If the political tide sways in this Druk Chirwang Tshogpa (DCT) candidate’s favor, Bhutan will probably get the next education minister from Dorokha-Tading constituency again.
In 2008, the present education minister Thakur Singh Powdyel won the elections as the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) candidate from the same constituency.
Confident and qualified, the up-and-coming gunner for Lyonpo Thakur’s chair is 49-year old Meghraj Tamang who has an M.Ed Educational Management and Leadership from Paro College of Education.
Being an opponent to Lyonpo Thakur S. Powdyel he said is unbelievable.
“Lyonpo Thakur Singh Powdyel is an eminent educator whose contribution has been immense to revive many inactive schools in the country,” he added.
However, he sees a lot of developmental activities waiting with development funds lying idle in his constituency. He said the country is in dire need of many more creative, innovative, motivated and research-oriented politicians to help and improve the lives of its citizens.
“This encourages me to join politics to create enabling conditions to help those less fortunate in our society,” Meghraj said. Moreover he had always enjoyed helping people as a teacher, facilitator, innovator, motivator, initiator, social worker and researcher.
Asked about his views on the present government, he said there is a lack of ‘equity and justice’.
He cited an example from his village, Tading where there are still no farm roads and the renovated Basic Health Unit (BHU) lacks medicines and health workers.
In an interview with this paper, he said that as a progressive educationist he sensed a call for positive reforms in various spheres like education, agriculture, employment, civil service and rural development.
“Politics for me is like a social work to serve people,” he said. “It should be approached with research-based methods grounded on peoples need with a participatory approach.”
The DCT candidate said he always saw room for improvement while carrying out important jobs like designing policies and developmental activities.
With this in mind he joined DCT, which according to him is known as common peoples’ party. “It’s the platform to address the concerns and problems of all the sections of the society.
Another reason for him to join DCT was because ‘DCT is a reform-oriented party working for paradigm shift for the progress of our country’. Also the party believes in synergy of the team effort and democratic culture.
Meghraj hopes that people in his constituency will vote for the party which can bring change and progress in their livelihood.
Therefore if he happens to win the 2013 election he would bring reforms in the areas like education and agriculture sector.
He said, “according to recent researches conducted by the Education Review Commission, Royal Education Council (REC), Educare Singapore, Education initiative India, the education system needs major reforms to enhance its quality”.
Having more than two decades of experience in teaching he saw the basic tools like National Education framework, Co-operative learning, Annual status of students learning, Teachers needs assessment and Continuous professional development of teachers all need to be prioritized to strengthen the education system.
“These reforms are researched-based and more focused on enhancing quality of education in our schools. The concept of deploying Teacher aid in schools to help overburdened teachers could serve as a multi-pronged approach even to employ unemployed youths,” he added.
In terms of rural development he said, “We have overlooked the opportunities of providing incentives for farming activities and prioritizing agriculture on which the livelihood and occupations of majority of our people depend.”
He said if the urban development priority shifted to more crucial rural development endeavors, most of the present problems could be addressed sustainably.
“At present only the BDFC strives to finance maximum agricultural activities with fewer funding from other financial institutions,” he said.
Among the ministries, the agriculture ministry received only the 5th highest budget allocation in the tenth FYP according to NSB 2011 he pointed out.
He said agricultural development will help in self-sufficiency as the country’s economy is import and aid-driven.
“We need to follow our umbilical cord to our villages’ farm lands where the real happiness lies and encourage increasing number of citizens to cultivate their fallow lands,” he said.
Meghraj Tamang finished high school from Scottish University Mission Institution, Kalimpong, India. After that he did his Bioscience from St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling, India.
In 1987 he joined National Institute of Education (NIE) in Samtse. Later in 2007 he did his Post Graduation in Teaching Information Systems from Sherubtse College, Kanglung.
From 1987 till 2010 he was with the education ministry and became a research officer under REC.
At present he is the Managing Director for Tading Real Estate Enterprise and the general secretary for the DCT.
He has several research and publication works to his name. One of his favorite works is the ‘The Joy of Inspiring students: Missing Code of Educating for Gross National Happiness’, published in 2010.