Thimphu just saw the recent conclusion of the annual ‘Education Fair’ where Colleges and Institutes, mostly from India, come to attract Bhutanese students.
Like the trade fairs organized on the same space, there are all kinds of characters including some downright dubious and shady ones taking part.
There are already reports of Bhutanese students enrolling in colleges and institutes through such trade fairs finding Colleges with non-existent campuses and courses. Even for the ones that have campuses the quality of education is highly suspect.
A larger number of students head out with friends or other classmates and end up joining equally dubious institutions.
The sad thing is that even with the marks they have, thousands of Bhutanese students need not waste their money joining such institutions. There are good and decent institutions that do not require astronomical marks or fees.
The end result is that we have thousands of graduates coming from such ‘Colleges’ every year who have added very little to their educational knowledge and qualification. except for some foreign exposure.
The Sikkim Manipal University degree issue is only the tip of the iceberg, where a combination of lack of awareness of Bhutanese parents and students combined with the greed of suspect educational institutes lead to an annual educational scam.
The Education Ministry which issues occasional notifications must be more aggressive in pointing out fake and suspect institutions, and the media should cooperate in this. The Royal University of Bhutan should support the ministry so that resources can be combined. It would be a good idea to issue a list of top 50 colleges and institutions in India for various courses.
Parents, and especially students, instead of going with hearsay, geography, comfort or following the herd should do their own research and even seek help from the Education Ministry to select good colleges.
Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.