Sonam Dorji, 38, said that His Majesty’s initiative of Gyalsung or National Service is timely and appropriate. Although education is free in Bhutan, however, many parents can afford to send their children to study abroad for higher education. Therefore, National Service will be important in teaching Bhutanese values and culture to the youth, regardless of their educational background, and before they take up any job, he said.
“With the introduction of new technologies, the way we interact and communicate has become easier, but I feel that it is important, especially for our children, to know about our roots so that whatever they do, align with our forbearer. “
“We were discussing about the National Service among ourselves, and most parents shared that if even aging parents and adults could get the opportunity to participate in the program. It is so unfortunate that we are not eligible for it, but nevertheless, we are happy that our children can take part in it,” he added.
Another parent, Namgay Dorji, said, “I think national service is a good initiative where our children can learn so many things in various areas over a period of one year. Children will get an opportunity to undergo 3 months training on military and discipline and 9 months courses in different areas which will make them smart enough to decide what they want to do after the training is completed.”
He said there is wisdom in His Majesty’s vision, as His Majesty wants the Bhutanese youth to be very dedicated, sincere and hardworking. He agreed that Bhutanese students lack discipline, and Gyalsung will help to make the children more productive, honest and obedient.
He said that after vigorous three months training, students will get rid of bad behaviors, like telling lies, consuming alcohol and other substances, and not being obedient because the training is not just preparing or training them on military but it will also to teach them discipline which is more important.
A father of two boys, Passang Norbu, 36, said that any kind of service to the nation is a privilege.
“I think the National Service is an opportunity for our young citizens, who will be guided to be an independent and responsible citizen, playing important role in the community, country and the world,” he said.
Nidup Dorji, 51, has three daughters, agrees with the aims of Gyalsung. “It is a good initiative and it is very timely. As a parent, I support this initiative as this will not only benefit our children but it will also be good for the country.”
Sithar Dorji, 42, said that the initiative is really good and it will give the youth a sense of responsibility towards oneself and for the nation as well.
He said, “Although everyone commits and is dedicated to serve the nation, however, there are really just a few who turn up when national emergencies arises. For example, during the flood in 2000, there were not many people who turned up, and with such training and program, children will take up responsibility without having to tell them.”
Teyba Buddha Tamang, 38, said that it is a good initiative taken by His Majesty. “It is a solution we were looking for so long. In the current situation, we don’t have such program and with this lots of our problem among youth will be addressed,” he said.
A father of three sons, Kezang Nima, said, “I think it is a very good thing that is coming up. I have kids, and as a parent, it has become very difficult to tell our kids what to do and what not to do. We have to keep on telling them over and over again. Kids, these days, have no sense of responsibility.”
He said this kind of system will help the youth become better and more responsible.
“In our time, we valued whatever we had. But our children do not know the value of things, as whatever they want are being provided by parents. So the value in life would come back with the Gyalsung,” he said.
Phub Gyeltshen, 40, said that while the address by His Majesty during the historic 112th National Day was a heart steering and thought-provoking moment in totality, the announcement of the National Service, aimed particularly to shape the future of our youth, to be a productive and successful citizen of the country has touched his heart deeply.
“As a father of four children, who is worried about their future, it was a moment of great relief hearing from His Majesty about the program that ensures thoughtful and productive youths as they reach the age of maturity. My son will be eligible as the first batch of Gyalsung in 2022, and we are just too excited.”