Thursday, March 16, 2017

Smacking Sense in People!

I write my frustrations and thrash it for readers like you to read but trust me when I write my troubles down, I am relieved and writing significantly reduces my troubles.

Here’s another episode of my experiences that I undergo on a daily basis. I live in place where greed has taken precedence over humanity. People can go to extremes to get their will done. For instance, if one is superior in whatever fields, colleagues don’t matter or for that matter, opinions. If a crowd of thirty unanimously agrees to one thing, these flabby superiors will take the opposite stand defending their opinions, ultimately their ego. One need not be a philosopher to infer that it is their ego speaking with shallow pride. And of course they aren’t right. The remedy to avoid embarrassment is, ignore them and just make excuses not to be in their company. This works and avoids trouble after all one need not depend on the other for anything, for anything!

When people use others stuff its fine with them but when their stuff is being used it’s as if the crime branch people come knocking at your door. Only time tells of the people they really are, and until you know such people you are just a passerby. If they need help, they will leave no stone un-turned to make you help them. Such politicking can people be and I am sure you must be having these ones around you. Be careful, they aren’t the ones whom you think they are. 

The lure of power drives a decent human being to become a psychopath in seconds. Once power overrules judgment, that’s when you make enemies and even if you have friends they befriend you for the power you possess not for the human being in you. Also, take for instance in offices far and wide, one need to have someone known working in that office, otherwise your little work will take days because the person in charge of doing your work’s ego will be hurt if the work is instantly done. Just to make you realize how powerful he/she is, you will be given stupidly obvious excuses which even a three year old would comprehend.

Google Images
Morality is one principle which everyone propounds verbally with anecdotes and incidences and when need comes to them; corruption is the only refuge they seek. A very good friend of mine Rinchen remarked in one of the morning assemblies, “Not everyone who smiles are your friends.” How I wish the people I mentioned were all six year old spoiled brats so that I could spank some sense into them and make them human again.

As I mentioned in my opening lines, I am now reduced significantly in my embarrassment and the next time I meet these people, I will just greet them smilingly thinking of Rinchen’s lines.

“Not everyone who smiles are your friends.”

Good Day Folks!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Being a Student Again!

This is in continuation to my blog post of 11th May 2016 titled Dreaming before Thirty. I wrote about my three dreams that I wanted fulfilled before turning thirty and this update mentions of almost fulfilling my third dream-getting a Master’s Degree. In my previous update too, I have mentioned about how I wished my dream realized.

It was during the fall last year that I received a call from a friend of mine asking me to apply for the yearly TICA[i] scholarships. She knew I was eligible and had the prerequisite of qualifying for the scholarship. I was not really into qualifying but I had good degree marks. Getting ourselves a photocopy of all the documents, we submitted to our parent ministry and after a week of submitting the documents, she again called, of me getting shortlisted.

Excitement kicked in at the news and from then on, discussed so much on how to answer in an interview, sought help in the internet and so on. Finally on the big D- Day of my interview, I was the fourth candidate to be interviewed by a panel of five think tanks from various ministries and agencies. After answering pretty smartly to all their questions, I was acknowledged by the chair and wished me luck for the results. I smilingly thanked the panel and slipped out of the room.

Source: RCSC
School resumed for this year’s academic session and I went about my schooling duties. After 2 days of resuming, the news crashed in and half-hardheartedly browsed for my interview result only to be elated and excited for the very first time in my 10 years of professional life. You can only imagine how happy I am now and how I long to be a student again and immerse myself in the world of academics.

Guys! Wish me luck…

[i] Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Punishing the innocent…

“Lopen, Zhu Zhu” stopping my car was a lady traffic police.
Stopping I said,
“Gachi ina”.
“Mobile use bayday loh.”
“Gaghi lab deh” was my prompt reply. “Nga ghi thong yi”.

This incident took me by surprise a couple of weeks ago. I had my cell phone charged for almost four hours on my way back from Trongsa. Listening to some of my favorite songs I had forgotten about my phone and out of nowhere a lady appears accusing me of using mobile phone. As I was settling my differences with the lady, the other officer had already asked for my documents and handed me a pink receipt stating a violation. What the heck?  You can only imagine my temper and frustration there for doing nothing.

I had to wait in a long snaking line, the next day to get back what was deliberately taken from me and after paying a thousand Ngultrums of course.   Well I drive a small Alto. What about those cars whose audio system can be synchronized with a cell phone. People casually talk and drive. I have seen plenty. And for the men/women (traffic police) in blue, how are they monitoring such practices. And those using a Bluetooth headset, do they actually take notice of what that thing is.

