Within a period of five years, the education ministry is planning to build its very own unique brand in the education. The objective is to create ‘Brand Bhutan Education’ encapsulating Bhutanese values, which is also expected to add as a source of income for the country.
Education minister, Lyonpo J.B Rai, said that the main aim is to develop a ‘Brand Bhutan Education’ tag which would mean high quality education benefitting the Bhutanese students, and it could also become a new sector in the economy.
He said Bhutan cannot just rely on the income from hydropower, and so Brand Bhutan Education can promote Bhutan as a good destination for quality education and a way to get into international institutes.
As an example of just how viable an income that education brings, Lyonpo said, that around four to five million people in the Darjeeling hills survive just on tourism and education.
“Students from all over the world will come here for their education, and this is a dream of education, sustaining the Bhutanese economy through education and promoting the Bhutanese values and culture in global peace, prosperity and happiness,” said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo said it is the vision of the education ministry in the long run. He believes the Brand Bhutan Education can become a success if they all work on it.
“In order to make it a success, the criteria for Brand Bhutan Education should go according to the world’s economic demand and development, that is how the other parts of world have designed their education,” said Lyonpo.
On the current Bhutanese education system, Lyonpo said the philosophy of the education started with that every individual should at least read and write in English and other languages. The education started from monastic education to modern education to now moving to 21st Century education and further to GNH education.
Over the period of time, with many development and technology advancement in the country, Bhutan is more exposed to international information now, Lyonpo added.
However, Lyonpo reiterated that the Brand Bhutan Education is more of a visionary thing for now. He said it will be difficult to introduce it immediately since the ministry does not have enough resources, and also having Nu 310 billion distributed among the education departments makes it difficult for now.
“I am quite confident that Brand Bhutan in Education will be success in the country, and the main icing is, GNH. But this cannot be done overnight. It will take time. Over the five years, what we can do is research, promote, and create awareness, sharing of information and ideas. To make it conceptual is very important, and I feel within this five years, we can do it,” said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo also said in order to make this vision into a realistic one; firstly the education ministry will need to build trust -a fundamental part of the Brand Bhutan Education. “Even the Bhutanese people do not have trust in the Bhutanese education. So far, they have been criticizing it,” Lyonpo added.
He said government must also invest as much as it can to make it a success. “Leaders in education sectors. Schools leadership, such as school principals and vice principals, should demonstrate leadership among themselves so that their leadership will flow down to the teachers and supporting staff, and outflow towards their children and then move to the community and that is one way of building a trust,” the education minister said.
He said the head of the city should be very proactive and on the same page as the education sector, and work together towards building Brand Bhutan Education.
“His Majesty The King has already sowed seed of values and happiness long time back, and the people and the youth are the sole owners of happiness and if one can really capitalize, create and innovate many of these education related products and market all over the world, this would benefit the country,” said Lyonpo.
Lyonpo said that the educations sector must also be inclusive and this is why all the hikes and allowances are also applicable to the special ability schools.
He said that he truly appreciates the role played by the teachers and staff of schools that deal with differently abled children.