Ministry working on proposal to address SMU degree certificates issue

The government is very concerned and has a formed a committee to look into the issue of Bhutanese students graduating from Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) the education minister said during the NA’s question hour session on Friday.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said the ministry is working on a proposal to be presented to the RCSC, ECB and to the Prime Minister. “The ministry is optimistic that the proposal would help resolve the problem of all those students graduated from SMU,” he said.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk was responding to a query from the North Thimphu MP, Tshering, who asked how the government planned to address the grievances of the Bhutanese students graduating from Sikkim Manipal University (SMU).

“This has caused so much problem and desperation to about 6,000 students and to their parents,” MP Tshering said.  “While they go seeking jobs, those students with SMU certificates have even been derided and belittled by some agencies.”

MP Tshering said the Prime Minister’s announcement that the issue needs to be carefully studied had brought much relief to the affected students.

However the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) and the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) had expressed that the degree certificates from the SMU could not to be recognized as it is categorized as distant learning.

“While the government fully supports the plight of the students graduating from SMU, consensus had to be created with other institutions such as the RCSC and ECB,” MP Tshering said.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that some SMU graduates had begun working in cooperate offices, as civil servants and even participated in elections.

“After the university was categorized as a distant learning recently, both the parents and students are worried and the ministry was aware of their plight,” he said.

He said the education ministry’s responsibility is to investigate if the university is a distant learning college or it requires students to go to class regularly. According to the study carried out by the education ministry, there were lot of students who attended regular classes in Sikkim Manipal University which cannot be termed as distant learning, the minister said.

Lyonpo said that, upon the Prime minister’s order, those who are already working in government and corporate service and various other agencies would not be affected.

“But it is very important for both the RCSC and ECB to consider the certificate earned from Sikkim Manipal Univeristy,” he said. Therefore, the ministry is coming up with a proposal to be presented to RCSC, ECB and to the Prime Minister.

“The ministry and government will support SMU students but the concerned institutes should equally support us,” the education minister said.


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