Tibet provides legal education to monks

By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/25 20:18:40

Monks in Southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region play a mobile game on WeChat to learn about laws. Photo: courtesy of Tibet Autonomous Region's justice department.

The Tibet regional government is encouraging Tibetan monks and nuns to learn about the laws, a move experts hailed as using education to raise local people's legal awareness.

Professional working teams organized by the regional department of justice taught the monks about legislation and law enforcement in the region, according to a government report released by Tibet's department of justice on Wednesday.

Teams are composed of prestigious monks, legal professionals and officials that were dispatched to temples, the department said.

Xiong Kunxin, a professor at Tibet University in Lhasa, told the Global Times on Thursday that education about legislation and law enforcement was weak in this region because some Buddhist practitioners consider themselves as people beyond judicial reach.

Team members are fluent in Putonghua and Tibetan language as well as ethnic and religious policies, which guarantee the efficiency and quality of the education.

The working teams addressed the language problem, which Xiong noted as the greatest obstacle to teaching law to residents in Tibet.

We should not be satisfied with the progress and bilingual teams should expand their work to a wider audience, Xiong said, noting that Tibetan Buddhists from Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces speak a dialect and may still find it difficult understanding these courses.

The regional government also used digital tools. A game which runs on instant messaging app WeChat incorporated legal knowledge relevant to daily life, and users can scan a QR code to play it.

A government report said over 1.8 million people have played the game. 

"Multimedia and illustrated displays of legal knowledge engage people better than a didactic approach, Xiong said.

The regional government also used cultural activities, including a calligraphy contest, riddle guessing games, and collective morning reading to mobilize more monks and nuns.

"Spreading legal knowledge will help the Buddhists live in a society under the rule of law, and enhance regional stability and ethnic unity," Xiong noted.

Management of Tibetan monks in temples used to be loose, with many migrant Buddhists from all over the country staying at Tibetan temples without being registered and were beyond the temple's supervision, Xiong said.

More than 24,000 people participated in 923 lectures on the Constitution and other laws, with almost 70,000 brochures distributed in a campaign promoting legal awareness among monks in March, the department said.  

Newspaper headline: Tibetan monks get legal education

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