Restructure and retain Arts and Humanities courses: Opposition Party

The Opposition Party stated that Arts and Humanities courses should be restructured, as a part of larger education and national reforms, to enhance relevance and employability, but not done away with, as they have a critical role and eternal relevance to society and nation.

The Press Release from the Opposition Party stated that, “Science without humanities creates a society without morals and humanities without science does not innovate a society.” It said both science and humanities are critical in nation-building and human civilization. “This syncs well with His Majesty The King’s noble goal of education being to create ‘Globally Competent, Locally Rooted’ citizens.”

The party said having closely followed the reform initiatives, and in particular, the current issues of discontinuing or repackaging or re-purposing the tertiary education programs, the main lacuna seems to lie in the lack of proper prior planning, and followed by an abrupt announcement of changes.

His Majesty The King had issued two Royal Decrees during the 112th National Day in December 2019, formulation of the 1st Century Economic Road Map, and Education Reform. Three years have lapsed, but none has come to light. Had the Government done its job, the current predicament and challenges would not have arisen, said the Opposition Party. 

“The abrupt decision has hugely impacted children, teachers and parents alike. It has directly affected 5805 Arts students who passed class XII examinations recently. But that is not all. It will affect those currently studying in Class XII and XI too,” Opposition Party pointed out.

In view of the foregoing, the Opposition recommends to restructure and retain Arts and Humanities courses in the tertiary education system.

And in case to be discontinued in the long run, implement in a phased manner allowing the current Class XII passed and studying, XI and those undertaking supplementary papers in colleges complete their college studies, chart seamless transition for children to other courses as well as for Arts teachers to other fields of teaching or other employment avenues; and diversify education and training pathways and opportunities for children post-class X.

The Opposition Party urged the government and relevant agencies to work closely, as a team and resolve the current issues expeditiously and most importantly, chart a clear long-term road map for the education sector from primary to tertiary levels.

Opposition Party pointed out that the Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering had stated that about 360 students would be absorbed in the various courses under RUB colleges. 

Meanwhile the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that there is no clear working relationship between the Royal University of Bhutan and the government, although, the government provides the funding to the RUB.

Lyonchhen said that he could not counter and justify on the review report from the RUB and international experts on the courses because the courses delivered do not get the jobs in the fast-changing job markets. He added that the courses have to be strategized with changing times.

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