The plan is to eventually provide free Wi-Fi to students in all 20 Dzongkhags
As per the Ministry of Education’s recommendation, four thromdes, Thimphu, Phuentsholing, Gelephu and Samdrup Jongkhar have put up proposal to the Ministry of Information and Communication (MoIC) to provide free Wi-Fi to students.
The Education Minister Jai Bir Rai said the ministry has requested MoIC to provide free Wi-Fi through their Government Initiated Network project at least to these four thromdes.
The minister said to make online teaching-learning more efficient and considering the government’s budget constraint, the establishment of free Wi-Fi would really benefit both teachers and students.
The Royal Education Council, is working on education curriculum materials, so at least, students will benefit with the free Wi-Fi, not necessarily just during the COVID-19 pandemic time, and this will help throughout the students’ life.
The Four thromdes is going to take up the responsibility to initiate free WI-FI in their thromdes. The free WI-FI will be provided in all the dzongkhags later but it is starting from the Thromdes. The education ministry is targeting four thromdes because almost one third of students are in these thromdes.
There are more than 171,000 students in classes from PP to XII and more than 200,000 including NFE, ECCDS and other educational institutions in the country.
Last year, in collaboration with MoE and the Department of Information Technology and Telecom (DITT), Bhutan Telecom Limited (BTL) and Tashi Cell have launched data packages for students to make online learning easy and affordable.
The student packages applies to access only e-Learning sites, like Google Classroom & G-Suite, Moodle, e-Library, B-Trowa, and Zoom.
YouTube and Facebook are also opened as most of the information is disseminated through them. However, there are certain sites, like online games, TikTok, WhatsApp, Torrent, Snapchat, etc., blocked in order to reduce the data consumption.