Back in the year 2004, I was one of the victims of an education consultant in Thimphu. I got admission in a Sikkim Manipal University study centre in Kolkata, Salt Lake City.I was the only one who was pursuing BAJM (Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication) in a rented building block known as a ‘college.’ I wasn’t at all comfortable and I felt something is terribly going wrong. I wasted my precious academic time and my parents hard earned money. I was assuming myself to be in college but studied nothing. It may have been my far sighted decision, if I look at it now, as I left the SMU study centre in Salt lake ,Kolkata, right after completing the first semester. My result was a ‘colorful’ 70% and that best suits the eligibility criteria for the job markets in Bhutan. Moreover it is good for attempting Civil service examination as RCSE counts 20% of the academic marks.
I was not all studying in the institution or college. My experience with SMU still haunts me. With the blessings and support from my beloved parents I finally graduated from Hansraj College, Delhi University and am now pursuing Master of International development from University of Canberra in Australia.
With regard to the most unfortunate situation that many Bhutanese who went to SMU now find themselves in today with their degrees not recognized as its is Distance Learning, let me highlight few excerpts from the article:
QUOTE – The RCSC’s examination division head Jigme Norbu said that both the 2010 BCSR and the 2012 BCSR does not allow for ‘distance education’ certificates to be accepted.…”
RCSC Chairman Dasho Karma Tshiteem said that RCSC does not accept ‘distance learning’ certificates due to quality issues as students do not have a point of contact..”
RCSC this year disqualified a PGDE candidate even after the candidate got through once it was found that the graduation certificate was a ‘distance learning’ one.
RCSC and other government agencies, as a rule, do not accept ‘Distance Education’ graduation certificates for employment. Moreover, the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) also does not accept such degrees to contest in elections. – UNQUOTE
That being the case the Prime Minister, Education Minister, RCSC, DAHE and RUB must take this issue very seriously and not resort to half-hearted measures or apply double standards.
In particular they must review cases by those who people who cheated the system under false declarations and got into the civil service.
RCSC and Cabinet must open a hotline to receive complaints about such devious people who must face the severest penalty.
On the other hand those who were conned by SMU, SIGMA etc should not be treated like criminals because they were naive. Some leniency must be shown for example by allowing them get a legitimate degree and an opportunity to participate in elections or RCSC exams etc. It will be a tough call but 3 years is nothing compared to a lifetime of opportunities.
The government should also use its good offices to make SMU refund the fees to our students. If necessary hire a good Indian lawyer because only the threat of legal action may force these con artists into submission.
The ground reality out here in Indian institutions is such that there is always limited teacher student interaction and lack of specified and academic sources where students are taught from. Students in the first year pay huge sums of money for meals students don’t eat, girls are harassed with lewd comments, whistling and spanking on rears by motor cyclists.
Students have to pay fees even on internships and the many hidden costs at colleges is financially stabbing.
Education Consultancies based in Bhutan are hardly heard out here, not to mention how inefficient they are when these consultants take us to the respective colleges on the first day. Education consultants remain in denial of their responsibilities. Hope somebody is made responsible.
I think it’s a matter of perception. Irrespective of what’s mentioned or not on the degree certificates, because of the fact that these people had studied at SMU affiliated colleges with formal classes and study programs, there shouldn’t be a reason to doubt the quality of education. They deserved to be treated equally at par with any formal degrees. If at all there’s a need to review, the focus should be to see if these people were enrolled in a formal classes with standard teaching programs.
It is recognized in India and accepted worldwide . It is not recognized only in Bhutan. We are called for campus interviews. I don’t know why we are lagging behind the rest of world. Advance and move ahead and keep up with the latest technology and only then we will move ahead. I do not find any problems, conduct tests and interview The degree marks can be taken at 10 percent. Moreover we do not apply what we study in college as only common sense is required for work.
Thousands of people are enrolled already in the civil service, autonomous bodies, corporate and private companies and firms.. Now the government is trying to track the Distance Education Certificate. Those students doing distance education are more smarter than the government as most of the candidates doing DE education have already requested the university to provide regular mark sheets and graduation certificates. If the RCSC wants to scan out those students the RCSC should first cross check the daily attendance maintained with particular ministries, departments,etc
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