By 2013, Bhutan’s school system should be GNH [Gross National Happiness]-engendered
Educating for GNH 11 December, 2009 – Around 541 school principals and representatives of the two teacher colleges in Bhutan will meet on January 20 to ensure that GNH values and principles are brought into the school system starting from the 2010 academic year.
The prime minister, Lyonchhoen Jigmi Y Thinley, the education minister, the education secretary and director of the royal education council made this proposal yesterday. They would also be participating in the seven-day workshop with the principals next month.
This particular action plan is based on what was discussed in “educating for GNH workshop” this week, according to the executive director of GPI Atlantic, Ronald Colman, who is assisting the education ministry to host the workshop. Continue reading On a fast track to fulfilment
5 December, 2009 – A class XI student in Thimphu, Dorji Tshomo Tshering, has been through this week reading up on gross national happiness (GNH) and the Bhutanese education system.
The 16-year-old science student is among the 28 Bhutanese participants and 25 international educators, who will take part in the six-day “Educating for GNH workshop” in Thimphu starting December 7.
Bhutanese and international participants will sit together to discuss very practically how GNH values can be brought into science, math, history, language and extra-curricular activities from pre-primary through post secondary education, according to education officials. Continue reading Bringing GNH to schools
The Non-Formal Education (NFE) Programme has changed the lives of countless number of illiterate adults in rural areas. For its success, this year it was awarded the Honourable Mention of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.
Ran Maya Subba, 12 came to Begana three years ago as a domestic helper to her aunt. She is from Patala village under Tsirang Dzongkhag. Shortly after her arrival, her aunt enrolled Ran Maya in the NFE centre at Begana.
Back in her village, she could not go to school as the nearest school is about three hours’ walk from her house.
She completed her post literacy course this year and is now attending the Khushuchen community primary school in class one. Continue reading Non Formal Education (NFE): A boon for the illiterates
Not just a helping hand but also a bridge back to mainstream society
The National Commission for Women and Children (NCWC), with support from Save The Children fund (SCF) will set up Bhutan’s first transitional shelter for children, who are homeless, abused, neglected, emotionally disturbed or face other difficult circumstances.
Called ‘Project Hope – putting children first’, the need for such a shelter, NCWC officials said, was felt after seeing increasing numbers of children begging in different parts of Thimphu and boys and girls being exploited as cheap labour.
For instance, about 15 boys, some as young as five years, at the Thimphu crematorium, beg daily or dive into the river to pick up money thrown with cremation ashes. Some of these boys live in the neighbourhood, while others are orphans, who seek refuge with their relatives at night.
There is also an increasing number of children begging at the vegetable market on weekends, say Thimphu residents.
Children as young as 10, to survive, also work at motor vehicle workshops and restaurants in Thimphu. Continue reading Shelter for homeless kids
Without boarding or teacher’s quarter facilities, it’s a 10 km hike back and forth
Going to school in remote Bhutan involves hours of walking. In Samcholing, Trongsa, it is not just some students either.
The 121 students and 10 teachers of the recently upgraded lower secondary school walk uphill for hours to their school without boarding or teacher’s quarter facilities. Located above the main Samcholing village, there is no settlement around for teachers to rent houses and all the 16 teaching and non-teaching staff walk five and half km every day to reach the school. Some students walk about 10 km.
The only female teacher in the school, Shoba G, stays in Kuengarabten. “I wake up at 5 am every morning and walk for an hour and a half to reach school,” she said.
The 2.7 km farm road that connects the school from the Trongsa-Zhemgang highway is not pliable.
Farmers of Samcholing, who live on a sharecropping system and own little land of their own, are not happy too. “We’re the least developed people and our children have no bordering facilities,” said a 52-year-old father. “If the school wasn’t in our village, our children would avail hostel facilities in Taktse middle secondary school,” said another villager. Continue reading Long haul to Samcholing school
Chasing arrows recycling symbol
– By Tobin Hack- (www.plentymag.com)
Q. I’ve raised my daughter to look carefully at recycling symbols and sort trash accordingly, but the other day she looked a little bit closer than I had expected and asked me who invented the three-arrow recycling symbol. I couldn’t answer her! Do you know? – Tim, AZ
A. Trivia! As reliable an information source as Wikipedia is, we went to the American Forest and Paper Association to answer your question. Turns out, the person you’re looking for is a guy named Gary Anderson. Here’s how it all went down: In 1970, the Container Corporation of America (CCA), the largest paper recycler at the time, was using recycled content to make its paperboard, and really wanted to brag about it… I mean, let consumers know. Continue reading Guess who invented the recycling symbol?
Phuensumgang Community Primary School – The school of hard knocks
Senior citizens and children alike suffer and sacrifice at the altar of education
|CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD? – Taking care of themselves and their education
A six-hour climb from Bhurchu, about 94 km away from Dagana proper, up on a hill, is Phuensumgang community primary school. Except for the Lajab gewog office, RNR centre and BHU, there is no settlement around. The nearest village is a two-hour walk away from the school.
But about 20 tiny, one-storey bamboo huts, located near the school, look like a village to any newcomer. These are the boarding hostels, constructed by parents of the 156 students in the school. In one of the huts, Kinzang Drakpa, 64, is making fern curry for his grandchildren, studying in classes four and two.
A retired soldier from Pemagatshel Shaligamong, Kinzang resettled a decade ago in Sipa village, two hours by foot from the school. In the absence of any school near the village and at his niece’s request, the lanky old man has spent the last few years in Phuensumgang school, cooking and looking after his niece’s children.
Kinzang spends his day collecting firewood and wild vegetables. “The children get breakfast and lunch from the school, so I only need to prepare their dinner,” he said. Continue reading The Cost of Education in Rural Bhutan
The only public library in town is so cramped, one has to worm one’s way around
A few steps away from the massive and modern Taj Tashi hotel, across the noisy six-lane upper Norzin Lam, lies an aged one-storied building. Its significance and, at the same time, unfortunate obscurity, becomes apparent after reading what’s written on a small sign that hangs over its door: “Jigme Dorje Wangchuck Public Library, 1979.”
While larger modern buildings, that house snooker rooms and bars, video game parlors, video rental stores, dance clubs and other social entertainment venues sprout all around it, Bhutan’s sole public lending library continues to languish in the same building it has occupied since 1985. Continue reading The low priority library
An interim rehabilitation centre will open next month while the proposal for the first fully equipped rehabilitation centre at Gidakom gets approved, say officials from the youth development fund (YDF) and Bhutan narcotics control agency (BNCA).
The one-year interim rehab centre will function in a rented house in Thimphu with 40 patients. A programme coordinator, an addiction expert and four counselors, who are presently undergoing training in India, will make up the staff. The rehab will be jointly run by YDF and BNCA. Continue reading Bhutan Government go-slow holds up rehab