Graduates of Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) in India, whose degrees are considered as distance education and therefore cannot compete for government jobs or contest for a seat in parliament, have appealed to the prime minister for the second time to help them.
One of graduate who appealed to the PM on August 21 is Sonam Jamtsho, who graduated in 2010. “We informed the PM that when we approached ECB and RCSC, they said they are governed by the Act but what we need is a clearance letter by the Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC),” he said. “But the PM said that ECB and RCSC gave him different statement so we requested Lyonchhen to hold a discussion with the agencies and to include us in the discussion.”
The PM said that while students feel the government is not supporting them the government feels that ECB and RCSC are not supporting the government on the issue.
“We are happy that Lyonchhen has agreed to hold a discussion soon,” Sonam Jamtsho said.
He said that there are many who want to contest for next year’s election and there are also many who appeared PE examination.
Sonam Chophel, a 2016 graduate, who appeared PE said the RCSC did not stop them from appearing and there was no use while registering.
However Sonam Jamtsho said that a day before the PE exam, he sent a message on RCSC’s facebook page enquiring if a SMU graduate will be allowed to sit for PE. “Next day at around 11 am there was a message that said no Distance Education graduate will be allowed to sit for PE, by then many were already in the middle of the PE exam,” he said.
Tandin Wangchuk, a parent, said that his son and two nieces graduated from Sikkim and he paid for their education with a loan from BDBL.
“Now with this issue everything has shattered. My son managed to go overseas but my two nieces are still jobless,” he said. “I am worried and I hope for a positive answer from the government.”
Tshering Denkar, a 25-year-old graduate from SMU said she is worried as she is mother of a child and the father of the baby is also a SMU graduate. “As of today we are staying with our parents, but we want to stand on our own feet,” she said.
She said she went to SMU through a consultancy that was taking part during the national education job fair. “When the government was not aware of this issue in the past, how would we know, Today they are saying they are helpless and we suffer,” she said.