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23 November 2012 001Dharamshala: On November 23, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) launched the Tibet Education Project (TEP), a two-year programme funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to help improve educational opportunities for Tibetan refugee students in India and Nepal.

The launch followed USAID's award of $2 million to the Tibet Fund in September to implement TEP.

The programme will involve close cooperation with the CTA's Department of Education to address critical education needs prioritized by Sikyong (political leader) Dr Lobsang Sangay.

"This new initiative will provide a significant boost in strengthening the overall Tibetan education system," said Dr Sangay, "and provide much needed resources to realize some of the core educational goals of my administration.

"I want to thank USAID, Under-secretary Maria Otero and the Office of the Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues for making this programme possible."

The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Bill Hammink, USAID Mission Director in India, Sang Lee, USAID Agreement Officer representative, Rinchen Dharlo, President of the Tibet Fund, Bob Ankerson, Vice-president of Tibet Fund, and senior officials of the Department of Education.

The TEP seeks to revitalize Tibetan settlements in India and Nepal by strengthening the Tibetan education system in innovative, replicable ways that equip young Tibetans to succeed in modern professions while sustaining their unique identity and culture.

The project will focus on teacher training, scholarships, and the counselling programme, prioritise science, technology, engineering and maths, provide test coaching for secondary school students and improve educational management.