The boarding policy of 1995 disallowed schools in urban areas especially in Thimphu and Phuntsholing to have boarding facilities. The policy was conceived with the rational that it will prevent rural-urban migration.
Education Minister Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said, “The situation is different now as the policy has not been able to achieve its intended purpose.”
He said, “First of all, Rural urban migration has not been curbed by this policy and secondly dependent children are still in majority in urban areas especially in private schools.”
“The situation is there are many students studying in the urban areas with poor supervision. The parents are in villages so the children are kept in urban places under the care of a relatives, who are sometimes very distant relatives and often quite a number of children are living on their own in some rented apartments without supervision.” he said.
He also said, “Therefore we feel that we must intervene in that case through a policy decision”
Lyonpo said that the government wants to enable the private schools to come up with hostel facilities. “And by that we hope that this policy would be able to have our children in the hostel after school under the supervision of wardens, matrons so that students are immersed into a structured learning process of morning, evening and night study. That would benefit significant numbers of students studying in urban areas” he added.
The Labour Force Survey report of 2014 shows that 71.2% moved to urban areas from rural areas and other urban areas and only 28.2% moved from urban to rural areas.
“By 2017 academic session, we will positively encourage the private sector to come up with hostel facilities and enable our children who would want to avail the services to have those services,” he said