‘Santa Barbara’ Park in Thimphu

Photo by: Tashi Deki

The Children’s Parks, Kuensel Phodrang Park, Botanical Garden and so on are what we all have seen, heard and visited in the capital. This time around Santa Barbara Park  is joining the club.

Santa Barbara Park was constructed by some 20 students of Rinchen Higher Secondary School in just two days. These students built the parl as punishment after they were found drinking ‘Santa Barbara’ wine which gave birth to the new park and also its name as ‘Santa Barbara Park’.

On May 2, teachers’ day two captains were caught drunk. These students were suspended for some time and in the process of interrogation 18 others were also caught through them.

The principal of the school says that the school has certain code of conduct which has five categories of offenses such as A, B, C, D and E, meaning offense under A is the most serious and under E the least.

The students fell under B category, next to the major one.

The school authority did not suspend the students but came up with the project that reminds one of correction and reform.

The principal says the idea sounds a little funny, but it was in place of corporal punishment and positive disciplining. “The sight of the park will make the children realize their own mistakes unlike in other schools where children are suspended,” he said.

The school authority however notified the parents of the students about their punishment.

“Any offense in the school will not be tolerated,” said the principal. “Every little offense will have consequences.”

“Though Santa Barbara is considered to be wine, no matter how light it is alcohol, alcohol is alcohol”, says the principal.

However, one of the teachers said the students took the punishment positively and they have a sense of pride that they have done something for the school.

“It can be taken as an example that one should not do such thing and if not they have to go through the same thing”, he added.

Some students, said that the Park has benefitted the Arts students since it is constructed near their academic block.

Muna Karel from XI arts said till now her recess period were spent in corridors and verandas, but now she comes and sits in the park. “Now we can bask in the sun when we feel cold”.

One of the commerce students said that the Park has beautified the school campus though he doesn’t visit it since his classroom is at the other side of the Park. “However, I am happy to see students can make use of it,” he said.

The Principal also said that students admired the Park. The other side of the charm is the name itself ‘Santa Barbara’.

However, he said that making a park is not the objective, “If we had, we have enough students to do that and make a greater park. But the only thing is to make the students realize,” he added.

Displaying appreciation for the park, a student laments that “a bigger one would have been better”.

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  1. … no matter how light it is alcohol, alcohol is alcohol… I certainly think SANTA BARBARA should be replaced by another name… otherwise the strategy adopted by the school is not bad.

  2. I second Rain-Lover. I appreciate and applaud the strategy used by Principal and his team to discipline student. However, the name needs to be changed. Some might say that what is there in name. Still then we have lots of Bhutanese name… 

  3. haha “santa barbara”…. hats off to the faculties of rinchen to come up with such an idea lol.
    I just pray that the parks name wont advertise the other students to try the so called santa barbara for their own, just my thought.

  4. The Kuenselphodrang Park should be renamed as either Siddarth Peace Park or Buddha Peace Park.

    • wonderful idea; i think Sidarth Peace Park is great name … 

    • In my view this park should be known as Corporal Punishment Park with the hope of reintroducing the ageold offence which is a must to bring the students back to the mainstream of nurturing to become the perfect citizens of the country. Only through corporal punishment would reduce the drug abuse menace that we see today among the youths and both the parents and the Govt. have not been to address this serious issues because of the only fact that Corporal Punishment in the schools were lifted. Our country tends to copy fast the norms that are being followed in the western countries without studying the pros and cons of after effects of such implementation which would suit local conditions of practical/ traditional ethics first and then go international only if at all necessary.

      • Don’t live in the past, live in the present, for good or for worse, the days of corporal punishment are long gone.

  5. Karma in town

    Good initiative from the school authorizes but Do hange the name please. It is out of sync with Bhutan. You can come up with a better name. Santabarbara is also a place name in California and I thought they had built the park seeing he heading of the news. 

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