Prime Minister Dasho Tshering Tobgay declared on Teachers’ Day that schools would now have Saturdays off, effective immediately

A pledge delivered on Teacher’s Day

Since the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s victory in the parliamentary election, there has been a great anticipation amongst the people that the government honor its pledge to keep Saturdays as a holiday in schools.

The government had to carefully consider the pledge from various perspectives, leading to extensive research and resulting in a delay in making a final decision.

However, coinciding with the Third Druk Gyalpo’s Birth Anniversary, the Prime Minister announced that discussions with Lhengye Zhungtshog had been concluded, and the decision to do away with Saturday classes had been finalized.

As May 2nd is also Teacher’s Day, during the celebration at the Changlimithang  National Stadium, the Prime Minister (PM) Tshering Tobgay said, “The government had wanted to eliminate Saturday classes without delay, but had to consider the potential impact on the quality of education. The extensive research and consultations with teachers, principals, students, parents, and education experts, both within and outside Bhutan, had led to the decision to abolish Saturday classes, with the belief that it would enhance the quality of education in the country.”

PM also expressed concerns about the quality of education and the need to equip students with knowledge that would benefit them in the future.

He said His Majesty The King and a Kasho from His Majesty on education also emphasized the importance of building a high-quality education system.

According to the PM, there are individuals worried about the quality of education and want to make our education system thrive, and that one must know the techniques required to make the students acquire knowledge that could benefit them in the future.

“From now onwards, we have to change the current education system, if it is a beneficial one, it will be kept; if not, it shall be eliminated immediately, so that we can fulfill His Majesty’s Command,” the PM added. 

The first thing is the teachers should be responsible as they are the root of the education system, and therefore, the PM announced that the teachers will be given trainings related to professional development.

“The aim is to make the future leaders (students) successful, and for that they need a wholesome education: education of the mind, of the body and of the soul. Our children need to have intelligent mind, but our children must be strong physically, this is why the body is important. Our children must also have the values of our ancestors and of Gross National Happiness, this is why spirituality and the soul is important,” PM said.

Lyonchhen Dasho Tshering Tobgay stressed on the importance of providing students with an education encompassing the mind, body, and soul, and concluded by stating, “…the next five years would be critical in developing the quality of education and, by extension, the quality of the children.”

The Education Ministry said the Saturday off is effective immediately.

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