The biggest announcement of the 112th National Day was the announcement of the Gyalsung or National Service for youth at or above the age of 18 from 2022 onwards.
The Bhutanese following the announcement talked to an array of of youth over the next few days to gauge their reaction and feelings on the issue.
The paper talked to 13 different youth and all of them supported and welcome the National Service as an important opportunity for them.
The important thing to note is that some of the youth interviewed by the paper would be eligible for National Service by 2022.
Some welcomed it as a special initiative of His Majesty while others felt it would be an important opportunity to upgrade their skills for free. Others felt it will help them to make career decisions while others felt it will enhance their physical fitness and teach them self-defense skills. Youth also saw it as an opportunity to serve the nation.
Kezang Deki, Grade 10, studying in Zilukha Middle Secondary School.
”The National Day programs were exciting, and we are all in a celebratory mood. I think this (Gyal Suung) is such a special initiative by our King to help the youth to engage in such activities.”
Dremid Yoezer, Grade 10, Lungtenzampa MSS, “I love sports, and I think the National Service would help people, like me, stay fit and committed as an athlete. I aspire to join the National Defense Academy after I graduate from class 12. The Gyal Suung might provide me the platform to prove my physical abilities. Hopefully, I will get the opportunity to be among the batch under this great program.”
According to 10th graders, Kinley Bidha and Tenzin Zimbha, studying in Lungtenzampa MSS, “We feel privileged, this is such a great program. I think this will help to shape up the future of the youth better. We think this will enable the youth to make better career decision, as we get to experience something more than in schools.”
Norbu Wangdi, Grade 12, Nima High School: “It is always great to hear His Majesty’s Addresses, and today was yet another important one. I recollect two really great news; the National Service and of the Royal Family expecting another new member. We have been lucky to have received all the love and nurturing through the great deeds of our Kings, and although I am not going to be eligible for the national service, it still makes me happy as my brothers and sisters would get a first-hand chance to serve and dedicate their service to bring prosperity and security to the country. This, I hope, will align the youth in choosing the right career for them before going to colleges.”
Sonam Yangchen Namgyal, Grade 8, Lungtenzampa MSS: “I am proud to be a Bhutanese, we get so many things that other countries do not get, like free education, health, and now this.”
Dechen Pem, Grade 12, Nima High School: “It’s a great opportunity as learning computer science, entrepreneurship and other program like these don’t come for free, and I think we are lucky to get all of this provided for us. My ambition is to pursue MBBS, and I hope I can be an equally fruitful citizen to the country despite not being eligible for the program.”
Tenzin Chenzom, Grade 12, Ugyen Academy, “It’s a great initiative.”
11th graders from Yangchenphug HSS, Chador Tenzin Rabgay and Rajit Gurung: “It will provide a great platform for societal development, as His Majesty stated that people from different region and social status will come together. Also, it will provide a room for interaction, learning self-defense, understanding the pathway to a brighter future, productive time for the youth as some of them do not utilize their time effectively during breaks, and there will be military resilience.”
Tshewang Choden, Grade 12, Samtse High School, Tshering Wangmo, Grade 11, Punakha High School, “We think this will foster skillful engagement and independent exposure. Wish we were part of it too.”
“I think this is a great opportunity for the youth, and it’ll encourage them, as most youth after class twelve, especially those who can’t or won’t go for higher studies, will not feel like they are unemployed. They can choose something that the program will provide them with. There will be sense of satisfaction and atmosphere of cooperation.”