One popular refrain has been on the poor quality of education in Bhutan, especially with even graduates unable to write a decent application letter.
Bhutan’s quality of education is poor into two respects. As shown by past surveys of 2006 and 2013-14 we have below average national marks in English and Math. The other weakness now exposed by the recent PISA-D related preparatory tests show that our students lack adequate analytical, application and creative skills in using or applying their book knowledge compared to other countries.
We have to swallow this harsh twin reality of Bhutan’s education system that churns out mainly mediocre students in large enough numbers, and does not adequately equip them to think of thriving outside the civil service.
The end result is a large number of unemployable graduates and diploma holders who are not even able to take up the available jobs far from creating jobs for others.
The government must be acknowledged for taking this bold move to go for PISA-D tests which is a highly prestigious international test that will really point out the capability of our students, teachers and education system and thereby allow us to do the necessary course correction.
It must be mentioned that most developing country governments avoid the PISA-D test as it opens them up to criticism. However, for a problem to be tackled we must first acknowledge that it is there and then go about coming up with solutions.
It is all not bad. Bhutan’s education system till now has served its purpose in providing a national bureaucracy, educated workforce, better health and economic benefits among others. Overall we are still better off compared to our immediate neighbors.
However, for the sake of the future of the country, our economy, society and our youth we have to take the next leap into high quality education that adequately prepares our youth to compete in the new global market.
Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.