Teacher plays ‘Doctor’, injects students with unsterilized syringe as punishment

Medical literature shows students are at risk of contracting HIV, Hepatitis, Sepsis, and can die through air bubbles. Some students already have sores

A strict disciplinarian Teacher is always feared but the students in a distant phase of their lives do cherish lessons from that teacher, but not punishments that scar lives and contract diseases or even cause death.

In a similar case scenario the crude methods employed by a teacher of a school in the remote crevices of Zhemgang have surpassed all levels of rationality and medical safety standards.

Medically, a syringe is used to inject vaccines into the patient’s body but for the particular teacher of Budhashi Community Primary School in Goshing, Zhemgang, it is a weapon to punish the students. And the syringe he uses is raw and unsterilized which carries every risk to transfer diseases among the students.

The students of the school describe their dzongkha teacher as one of the strictest teachers in the school and the most feared by students. The fear in the minds of the students is not one that is generated to a productive or creative end, for students spend the entirety of the lesson period focused on how not to get punished by the teacher, rather than concentrate on the contents of lessons.

For these young minds going to school is more like being banished or exiled into a land of terror.

The teacher is feared especially for his primitive punishment technique of using a syringe to poke the students as punishment. Sources say that if a student fails to do their homework or misbehaves in the classroom, they are bound to get pierced. Students who move their hands get it on their hands and likewise on their buttocks and other body parts.

Goshing Gup, Sangay Letho had sent the Tshogpa of Lamtang village, Dorji Lungtse to the school to confirm the reality of such punishment used by the teacher.  The Gup’s son also happened to be a victim.

“My son refused to go to school one day fearing getting poked with the needle,” said Gup Sangay Letho. He added that then he needed to confirm all the rumors doing the rounds at the time.

The Gup said, “The tshogpa has confirmed the punishment but the accused teacher was on leave that day.” In addition, he also said that the same teacher once thrashed all students in the assembly ground.  The issue was then raised during the Teachers – Parents meeting and it was suggested that such corporal punishments be abolished.

The Gup also said that the teacher fills the syringe with water and injects the kids.

Lamtang Tshogpa Dorji Lungtse said, “I went to the school and confirmed that the teacher is using a syringe to poke students as a punishment.” He added that the all students were complaining about the teacher using needles to poke them.

The Tshogpa said that the teacher punished the students violently on various parts of their body and students who were injected have swollen and wounded body parts.  The issue is yet to be put up to the Gewog Yargay Tshogchung (GYT).

Parents of the victimized kids The Bhutanese talked-to unanimously confirmed the accusations against the teacher. The parents have however been unable to lodge any formal complaints with the relevant agencies against the teacher for his brutal tactic of punishing students.

In this wild escapade of the ‘syringe-wielding-teacher’ only four out of 80 students in the school were spared the crude torture. The Tshogpa said these are the students who are very cautious in whatever they do in the class.

According to the World Health Organization the use of an unsterilized syringe on multiple occasions can lead to the possibility of dangerous diseases like HIV Aids, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. There is also danger of infection and Sepsis or blood poisoning from such unsafe medical practices.

However, a big danger according to several medical journals is that an untrained person may end up pushing in air bubbles into the veins of a patient which can either cause death or lead to massive organ damage.

An eight year old student described to his mother the teacher’s punishing tool, as a full-sized syringe which was very painful when poked it in his buttocks. The student was pricked twice and one of the wounds led to formation of boils. The parents of the kid had to take their child to the nearest Basic Health Unit for treatment.

“My son was poked on his buttocks twice and later he suffered from boils which took a long time to heal,” Leki Pelzang from Lamtang said. His son had shifted a little in his sitting position while the teacher was teaching and there he was pricked. “The wounds are still very much visible,” he said.

Leki Pelzang said his son reluctantly goes to the school fearing the punishment he may get for the slightest slip in the presence of the dzongkha teacher.

Another parent, Chezang, 46 from the same village said the children usually become sick suffering from fever. “The wound disables kids making them unable to walk,” he said. Chezang informally tried to find out how the empty needle landed up in the wrong hand but the Health Assistant of Goshing BHU denied giving out any such needle.

