Tibet education spending up significantly in past decades

The government in southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region has significantly increased its spending on education in the past decades.

In 2014, over 99.5 percent of school age children were admitted to primary schools, while only about 2 percent of kids received elementary education before 1955, the year when Tibet began democratic reform that ended the feudal serf system.


Pumaqangtang Primary School in Tibet is billed as the world’s highest altitude elementary school.

Located more than 5,300 meters above sea level, the school was kept to a minimum scale in the early years after its establishment.

In recent years, with increased support from the government, the school has seen a steady improvement in its facilities.

SOUNDBITE(CHINESE) MIGYUR, Principal of Pumaqangtang school:
“The school was built in 1986. At that time, there were only three teachers. The conditions gradually improved after 2002, with increased funding from the government. Now we have computer classrooms and air conditioning is fixed to each classroom.”

Official data show, the government in Tibet spent nearly 2.2 billion U.S. dollars in education in 2014, about 18 times the expenditure in the year 2000.

Now, schools not only have better facilities…

The government initiated a program to offer free board and lodging, as well as covering tuition for students from farming and pastoral communities in 1985.

From this fall, the average yearly spending on each student will again be increased to 3,000 yuan.

“In our school, we do not have to pay for anything except for printed study materials. We help each other and are very happy.”

An average child in Tibet can receive 15 years of free compulsory education, from kindergarten to senior high, while in other parts of China, free education is offered for only nine years.

Leave a Comment