Question and answer session
The Member of Parliament of Bartsam-Shongphu asked for an update and the progress made so far on opening more colleges in the country, out of which three colleges are to be opened in the east.
To which the Education Minister, Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa, said the Constitution of Bhutan mandates that free education is provided to all the children till the tenth standard.
Lyonpo shared the quality of education in the country needs to be improved and the government is working on it.
The Opposition party said there are an increasing number of class XII students graduating while there are only a limited number of colleges in the country. This was pointed as a reason why parents who are mostly poor were left with no option but to send their children off to colleges abroad.
Lyonpo said, “We need to give an opportunity to the private people, from the announcement we have made so far, we have received 36 applicants to start the private colleges, out of which 6 have been approved by Ministry of Education in principle.”
This is a huge opportunity for the private people since there are more students he added.
The ministry is hopeful that subsidized student loan would benefit the students. He said the education blue print, school consolidation and more programs are being instituted.
Furthermore, Lyonpo said the ministry has been discussion with the Royal University of Bhutan on the enhancement of Sherubtse College, Deothang Polytechnic, Teacher Education Institute in Yonphula in the 11th FYP, which was started since 2008 but couldn’t be instituted properly. Lyonpo added there are proper studies and discussion being held to build an in-service college for teachers and instituting a college in Gyelposhing, Mongar.
There are also plans to make a degree program and an additional diploma course in Deothang Polytechnic by next year.
Lyonpo said the priority is to improve the quality of education in the country. In the last three years, Lyonpo shared that a total 337 students were funded by the government for higher education, whereas, 826 students are funded privately within and outside country. He said such a situation provides an opportunity for those in the private sector to open more colleges in the country.