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

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

Page: 1 2 3

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