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,
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.
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.