On being uniformed blue with white stripes allover, these people think that are the king of the roads and talk to people with overpowering tones. Instead they look like clowns to me personally. Dear members of the traffic police, use some human decency to talk to drivers and people on the roads. I am sure you are being paid every month with rations included for your services. And your service is not to accuse people as if you bought them their cars.
Google Images

I travel every day to work and I see roads dotted with these blue people and every day I also see people talking merrily while driving and they don’t seem to notice. Are these people there to deliberately fine people or are they there to make our roads safer by fining the violators? Just a thought hoping that this update of mine would prick some sense into the much respected traffic people, with all due respect to those who are doing their services work fine. No pun intended!

Lastly but not the least, one person’s act should cloud my judgment on others but this has been the norm of everyday life since the beginning of time.
Happy Driving folks!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Ours is an autonomous agency: A Bhutanese Saying!

I made a phone call to an official in BCSEA, formerly BBE. (Bhutan Council for Secondary Examinations and Assessment) “Hello, I am Lobsang Nima and I am calling from LLSS, Thimphu. I want to inquire about how evaluators in English are selected for evaluation in the English subject. I have been teaching English for the last ten years and I haven’t been to an evaluation camp even once. Can you tell me what criteria must I meet for being eligible for such camp?” Quick came the reply,

“Sir we select teachers based on the subjects they teach (Never mentioned the criteria) especially those teachers who teach classes X and XII, indicating teachers from Lower Secondary schools and Primary schools aren’t eligible. Although, I am not saying teachers from LSS and PS aren’t capable and competent but if I do so. I will have to listen to a lot of criticisms from those who are teaching at the secondary level.” I thanked the person, conversation ended.

For information, BCSEA provides quotas to all schools for invigilation duties during the board exams and for Management works as I have heard are now given to the support staff to save on cost-TA/DA. A legitimate reason! In primary schools classes III and VI papers are evaluated in the school.

Google images
The Raison de tre for this particular update is, just for the fear of criticisms do you make phone calls to English teachers of secondary schools for evaluating English papers. This might surely be the case with other subjects, I don’t know. Perhaps, Bhutan might be the only country which takes ‘criticisms’ as all devil and negative. If secondary teachers teaching X and XII’s are eligible, how many of them do we have in Bhutan? All are teachers of MSS and HSS called for the evaluation? If not, how does the rest of the country know about what is happening during the winters in the hallowed walls and classrooms of CST, Rinchending? The question here is not about how many are called but how are they called? This is giving me a feeling that until now, only the near and known ones of the subject heads have been called. If this is so, I am surely worried about the credibility of the assessment done.

Perhaps, it’s time BCSEA floats this criteria like they float quotas for invigilation duties to the respective Dzongkhags and Thromdes for evaluators in secondary schools-no pun intended. When the rest of the country is working with accountability and transparency, one cannot defend saying, ours is an autonomous agency. This has become a clich├ęd saying-“Auntonomous bay ne dhi ghi, lakha Du.” “How lakha is in your hands!” BCSEA can set criteria for evaluation camp in different subjects and keep it open for teachers. This ‘Lakha Du’ of yours will take care of itself-my humble opinion. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Double Trouble- Vol. II( I never knew Love)

I was reading through an e-book in a borrowed Kindle Paper White and my thoughts suddenly went to my two sleeping daughters’ right beside me. I remembered parts of this poem and I still had difficulty tracking down the poet.  I read it on Facebook some years ago. After hours of browsing I finally came to the name Maurice Yvonne. It was like a wild goose chase in the internet. This poem best describes my love for my daughters. Some of the lines are of my own. With due respect to the poet...
Azhim 2
Azhim 1 
For every tear you shed from hurt
physical or emotional
For every tear you shed from shame
rightly or wrongly

My loves
my heart sheds a beat

I never knew love
 Azhims with Mom
Until I knew you
I love you both
from my tippy toes
to the peak
of my silver threads

Don't hurt my dears
But when you do
I will hold you tight
Encase your fears
Minimize the pain

And when my heart bleeds
or slightly feels a crack
It's because my daughters
your lives before mine.

I love you so much girls...

Monday, October 10, 2016

What and How...

This is an update of a different kind. I was registering myself for a program on the RIGSS website. For those of you who do not know what RIGSS is, its Royal Institute for Governance and strategic Studies. After the registration I was given a question to answer in 500-700 words. The system gives me two hours to answer this question in not more than 700 words. By the time I had done answering I still had 1 hour 29 minutes left. Thanks to my blogging experience. I don’t know if I have done justice with my reasoning but here it’s just for your reading pleasure.
Question: What can the education system do to make our youth develop into productive, responsible and efficient citizens of the future?

