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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Workshop for Tibetan Schools' Teacher Counselors Gets Underway

August 20, 2010

Tsering Phuntsok, Education officer
Department of Education
Central Tibetan Administration (CTA)
August 17, 2010

Dharamshala -- The Department of Education of the
Central Tibetan Administration is conducting a
workshop for teacher counselors beginning from 16
August at the College for Higher Tibetan Studies,
Sarah near Dharamsala. It will last for five days until 20 August 2010.

Twenty-five teachers are participating in the
workshop where 14 are from schools under Central
Tibetan Schools Administration, 7 are from
Sambhota Tibetan Schools Society, 3 from Tibetan
schools in Nepal and one from College for Higher Tibetan Studies, Sarah.

Ms Donkar Wangmo, Chief Counselor, Department of
Education welcomed the participants. In her
speech, she highlighted the need and the
importance of the workshop. She emphasised that
the topics which would be covered during this
workshop is very much the issues that the
teachers and parents are concerned of in the community.

After the self-introduction of the participants,
Chief Guest Ven. Karma G Yuthok, Secretary of
Department of Education, spoke on the importance
of traditional multi-task role of teachers in
taking care of the overall development of the
students instead of limiting the teacher's job to
teach a particular subject. He further elaborated
on the effectiveness of the counseling programme
if both traditional and western philosophy are
incorporated together for practice.

Ven Karma G Yuthok made very clear to the
participants that the Department of Education
will have a chief counselor at the head office
and three resident counselors located in North,
East and South India, as well as one in Nepal.

As these professionals would not be enough to
cater to all the students, so he strongly called
upon the school heads to recruit professional
counselors by the schools themselves since the
need and importance of counseling for students
was strongly expressed and agreed upon during the opening conference.

Resource persons, Dr (Ms) Gayitri Bhatt and Ms
Maitri Gopalakrishna of Parivarthan Center for
Counseling, Training and Research Center,
Bangalore will cover the first three days of the
workshop with topics such as counseling skills,
child developmental stages, understanding how to
relate with adolescents, substance use and abuse.

Ms Sonam Dechen, Associate Director, Tibetan
Center for Conflict Resolution, will talk on
'Conflicts in schools and intervention' while Ms.
Donkar Wangmo, Chief Counselor, Department of
Education will take two sessions on 'Bullying in
schools: types and intervention, and
understanding child sexual abuse'. Finally, Ms.
Sonam Pelmo, Volunteer Counselor, Department of
Education will touch on 'Learning disabilities: types and symptoms'.

Methods employed in the workshop are practical
discussion, interactive, lecture, power-point
presentation, group work, role play etc.
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