, we should follow this teachings to find the method and solution."
The 74 year-old Nobel Laureate also expressed his idea that the Buddhist culture which has gradually blossomed from Buddhism can help the Earth’s six billion people to live in a more peaceful and nonviolent manner. He said, "What I call Buddhist culture, as a culture of peace, nonviolence and compassion that is deeply related to secular ethics; therefore, it is not for only a particular individual or society, but is very essential for leading a peaceful life without getting into rebirth and causality."
"Thinking in a wider perspective, we [Tibetans] have two main responsibilities," His Holiness continued. "One is to continue our true struggle for the Tibetan cause, and another is to preserve and spread Buddhist culture and Buddhism, as we are a part of the human beings on this earth, and Buddhist culture is also a part of world culture. If we look back into past, many modern scientists are also eventually getting more interested in investigating aspects of Buddhist psychology."
Buddhist philosophy had been aimed a main subject in Tibetan schools in the 1960s, but this didn’t continue. The Tibetan leader said, "Schools that have recently restarted Buddhist philosophy is a step; but, if we think upon the real development of Buddhist teachings, it must improve with strong contact with society as regarding the experiences of our old society." He stressed that in Tibetan schools, the Buddhist philosophical debate system must be integrated with academic studies, saying that it is very useful and essential for many fields including cultivating talent in business and other cases.
Thupten Lungrig, Tibetan Minister of Education, said that the 5th conference on education was also meant to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan exile community. The fourth Tibetan conference on education was held in 2003, and in addition, another Tibetan conference on education was held in 2005 with attendees of teachers, principals and directors from many of the same schools.
Guests at the conference included Tibetan prime minister Prof Samdhong Rinpoche, Speaker of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile, Penpa Tsering, and other members of Parliament and Tibetan exile government ministers.