PM is supportive of the project
The ministry of education will be submitting a proposal to the government to provide tablets for all the students if possible from the next academic year 2021. However, it is not yet finalized as the ministry will wait for the government’s directives.
The Education Secretary Karma Tshering said currently the education ministry is planning and studying as how much would it cost to provide devices for all the students. He said it is important to look into the cost implications and the resources and if there is an opportunity for cost sharing.
The Secretary Karma Tshering said the reason for providing the devices is because now education is online and the ministry is trying to integrate ICT in teaching and learning. “During such COVID-19 pandemic, we have to go online,” he said.
The Secretary said, earlier the ministry could not provide this facility as the pandemic came in as a surprise. So he said that from now on in the future, if any situation comes up, the ministry has to be prepared and make use of ICT in teaching and learning to help children continue their education.
The education ministry plans to provide tablets for all the students but is again mindful about the cost as well. So if not for all then the ministry will identify parents who cannot afford such devices, focusing on the economically disadvantaged families.
The ministry believes that if the students are provided with the tablets then it will benefit them.
During the last meet the press, Prime Minister (Dr) Lotay Tshering said providing tablets and smart phones for students is a basic need and it is no more a luxury now. The PM said even textbooks can be digitalized and the next step should be that students should not be given text books. The Prime Minister said the current system approves of answers that are from the textbooks and students are treated as being very good but there isn’t room for those who can think beyond that.
The Prime Minister said government can afford one tablet for each students easily because the outcome of it is huge. However, this has been an informal talk between the education ministry and the PM.
For now, the education ministry has listed about 30 students who do not have smart phones. PM said the government has already started to put in ICT labs.
The PM sounded out support for the tablets scheme saying that he may grant approval even as soon as the Education Minister starts with the proposal from his office.
Meanwhile, for Phuentsholing Thromde students from class VII and above are relocated in other dzongkhags while the education ministry will look into primary school children from PP to VI. The ministry has also said that primary students are small and keeping them in hostels will not be a good idea.
However, Prime Minister (Dr) Lotay Tshering said those students’ on-campus and day-scholar’s students should not get mixed up. The education ministry must be having plans as how to go about for students in Phuentsholing thromde.