Tibetan Parliament approves Dr Pema Yangchen as new Education Kalon

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, March 21: The 16th Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile (TPIE) today approved Dr Pema Yangchen, President Sangay’s nomination for the post of Education Kalon (Minister) of the 15th Kashag (Cabinet).

Dr Pema Yangchen

As Sikyong Sangay announced Dr Pema Yangchen’s nomination as the new Kalon of CTA’s 15th Kashag,  MP Dawa Phunkyi objected to the nominee. Following which President Sangay highlighted her expertise in the education field spanning over two decades and the urgent need for an Education Kalon as CTA is taking charge of schools from the Indian government. The Speaker then opened the floor for voting to determine the approval of the kalon nominee by the legislature.

With 26 approval votes, 15 disapproval votes and 3 neutral votes, Dr Pema Yangchen’s nomination was approved by a majority vote by the Tibetan legislators.

Dr Pema Yangchen, a former Vice-Principal of Dalai Lama Institute of Higher Studies, Bangalore is the lone female Kalon in the 15th Kashag. Though Sharling Dadon’s nomination was approved by a majority vote by the Tibetan legislators on June 1, 2016, two days later, President Sangay had to withdraw her from his cabinet for not meeting the minimum age required for the office.

Dr Pema Yangchen completed her B.A. (Honors) in English Literature from Delhi University in 1993 and B.Ed from Madras University in 1996. Following which she taught at TCV Suja till 2001.

In 2003, she completed her M.A. in TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) from the University of Northern Iowa, USA and completed her Ed. D. (Doctor of Education) in Curriculum & Instruction from the same university in 2009.

Dr Pema Yangchen was awarded the ‘Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award’ by the University of Northern Iowa for her dissertation titled ‘Teacher Learning in a Tibetan School in Exile: A Community of Practice Perspective’.

She served as the English lecturer and co-chair of the Board of Examinations of the Dalai Lama Institute for Higher Education in Bangalore from 2009- 2012 and the Vice-Principal of the institute from 2012-2016.

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