Thank you for the questions and I am elated to the extreme that I get the opportunity to answer to a question that relates to my professional life. Well, being a teacher means constantly engaging myself in thoughts that would make my pupils an educated and efficient citizens of the future. To cut short and delve into the question there are several factors and reasons that affect our youth in making them capable, responsible and educated citizens of Bhutan. Firstly,

1. Curriculum
As of now our curriculum is such that we invite people from the west who we consider 'consultants' and these consultants invite educationists from all school system in Bhutan, conduct a month long conference and then decide what is best for the children of Bhutan. We should be in a position to decide and maintain what is good for our own children not that an alien from the west decides what is suitable and best for the children of Bhutan. This is what has happened exactly to the English curriculum as a teacher myself. Children learn of all sorts of modern and contemporary literature forgetting the greatness of the classics. Thank god that from next year, English teachers like me can breathe a sigh of relief that the Bard, William Shakespeare will be introduced into English curriculum. Children learn from the knowledge of the past and to have a strong solid foundation in English language and literature. This is the very first step in making our youth capable of speaking and writing acceptable and correct English with confidence. Curriculum of the present should be reformed to suit the Bhutanese youth so as to make them proud, responsible and educated citizens of tomorrow, considering the confidence and English capability of some of our graduates today. 

2. System Support
Teachers all over Bhutan, even as I write this feel that there is very little support from the ministry and the RCSC. In the due course of educating and grooming our youth today, some teachers fall prey to abuse, criticisms and insults to the extreme of resigning from the Teachership. Some exceptional youth (Good as well as bad) make this happen to the teachers. In morality terms, who speaks about  good?  Even one's ultimate boss sees only the weaknesses in an employee. And for the good that one does for all these years, it's just a passing breeze commenting, "You are paid to do that". Teachers  walk the extra mile to make our youth very productive and efficient sometimes at the expense of one's personal family time only to be remarked on ones absentees from the school and the bad that you were involved years ago. If a teacher fights and raises some voice for the betterment of the youth in schools today, this move has to be in the good books of firstly the principal boss and several bosses above him or her. The current system of bureaucracy in the ministry of education particularly is so hassle-some that the teacher loses the motivation to work and perform. For those who made a mistake in a typical school, there are hordes of individuals and agencies right up to the ministry that this teacher must answer to but for those teachers who make the schools and youth proud, there is hardly anyone merely to say some appreciative words forgetting the momento(s) and awards. There is a serious problem as of now with the support that teachers get from the ministry of education let alone from the Principals of our schools today. This issue if taken care by the RCSC in particular, I bet you  teachers will perform miracles if not heartily groom the happy citizens of tomorrow. 

3. Leadership
A school in any corner of this world is defined by the principal leading that school. A school is a ship and principal its captain. All teachers and students are mere passengers. Together and only together they can sail towards destiny. Of late, I have heard of exceptional teachers not given a platform to perform in schools just because the principal belongs to some old school of thought. Prove me wrong if no such principals exist. There are plenty beginning from where I am now writing this piece. A leader must say 'Let’s go' not just 'Go' to achieve the vision what they had envisioned in beginning of the academic year. A school can be successful only if its principal is ethically and professionally correct in judgments whether be curricular or co-curricular, professional or personal on the teachers and students.

All of the three reasons above best justify my stand on what can the education system of Bhutan do to make the present generation of youth educated, responsible, productive and efficient citizens of tomorrow.

Thank You. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

My Double Trouble

My Trouble
After a day’s work when you think of having a power nap out of exhaustion the act of power napping is defeated by my kid who eagerly waits for me and even before I change she asks me, “Shoo Shoo” meaning pick her up in her usual temper tantrums. What is there to do next? Just listen and give in to her demands.
The Double Trouble

It’s a Sunday and you think of having a good baby sleep in the morning and again Tenzin wakes me up early calling “Papa (Loudly)… No No” meaning milk. She then holds my index finger and takes to me to the kitchen where I must pour her a bottle of milk.

A kid at home means double trouble for a dad like me...Two can only imagine the trouble. For all the troubles that my kids cause especially the elder one made me update this short verse. Happy reading!

Thank you god for
For the children of mine
Who teach me things
That blow my mind.
They entertain themselves
In the funniest ways.
I pray that the innocence
They possess never goes away.
I pray they will grow up
And be smart.
I pray they never feel alone.
I pray they will call home
Whenever near a phone.
And know that your dad
Will always be there. 

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Election Duty: Some Reminiscences

25th September

As obvious as it may seem to the readers, the recent LG Elections made headlines with voters exercising their franchise. I was deputed to one of the polling stations in south Thimphu. Khasadapchu MSS was the polling station where the largest numbers of voters (726) in Thimphu are enrolled.

