This study discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the teaching models currently in use in secondary schools in Rebgong, (Ch. Tongren) in Malho (rMma lho) Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province, P.R. China. Even though the education system in Rebgong is relatively developed in terms of the modernization of facilities and the number of schools, there are still many problems and challenges. This is particularly the case with regard to the system of bilingual education and the implementation of government educational policies. There is still no common framework for bilingual education in Tibetan secondary schools, or even a decision about which bilingual teaching model should be followed. This ambiguity in policy towards local bilingual education raises a number of important questions, but little research has been done on its effects.
The thesis starts with a brief presentation of the contemporary educational system for minorities in China, and points to some of the common problems and challenges in the implementation of educational policies. Issues such as the language of instruction, need for qualified teachers, quality of the textbooks, and the level of students’ performances during exams will then be discussed in the context of bilingual education in Rebgong. The two different bilingual education models in Regbong secondary schools will be assessed through an examination of the students’ attainment during the zhongkao and gaokao exams. Then, the main arguments provided by students, parents and teachers regarding the choice of bilingual education model will be presented. Finally, some reflections will be made on the actual implementation of the two models. An educational system that takes local traditional culture, educational history, and local reality into proper consideration is vital for improving the level of Rebgong modern education and developing Rebgong society both economically and culturally.