History won’t be taught in Dzongkha any time soon

During NA’s question hour yesterday the Dophuchen Tading MP, Tek Bahadur Subba, questioned the education minister as to why the National Council insisted on Bhutan history being taught in Dzongkha despite the concerns of citizens and the difficulties expressed by educationists.

Education minister Norbu Wangchuk said he took part in NC question hour and they asked the ministry for Bhutan history to be taught in Dzongkha.

The minister said that for the time being they are not going to go ahead with a decision on teaching Bhutan history in Dzongkha given the experience so far in teaching Bhutan history in English. “Teaching history in English is going good with no difficulty or problem, students are learning well, teachers are teaching well and moreover the examination results are all going well,” he said adding that they did not find any way to interfere with the existing learning.

He also said that in 2005 the Dzongkha Development Commission (DDC) came up with the same proposal to promote Dzongkha language in schools. That year they started to teach history in Dzongkha in class VII and in class VIII the next year. However, it became a big problem for the students.  “Student faced difficulty because they felt the subject is neither history nor Dzongkha and it was taught by both the history and dzongkha teacher,” the minister said “When Dzongkha teacher taught the students they were taught it like a Dzongkha subject and when taught by history teacher they failed to teach them well from lack of experience in teaching Dzongkha, so students suffered.”

Given these reasons the ministry decided to teach history in English again the minister said.  To make teachers ready to teach history in Dzongkha they need to have more experienced Dzongkha teacher with history background, which might take few more years.

When it comes to students, Lyonpo said that they have to make students put more interest in Dzongkha. “Apart from those, it is very important translate the entire history subject into Dzongkha and make them look good and interesting to the student,” he said. “The objective of NC bill on teaching history in Dzongkha was to promote Dzongkha language, which is good and we have the support and the second objective is to promote Driglam Namzha in schools.”

The minister said that with the implementation of various initiatives to promote Dzongkha in schools it is going good within the students and they are doing well in promoting Dzongkha language. “Compared to English, students are doing better in Dzongkha subject and as per the results of class X and XII from 2014 to 2016, it shows that they are doing well in Dzongkha,” he said

“The current ways of teaching history is going in a right direction with good progress and this is why, the ministry did find immediate need to change the current teaching of history in English,” the minister said. “However, since NC have requested for some research, the ministry promised to carry out the research and it is important to see the report of the research.”


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