Soon after his Majesty’s enthronement, His Majesty fostered thousands of needy students as Gyalpoi Tozey in order to reach out to children and students who need support to attend school, thus enabling them to continue their pursuit of academic excellence as a means of rising from their disadvantaged economic status.
The Gyalpoi Tozey scheme currently provides full support for 3,438 students to study in schools and colleges across Bhutan. These students come from financially or socially disadvantaged families. Some are orphans and some are supported by single parents. Furthermore, under the Kidu Scholarship Program, 237 students have received support to pursue higher education abroad in eight different countries.
His Majesty during the third convocation of the Royal University of Bhutan said, “We can dream of a strong bureaucracy of the highest standards but we must not forget that those standards must be set in school where our future bureaucrats are.”
His Majesty during the occasion also said, “A nation’s future will mirror the quality of her youth. A nation cannot fool herself into thinking of a bright future when she has not invested wisely in her children.”
In order to reach the most vulnerable people in the shortest time, the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon (OGZ) has been proactively taking kidu to the people negating the need for people to travel to Thimphu to seek an audience with His Majesty.
His Majesty had commanded the Gyalpoi Zimpons that the kidu system be professionalized and based as much on principles of equity and charity as on research and scientific method and that the approach be proactive.
One such Kidu recipient Pema Tshewang who is currently interning with BBS said that he nearly dropped out of college while going through immense pressure to meet the expenses for even the most basic necessities for college, exacerbated by the knowledge of the poor health of his widower father. “I’ve done part time job as a manual laborer to meet the expenses for my studies but ended up hampering my studies instead,” he said.
It was during his third semester that he received His Majesty’s Gyalpoi Tozey kidu upon identifying his financial situation. “It was an answer to my prayers that I could continue my studies with the help of His Majesty without any struggle.”
He added, “I was encouraged and motivated to put my whole heart into my studies when our leader is so deeply concerned about and investing in each individual to become productive servants of the country.”
Pema Tshoki, 22, is currently pursuing her Diploma in Survey Engineering in Jigme Namgyal Engineering College and is in final year. Brought up by a single mother who works as a caretaker, she has faced much hardship before getting enrolled into the kidu recipient list of the Gyalpoi Tozey. “I can’t be more thankful to our king for completely turning around my life. It is a great weight off my shoulders not having to burden my poor mother anymore” she said.
Like most schools, Ura central school has 12 Gyalpoi Tozey kidu recipients who are identified by the local kidu officer and by the school. The school Principal Ngawang Norbu said the process was made much easier for the program is made easily available at the grass-root levels.” He said, “From the observations I have made, this initiative of His Majesty has changed the outlook of students and become a source of great inspiration and motivation.”