Track suit rule to be reviewed says Thrompon

Amid a barrage of criticism from parents, students, and schools, the Thimphu Thrompon Kinley Dorjee said that Thimphu Thromde would once again review the tracksuit notification.

He said that if the issues raised by the schools and parents cannot be addressed then the Thromde may even overturn the entire order.

The Thrompon said that the Thromde would review the matter with the Principals once again and look at the concerns.

He said that while some schools have implemented the tracksuit rule others have not done it as yet.

“I wanted to see how the principals have adjusted to the notification. To implement it effectively issues like changing rooms, lockers for students and others have to be addressed. If it is not working then we don’t want to make it strict,” said the Thrompon.

The tracksuit issue was first raised at a 25th April, 2016 meeting between the Thromde and principals from both private and government schools. The Thromde then submitted a letter to the Ministry of Education (MOE) on 11th August 2016. The Thromde received a letter from the Ministry on 28th September 2016 and it stated that the issue should be discussed during Thromde Educational Conference.

From November 8th-11th 2016 the 11th Thimphu thromde educational conference was conducted in Paro comprising principals from 34 schools and three thromde educational officials. The prime issue discussed during the conference was wearing of tracksuit in schools and apart from this a few important concerns were also raised.

On 8th March 2017, the thromde arranged a final meeting to discuss about the tracksuit rule. Finally the notification was issued on 16th March saying that students should wear tracksuits only during Health and Physical Education classes and on sports day. Students had to come to and go back from  school in Gho and Kira.

The notification met with widespread criticism especially from parents and students and a few schools. All kinds of issues from changing rooms, changing of young students, lack of enough grounds, additional burden to be carried, inconvenience etc was pointed out.

Meanwhile the Education Minister Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the Education Minister had decentralized certain authority and functions to schools, Dzongkhags and Thromdes. He said the ministry does not want to interfere with any local authority including the Thimphu Thromde on the issue as the ministry would like to focus in broad cross cutting national education policies. He said it would not be good to just interfere as it would compromise decentralization.

He said the only way for the ministry to look into the matter is if there are complaints to the ministry and that too if there are actual grounds to interfere.

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