The very first meal
25th of September was a wet day. In fact Thimphu was drenched beginning the 24th. In the rain, I and many others had to collect the EVM’s and other official papers before we moved to our respective polling stations. Arriving at the polling station, the hall was packed with plastic chairs and dusty floors. The first thing we did was arranged all the chairs and swept the huge floor. We then arranged a few tables for the poll day. We made our beds on the stage.

I had pre-arranged a large rice cooker, a curry cooker, some bowls and provisions for the nine of us in my team. We started cooking towards the evening. The huge hall had lots of tables besides the ones that we had already arranged. So Lopen Tshering and I arranged a small corner as dining table for the team. We ate broccoli stew, rice and boiled eggs with some pickles for dinner.

26th September 2016 

My Station
Waking up at 7 we washed our faces and by the time I woke up my security police –lopens had done preparing breakfast. After the meal, arranging of the machines and materials had to be done and this was the very reason why we had to be a day ahead at the polling station. The morning, we spent on making things ready and in the afternoon, some of us slept as we had difficulty sleeping in such a large hall.

27th September 2016

My team
Waking up early and getting ready was a mandate and after doing that we found ourselves conducting the mock poll before our team. After the mock poll, people were lining up even before 9 AM. Candidates had to be present during the mock poll but they weren’t around. A full day of voting gave us exactly 420 voters out of 726. We declared the results and reported it to the ECB and called our day off. The next day as I collected my perks for the duty, the amount freaked me out. I was underpaid. But nevertheless,  there was pleasure as well as pressure, so measure for measure, the pleasure far outweighed the pressure. 

Oh! How I missed my two little kids at home…there’s nothing like home be it under a bridge. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

What good is your Degree and Masters if you don’t have the decency to talk politely?

This morning at 10:33 am, I had a missed call from a landline number. I was in the class and couldn't hear the ring. Also, it is not expected to answer any calls while teaching. After the class at around 11:15 I saw it and made a return call. A man answered from the other end. I asked I missed the call because I was in the class and may I know who’s this? The answer came, “Ga ina mashey pa chin, ga lu call chap mo” (Why did you call if you don’t know who’s at the other end) and he put the phone down. I was like….what the heck?

Of no fault of mine I was answered rudely. I called back again and after a pretty long ring, someone answered. This time it was a lady. I told I was just asking which office is this because I got a missed call from this landline number. The lady replied saying sorry we don’t know who called but this is the Ministry of Education office. Then I introduced myself. I told her, I want to talk to the man who answered the phone earlier. She told me nothing about him. Instead she begged sorry on his behalf. You see now, one phone call  tarnished the image of people working in the MoE.

Firstly, I made a call because there was a missed call. Unmindful of being ignorant who called, I get an answer mocking me for calling. Secondly, a lady answers apologizing and being sorry for the man who answered my call. This isn’t a new thing and this ins’t the first time I am being answered rudely for no fault of mine. Why aren’t most civil servants polite over the phones? I am ashamed mentioning that I work for the MoE and people at the head office are so rude that they even don’t have the decency to be humble while answering a call.

To the man who answered my call, ‘What good is your degree/masters and exposure you got out of the training's abroad if you don’t have the decency to talk politely over the phone? You are a worm in the bureaucracy of ours and people like you eat away the hard work teachers like we put for this nation. And I am intimidated at the very fact, how did someone like you end up working in the Ministry when you don’t know the most basic of human functions-speech? Such people work for the Sherig Lhyenkhag.’

God bless us, because teachers far and wide may call to seek help but if the person speaking at the other end is like the one I mentioned, I will surely lose my motivation and faith in the Ministry for which I am working and to which I am answerable to.
The next time you say ‘Hello’, dear teachers, pray that this person doesn’t answer you! For now I have saved the number should there arise any retribution and retaliations in future.

Happy Calling Folks!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Cynical Permission

The other day, out of curiosity I typed my name on Google and I was surprised to see so many Lobsang Nima’s and this made me conclude my brother’s Facebook update some years ago, “Google is God; Answers everything.” Looking closely at the search results I found two results that caught me.

I wasn’t aware that my blog posts, two updates in particular were featured by Business Bhutan in their columns and editorials. Further browsing down the links, I got my posts in Business Bhutan website. There were articles by other prominent bloggers like Yeshey Dorji and Passang Passu. I don’t know whether they are aware of this or not. For me, I am not aware of this and no one from the paper ever asked. Not that I don’t want to share what I have written but shouldn’t I know where on earth my posts are being featured.

Some years ago, Bhutan Observer did the same but they asked me if I agree to let some of my blogs be featured in their online paper. I am happy that my articles are being read but at the same time a little cynical on whether or not permission must be sought.
Until my blogger mates put down their opinions on this, this shall be an update like any other.

Good day folks.