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Showing posts from November, 2010

Just this once

For once can we be nice to ourselves? For once can we please ourselves? For once can we do things for ourselves? Just this once not thinking of others! This doing-for-others-and-pleasing-them mentality begins at home. Before a guest is expected, we clean our rooms; wipe cobwebs, shine our window panes and maybe if we have it spray room-sprays.
Then at schools, we whitewash dirty walls, clean smelly toilets, clear up clogged drains and so on. And when important guests visit schools, students are served better meals, library rooms are well arranged, computer labs are replaced with PCs that function, flower gardens are wonderfully weeded, and children’s uniforms are neater and shinier.
Then when an important bureaucrat blesses a village with a visit, a mule track is widened, bridges are revamped, farmers wear cleaner clothes and horses look stronger to carry the important guest.
And there are so many occasions where we do things for others. Let’s not forget the lavish birthday parties, e…

Beyond Alphabets

It is nothing new. I am trying to teach English alphabets to my almost three-month-old daughter. She did well. On the first day, she could utter only a few vowels, but the progress has been good.  A, E, and O are her favorite alphabets. There are a few alphabets she purposefully refuses to say aloud with me. There are many, but I want to talk of only one today and give my interpretations. The letter C. From the look of her eyes, she is clearly disgusted. And I am sure you will mock at my assumptions, but as a father, I have a right to interpret my daughter’s wisdom.

It has been there ever since the beginning; as old as the mankind. Naturally, it is human tendency to think of someone who does a little good things to us or speaks kindly of us, we think he/she is a nice person. And everyone has weakness to nice persons. All family members and friends are nice people to everyone. Obviously nice people are to be treated well. And when you are a person in a high position, you have people l…

Books or Bars: what thrives on Bhutanese soil?

Another National Book Fair was held in Thimphu this week. It was launched by the Minister of Education Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyel. But the organizers grumbled that not many people are interested in buying books. That’s not a new thing by the way. In his address, Bhutanese media quotes Lyonpo Thakur as saying that he wishes for equal number of bookstalls as there are bars in the town.  We know that it will take another two hundred or so years for that honorable dream to turn into reality, only if something dramatic happens.

Exactly a year ago, a bookshop in Phuentsholing was shut down, providing space for the coming of a shoe store. What is the point of running a business that does not do well? Why run a shop that only a handful of customers step in to browse? Maybe the shop owner thought that that was not how best she could feed her family.
Statistics tells us that seventy percent (or more) of Bhutanese population lives in the villages and this means that seventy percent of our yout…

Let's Spell Wholesome Education

Another week is up and gone. It is time for another episode of Supper Spellers – spell it right on BBS TV. Watching the show against the backdrop of lazy and less eventful Sunday is a testimony to many things about our schools, students, teachers and the quality of education in Bhutanese schools, if being able to spell some English words correctly is any indication. It is a clear direction as to where our education system is headed and observers are left with the revelation that gap actually exists between schools in remote and urban areas. Of course for now the show is only for students of Thimphu, but we can already imagine what would be the state of things if their cousins in remote schools are made to compete with them.
Let’s spell three things correctly here – education, experience and exposure all that describe our education system. It has been years now since the deteriorating quality of education has become the big talk of this small nation. And rightly so! As a parent I want m…
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