Chezang’s youngest son studies in the school.

Sangay Dorji, who has his sister in the school said she was sick for four days without any reason. She was bedridden and unable to move her legs. She took leave writing a leave letter. Sangay asked if there was a legalized and standing rule from Ministry of Education to do such things.  He said that a Class VI science subject had a topic/chapter on injection. He suspects if the needle made its way to school during such a lesson.

The Zhemgang Dzongkhag Education Officer (DEO) Sangay Chophel said that the case has not yet reached the dzongkhag.

“We disseminated circular to every schools about use of no corporal punishment and if this is true the teacher would be dealt according to the law of the country,” said the Zhemgang DEO. The teacher was not available for comments.

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    It is no surprising that the remote schools use corporal punishment to students but using needles as tools to punish students is very new to every body. Negligence of the teacher itself lead to punishment of the student. This instances happened to me when my son got beatings by electric wire twice at the calf though he has scored good marks in the class test conducted, 90 % of the students got beatings as they were below average and teacher also a principal was in beating spree. Without looking at the marks he blindly beat my son which is sheer negligence in the part of teacher. I reported to his place and asked why? before i said to report to higher authorties he pleaded, he may lose his job and it was his mistakes. Here we human beings are bound to make mistakes but not like this. Punishing with unsterlised syringe is what we parents can’t think of. That Dzongkha teacher should be brought to justice and compensated the medical expenses. Edn Ministry should address this issues with immediate effect. God bless those students who were at the mercy of the ZLT..

    • Well, it is very sad to know that such kind of teachers still exist in our modern education system. Please wake up, this is a 21st century and old ideas wont work with highly intellectual kids in the school. Remember, beyond every law, there is a law of humanity, which is way above all the laws in this world, please, teachers, we respect you for your unlimited sacrifices for our children, we salute you all for sacrificing your better today for our children s better tomorrow. we have lots of hope from you all(teachers) but not like the teacher of that community school, who being a human have forgotten the humanity.The act of that dzongkha teacher is very ungodly and very inhuman, I sincerely would like to request the concern authority to investigate the case and give justice to our young leaders of that school. At the same time, I also would like to request our Bhutanese people not to blame rest of the teachers because we all know that 99 percent of our teachers are doing great job which are priceless for us.

  2. 100 years of modern education and some teachers still practice such barbaric methods in remote places in the country. The Head teacher, Gup and village Tshogpa must have been sleeping! MOE has to look into this … and NOW!

  3. Its a crime…formal Police FIR should be lodged against this criminal teacher…

  4. Oh my god……my heart really aches for those students….Education ministry should take this seriously.

  5. its very disheartening to hear such a story about those students in Budhashi Community Primary School in Goshing, Zhemgang. i have heard and even experienced when we were in the school BLT used to terrify us but not like that…. when doing naughty beating’s is sure…..
    i don’t know what is the main intention behind for using a syringe that is also unsterilized… when one is always sure while in the saloon has to change the razor…
    fear of getting the STD, AIDS and many others. if what is done by the teacher is true then i feel that teacher should be dealt with the law of the kingdom and hope to hear the action form the Ministry of Education soon.
    so sad to hear…..

  6. This is bizzarre. What was he doing with a medical needle and syringe in the first place.

    Don’t they have courses that cover topics on how to manage students, discipline, and code of conduct of teachers at the TTC, NIE or the refresher courses during the breaks? If not, maybe it needs to be covered.

  7. It is very surprising to u hear such brutal inhuman activities. Government particularly education ministry should be careful while recruiting the teachers especially the Dzongkha Teacher. After recruiting, all teachers must be given a training that would facilitate intellectual growth of student.  

  8. teacher should be brought to justice for his in human activities.  he can’t be inject even dogs and other animals beacuse he is untrained. 

    this is gnh  country. DPT governement are u aware.

  9. How surprising? Such people (teachers) exists? What does the concerned school authority say? Did you get any information from the other teachers or not? Why only the biased information…should have approached the principals of that school instead of quoting anonymous people…its quite weird…get the real story…please…want to see what kind of teacher is he……WHERE IS JUSTICE? WHERE IS THAKUR S. POWDYEL…SPEAK UP!

