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3.Private Education


This kind of education was divided into two parts. One way was that feudal lords, noble families, officials and businessmen employed tutors to teach at home; the other referred to private schools located in major cities and towns. Tutors and private school teachers were those who were good at Tibetan. Students included children of noble families, rich people and businessmen as well as family servants specially charged to serve the former. Private school eventually became large in scale. In the early period of the 1840 Opium War, there were some 10 private schools in Lhasa, Xigaze, Gyangze and some other places. During the period of the Republic of China, such schools numbered nearly 100. Their students learned to recite Buddhist scriptures, to read and write and to count. In the later period, their curriculum included letter, document, and treaty writing.

In the classroom, students sat on the floor, holding a wooden board with one hand and writing with a bamboo pen. They learned to count with stones or shells. The teachers evaluated students' result one by one, and arranged their names in the order of their scores. The teachers had a unique method of punishment: the first student in the list was given a thin bamboo clapper to pluck once in the second student's face; the second one plucked twice in the face of the third; the third did the same three times to the fourth, and so on until the last student who suffered most. School students often had to do housework for their teachers, and gave them presents from time to time.

Such private schools, as auxiliaries supplementing the work of the public school, mainly provided with primary education. But in a period when education had yet to be popularized, it occupied an important position in Tibet's educational undertakings.

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