The initiative is to promote innovation in education
Drukgyel Higher Secondary School (DHSS), Paro came in first among five schools as a part of a pilot project in the multimedia content development (MCD) contest held on May 8. The contest was organized by the Ministry of Education (MoE), under the Chiphen Rigpel project.
Teachers from five different schools of Gasa Primary School, Punakha HSS, Drukgyel HSS, Motithang HSS and Tsaphel LSS in Haa participated in the unique contest that aims to encourage and inculcate the culture of local content development in Bhutan.
A press release states that MCD helps to promote innovation in education and can make teaching and learning significantly more interesting and interactive, both for teachers and students.
The MCD initiative endeavors to encourage development of content that is rich in local topics, traditions and culture, the press release states.
Vice President, NIIT (Chiphen Rigpel), Vivek Manglorkar Rao, said it is an important initiative which has lot of potential to transform education through innovation and increasing participation of students and teachers.
Rao said, “We want to promote local content (Dzongkha) development in Bhutan. I have a lot of Science, Maths and English content, but no Bhutanese topics. I want to create a system that would create Bhutanese content and this is the reason that I have taken the initiative to train Bhutanese teachers because Bhutanese content should be made by the Bhutanese themselves.”
He is eager to start the pilot project in 100 schools around Bhutan.
Secretary, MoE, Sangay Zam, said it is not only about getting content or using multimedia, but the important factor is that teachers now realize that even without multimedia, they can do lot, in terms of developing content on their own and going beyond the text book. She added that although curriculum reforms take a longtime, instead teachers can
update the curriculum and make it more relevant with the changing times.
“From ministry’s side, we will see how we might be able to share with much larger audience, not only with five schools. We will put this in the ministry’s website. Teacher must be able to accept the facts and encourage children to ask questions. In a lot of cases, there is no right answer. It is only through interaction that we learn more,” she said.
‘IT is very different and challenging, but it’s not impossible if we receive the right kinds of skill and training and motivation on time. Learning IT is a journey for me, a process in which we learn new ideas, technical skills and local knowledge, like culture and religion,” DHSS teacher, Sangay Tshering said
The multimedia content development project aims to increase the content related to local topics that are relevant to Bhutan. Hence, the development of local multimedia content can play a key role in providing
local information and also in preserving and disseminating local traditions and culture, which otherwise could be lost, given the rapid pace of urbanization and rural-to-urban migration in the country.
In January 2014, the MoE selected five schools as a part of a pilot project to promote local content development using multimedia. The selected teachers from the schools were provided extensive training on multimedia content development including pedagogical training, and multimedia techniques covering audio, video, graphic creation and editing.
The MoE is also evaluating the ways in which the pilot project can be leveraged further through dissemination of prize-winning high-quality content to other schools, as well as inclusion of additional schools under the content development program.
The multimedia development contest was held under the support of the Chiphen Rigphel project, being implemented by NIIT.