Skip to main content

Five days a week, please


Photo: http://www.dailymail.co.uk
Unlike in the past this year His Majesty’s 32nd Birth Anniversary (February 21 – 23, 2012) and Losar of Water Male Dragon Year (February 22-23, 2012) coincided. It was nice that two happy occasions happened to fall on the same day. Realizing that the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs, Royal Government of Bhutan declared “24th February, 2012 as a public holiday.”

And unfortunately the day fell on Friday. For civil servants, Saturday is a day off. But not for many corporate and private employees- even teachers (although civil servants fall in this group!) Many, including me, felt that public holiday on February 24, 2012 was declared solely for civil servants in mind and with no consideration what so ever for the “others”.

Everywhere, teaching is considered a very noble profession, but the statement is debatable when we talk of it in Bhutan. Here, it is a profession, which many opt out of choice-less choice. No offense to our teachers! Of course you are right, there are many teachers out there, who have opted for teaching out of sheer love of teaching and educating children. And there are others who initially join the profession with no interest, but later loved to teach. So, why is teaching no more noble, at least in Bhutan?

Well, I don’t know how our teachers feel about this, but I am uncomfortable with the fact that our teachers fall under the purview of RCSC. Let’s leave the reason why teachers should be independent of RSCC is a topic for another post. And unlike their cousins in the ministries or dzongkhag administrations, our teachers work half days even on Saturdays.

Now we our schools open as early as February 15 in the year. Back then it used to be March 10. And this is what I think it should be. Since we start schools early now, we should even think of having a day off on Saturdays. But the day off should not be thought as an idle time.
Photo: From Penstar collection

I see schools around the country using this time for the promotion of games and sports; it is time when our children are encouraged to do what they do best – music, writing, reading, carry out acting classes, art, photography, designing, singing, dancing – all these skills that would earn them rice later; this is when our teachers can have time to teach our children creative writings, which is something that never happens in Bhutanese schools; this is the best time for our children to engage in political, social, religious, etc. debates. And it is also good time for our children voluntarily carry out some socially beneficial projects. 

This way our children have a complete and undisturbed rest on Sundays. When we start early, I don't see why we cannot meet the instructional days of 180. Schools in the west do well with just five days a week and Saturdays are dedicated for such aforementioned activities. 

And what about those corporate employees, don't they deserve a day off on Saturdays too?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Community of Bhutanese Bloggers Conceived

And finally it happened. I must say that it was by far the most attended Bloggers Meet. In the past we had bloggers agree to attend and cancel at the very last minute. But on June 24, 2015 – almost 100% of bloggers, who confirmed came. I would like to thank everyone for keeping his/her words, especially those who had to come all the way from Wangdue or Paro. Thank you! 35 Bhutanese bloggers met in Thimphu. We were honored to have the presence of senior bloggers like Aue Yeshi Dorji and Dasho Sangay Khandu. The meeting assumed more significance because of their presence. Equally, we were happy to have many young bloggers in whom we see so much enthusiasm and potential. On top of many things that transpired during the Meet, one of the most significant outcomes was the unanimous decision reached to form a formal group of bloggers, a platform aimed at encouraging and inspiring more bloggers around the country. The members decided that we will call it Community of Bhutanese Blogger

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Academic Block Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro. Dinning Hall I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school! Hostel Room The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that

When they are ready

The Ministry of Education discovered 890 'underage' children admitted in schools across the country in 2019. Thus, the ministry in May 2019 issued a notification revoking the admission for these children.  Majority were in urban centres.  Desperate, parents and the affected schools requested the government to intervene. They also requested the government to consider lowering the enrolment age to five years.  Currently, in Bhutan a child can legally go to school only when s(he) is six years old.  And that policy was strictly followed a few years ago to the extent that some schools refused to admit children even if they were short of a few weeks. So, parents, mostly in urban areas, resorted to faking their children's ages. Many parents were guilty of adding years onto their children's actual ages. However, most parents, we are told, managed to correct their 'mistakes' later.  Faking a child's age was rampant both in government and private schools.