Navigation Links
Quest for education creating graying ghost towns at top of the world
Date:6/18/2014

Ethnic Tibetan communities in Nepal's highlands are rapidly shrinking as more parents send their children away for a better education and modern careers, a trend that threatens to create a region of graying ghost towns at the top of the world, according to a study that includes Dartmouth College.

The findings, which have major social and demographic implications for the Himalayan region, appear in the journal Mountain Research and Development. A PDF of the study is available on request.

Taken together, the outmigration of young people, a low birth rate and population aging raises the specter of a massive population decline that has already exceeded 30 percent in the past decade in some communities, says study co-author Dartmouth Associate Professor Sienna Craig. The study predicts a further population decline of 50 percent to 60 percent in the next decade, a trend not likely to be slowed by tourism, niche agriculture or other potential economic opportunities that might prompt the "educational migrants" to return to their native homes.

Population decline in poor, rural or mountainous regions of the world isn't new, but this is perhaps the first documented case where large-scale outmigration is driven not by disease, famine, war, colonial policies, forced assimilation and manual labor markets, but by parental quest to improve their very young children's education. That seemingly temporary choice often leads to permanent relocation when those children grow up and with their parents' support seek professional careers in urban settings that they have become accustomed to in Nepal, India and further abroad.

The outmigration stems from the 1960s when China's Cultural Revolution closed Tibet's monasteries where many rural children were educated, prompting the monasteries and an estimated 100,000 Tibetans to flee to Nepal and India. Once there, the monastery boarding schools reopened in urban areas along with new secular boarding schools operated by the exiles. As Buddhists, Tibetans hold low status in the Hindu caste system and are economically and politically marginalized to the point that Nepal's national government has never developed basic services such educational and healthcare systems.

The researchers conducted household demographic and economic surveys in three villages in highland valleys of Nepal along the border of the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. The residents, who descend from ethnic Tibetans who migrated from the Tibetan Plateau at least 700 years ago, are subsistence farmers, herders and traders. The researchers found the religious and secular schools which now include at least 24 monasteries, 15 convents and 35 boarding schools in Kathmandu and other cities in Nepal and India are seen by ethnic Tibetan highland parents as a way to give their children a "Tibetan" education that leads to social and economic advancement in urban areas abroad.

Previous studies on Tibetan migration and fertility have focused on migrants in their places of destination, but little research has been done on migration's impact on fertility in the sending areas. In the new study, researchers found that nearly 70 percent of females ages 15-19 live away from their native villages, the vast majority in boarding schools or convents. Among women ages 20-29 (typically the highest fertility group) who are educational migrants, relatively few are married and having children, while many have become nuns. Previous studies have shown that population growth in ethnically Tibetan communities traditionally has been moderated by a high rate of female non-marriage as a result of religious celibacy and fraternal polyandry (the practice in which two or more brothers take a common wife), a moderate level of marital fertility, high non-marital fertility and high infant and childhood mortality.

The outmigration trend runs contrary to previous concerns over population growth in Nepal as a whole, which has remained significant at a rate of 1.35 percent a year during the last decade. But previous studies show that total population data in the Himalayan region mask considerable local variation in the highest-altitude settlements populated by ethnic Tibetans.


'/>"/>

Contact: John Cramer
John.Cramer@Dartmouth.edu
603-646-9130
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. In the quest for safer treatment for systemic lupus erythematosus
2. Charity funding study brings alcohol industry influence on UK policy into question
3. Five-question clinical tool the first to help screen risk of violence in military veterans
4. JAX cancer researchers awarded NCI provocative questions grants
5. Questions raised about physio for hip osteoarthritis
6. Large panel genetic testing produces more questions than answers in breast cancer
7. Study findings question benefit of additional imaging before cancer surgery
8. Obsessive-compulsive disorder questionnaire may give clues to other mental health problems
9. Experts question routine mammograms in elderly
10. Patient requests for specific drugs have major impact on prescribing, reports study in Medical Care
11. Novel vaccine trial design aims to answer key TB questions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Quest for education creating graying ghost towns at top of the world
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, ... Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility ... home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Many ... been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not only ... approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a pregnancy. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Viejo, California (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... to fit their specific project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. ... fully customizable and all within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June ... about the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, ... individuals who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... the patients with kidney failure, it replaces the function of ... patient,s blood and thus the treatment helps to keep the ... balance. Increasing number of ESRD patients & ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: