His Majesty the King, Chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), graced the Joint Convocation of the two Colleges of Education of the RUB on January 7, 2013 in Paro.
His Majesty the King, in His Address to the 1,168 M.Ed, PGDE and B.Ed graduates, said, “The most important duty of teachers is to ensure that your students become strong, capable citizens who contribute meaningfully to the country in future. For this, teachers must cultivate a deep awareness and commitment in their students, towards the needs and aspirations of the nation.
His Majesty said that the most important goal of the nation is National Security and all Bhutanese must work to safeguard the sovereignty of the country. “If we, as Bhutanese, live in peace, unity and harmony we will always be able to overcome all challenges.”
On culture, His Majesty said, “Culture is not to reinforce hierarchy and cause social stratification. Culture is our unique way of life, manners, etiquette and thoughtfulness – the characteristics that define us as Bhutanese. Right thoughts, actions and speech combined with respect and regard for the feelings of others – these qualities have brought unity and cohesion in our small society. They are the fruits of generations of accumulated national emotional intelligence and they must be protected at all costs. For once lost, they will never be regained. Our Bhutanese character and values – our culture – will also be the defining factor in whether we are a successful democracy.”
His Majesty also stressed the importance of Good Governance. “In these modern times, we have much to do in areas such as trade, economic development, foreign policy, consolidation of democracy and so on. Wealth and Human Resource- is at its best with Good Management.”
His Majesty advised the teachers to be good role models and not a symbol of authority. “Teachers must earn the respect of their students and inspire them to fulfill their hopes and talents. Never look at your students as a classroom of people. Look at them as individuals, each with their own talents and unique character. Nurture them to fulfill their potential. However, there is a limit to how much one can learn in school or college. Therefore, the true mark of your success as teachers will be if your students develop the habit of life-long learning. But, it is not possible to share what you don’t possess so as teachers you must yourself be open to new ideas and to learning throughout your lives.”
On discipline His Majesty told the teachers, “When it comes to discipline, zero tolerance must be balanced with high expectations. Children will experiment, experience and approach life with inquisitiveness. This is natural. Sometimes they may make mistakes. Zero tolerance should mean that teachers and parents make sure to address these mistakes no matter how small they may seem. Guide the children to learn to be responsible even as they experience life in all its shades. Keep them on the right path from the start.
By high expectations I mean that teachers must encourage children to aim high and excel. This country is too small and the population too few for us to be content with the mediocre. Our children must excel.”
“However, I do not care too much for statistics. What matters to me is not whether we have thousands of students with Masters or graduate degrees. What really matters to me is whether a citizen, no matter what the level of his or her education, is able to fulfill responsibilities, serve with loyalty and bring good fortune and wellbeing to the family, community and nation.”
“I ask you to have confidence in our education system. I am a proud product of Bhutanese schools,” His Majesty stated.
“Lastly, I want to remind you all that the national goals of Bhutan must be contemplated upon and defined by the people.” To stress this point, His Majesty quoted the Fourth Druk Gyalpo, who said, in