Many private and government schools in Thimphu along with their students and parents are in a fix with the Thimphu Thromde’s tracksuit rule.
Thimphu thromde pronounced, both private and government schools in Thimphu will not be allowed to wear tracksuits during the morning assembly and in classes. It was decided so during the 11th Thimphu thromde educational conference held on March 8th at Paro. The notice which was issued on March 16 states that students will have to wear gho and kira while in school and also while coming to and going from school.
The notification further states that students will be allowed to wear tracksuits only during the health and physical exercise periods and annual sports days. Schools have also asked to arrange their health and physical exercise (HPE) classes on Saturday and the students will wear tracksuits only on that day.
Namgay Dorji, Deputy Chief of Thimphu Thromde Education Division said, “We decided that all the students in Thimphu should not be allowed to wear tracksuits during the morning assembly and in classes because we have observed some students wearing tracksuits and some wearing gho and kira which does not look nice and it is also culturally inappropriate. So in order to maintain uniformity in school among the students, we had issued a notice stating students would be allowed to wear tracksuits only during HPE classes on Saturday “.
The principal of Druk School said, “Just yesterday we had our school annual Rimdo where every single student came in gho and kira and it thrilled me that my students are well aware about the Bhutanese practice of receiving blessing from lamas and the children from primary level surprised me more by the way they walk and receive blessing from lamas, so I ask where is the disintegration of culture?”.
The principal of Rinchen Higher Secondary School said, “It is practically impossible to arrange HPE class for 1700 students in one day. The principal of Druk School in unison with RHSS’s principal said, “Conducting HPE class for all the students on the same day is challenging for us because we have 26 sections and 3 HPE teachers and in this case the quality of service we provide to the students will be compromised”.
“The notification demands the students should come and return in gho and kira which I believe is actually okay with the students of higher classes but kids from lower classes especially the primary level would have problem because they do not know how to wear their uniforms”, the Druk school principal added.
The principal of RHSS claimed, “Even if the government devises a new rule or guideline, they need to study or do some research on it and when Thimphu thromde implemented this new rule on tracksuits, I want to know how much study and research was done because they cannot just frame a new rule without studying”.
In addition, he said,” anything related to school and students should be left to the school administration and principal because we understand and know more about our students and also what’s best for our students. We are qualified enough to know what will affect our students and what will benefit our students”.
Meanwhile, there was also a strong reaction from many parents and students alike, many of whom took to the social media to express their views and question such a decision by the Thimphu Thromde. The vast majority were not in favour of Thimphu Thromde’s new track suit rule for the schools.
In earlier times the Saturday tracksuit rule had allowed students to get their school uniform washed and dried over the weekend but now parents irrespective of their income will have to buy additional school uniforms.
Also the Thimphu Thromde did not seem to consider the sheer impracticality of having all the HPE classes on Saturday especially given the limited playground facilities for students.
Pelkhil School which has a much larger campus however agreed with the rule.” After receiving the notice, we have instructed all the students to come in gho and kira, a proper uniform and wear tracksuits only on Saturday. We allowed our students to wear tracksuits two years ago after we learnt that our students were facing difficulty with gho and kira while playing games and sports”, the principal said.