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A school of high endeavor

By Xu Lin | China Daily | Updated: 2021-07-28 08:58
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A Living Buddha takes a language class at the institute. [Photo by WANG ZHUANGFEI/CHINA DAILY]

The Tibetan Buddhist Institute is training young monks and nuns in an atmosphere of study and discipline, Xu Lin reports in Lhasa.

Eight Tibetan monks, aged from 7 to 11, are taking a liberal arts class. It's part of their daily routine that includes other subjects such as Tibetan and Chinese languages, and mathematics.

They are Tibetan Living Buddhas, receiving their education at the Tibetan Buddhist Institute in Lhasa, Xizang autonomous region.

"When I first came here a year ago, I was too shy to talk to others. But now I've made many friends and I enjoy my life here," says Losang Sherab, a 9-year-old Living Buddha from Lijiang city, Yunnan province.

For Living Buddhas aged below 16, the institute offers courses that combine Buddhism studies and China's nine-year compulsory education.

Their study includes two phases. The first involves 20 percent Buddhism courses and 80 percent primary school courses. Following that, the ratio changes to 30 percent Buddhism courses and 70 percent junior middle school courses. Teachers from Lhasa's best primary and junior middle schools are invited to teach them.

"The education mode is suitable for the growth of the young Living Buddhas. They're endowed with intelligence and wit, and learn very fast. They have to recite many Buddhist scriptures," the institute's vice-president Kelzang Wangdu says.

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