  10. i just cannot believe what i am getting to know….seriously………….injecting the students as a punishment? that is more than weired……
    the teacher i can assure must be having some mental problem…….
    let me exagerate ,he must have dreamt of becoming a doctor…he couldnot fulfill it so he is playing doctor.doctor…….i got it……
    he is mentally so sick…..needs to be treated and put behind the bars…
    strict teacher without a good learning is of no use….all he ll get is accusations and blames all his life….
    be a good teacher to shape our nation please

  11. It is indeed sad that the Dzongkha teacher punished his students using syringe that also unsterilized.
    But if you look deeper I don’t want to blame him entirely too.
    Actually that is how he had also been punished when he was a student and most probably at Simtokha during those days.It is a well known fact that Dzongkha lopens are the most strict and brutul of all teachers in our Bhutanese schools and it is not because they are born that way,It is because the traditional education system has made them that way.So,unless the Govt.brings some reforms in the old system of Bhutanese traditional education system in places like Dzongs,and Dzongkha Institutes,just banning corporal punishment will not work.I find specially olden dzongkha lopens  very very raw and brute.

  12. This is criminal and requires thorough investigation.

  13. this is a very serious issue…..esp. injecting…coz evn water bubbles are dangerous forget about the the serious infection it might cause due to repeated unsterilized poking..if the..”The Bhutanese” ..can help why not take it up to the higher authority…

    taking the case to Gewog will not slove….the problem..by then the students will be either dead or too sick or infected

  14. This News is as good as criminal-complaint, all the relevant organizations should take it seriously and investigate at the earliest.  (Police, MoE, NCWC, etc…)

  15. even to inject animals(domestic or wild) we have train person under department of livestock… but teacher injecting students by syringe filled with water is very shocking and concern authority need to lodge FIR to Teacher and School Administration. shool administration is equally responsible for not stopping teacher from inhuman acts. and gewog administration Office is also responsible as shool administration function under it…….

  16. What a In-Human act of that ZLT, actually, being a Dzongkha Lopen he should be a good human being guided by a Religious believe.. So sad to hear this story, Mercy to those students who have been prick..

  17. It is disgusting and unbelievable to hear such a thing is happening in our country!!
    I only hope that this is a rare case, and we have no such psychos in schools torturing innocent vulnerable helpless students in the remote parts of Bhutan.
    Lyonpo Thakur, please take the most strict action against such animals!!

  18. This is 21st century Bhutan!!!

  19. How ridiculous it is that after a century of education in Bhutan this barbaric person is acting so irrational. This news is enough for the MOE to take action on this teacher. It is shocking as well as painful to read this news. Is that teacher really a human????? How come principal and other teachers do not know about this?? And I wonder why was he not available for the comments??? I would suggest the parents to lodge complaint against him.

    • I support you TOKI.Principal is partly responsible for it if not whole.There are many teachers in many schools even in secondary school who still practice corporal punishment as a tool to make students learn conducts and academic lessons.This is weird!

  20. Why report / discuss at G. Yargay. T? It should reported to police and deal accordingly. Feel sad for those kids. 

  21. wai do something deo i feel that teacher is a sadist

  22. It is fearsome. Particular teacher should be dealt with all means.

  23. It is no mistake of you all that we keep writing comments. Do u really think that by silently writing comments from one corner of your room will bring positive changes in the systems that we are trying to voice, NO WAY because the right person Principal of the school, who should have taken action in this matter has no mention in this article. What could be the reason a big Guess. Similarly, any report which brings repercussion always mention that the accused could not be contacted due to various reasons. Even the day when Tsghogpa visited the school, the Dzongkha teacher was on leave. Gup also took the matter personally as his son was also a victim so he did not visit the school personally instead send his Tshogpa. As a Gewog Head he should have made some official move.  So let us keep writing from one corner of our room. THE BHUTANESE MENTALITY. 

  24. Dzongkha teachers must be feared because they are the ones to discipline the school children and disciplining is the integral part of Driglam Namzha.  Yes, all must follow the driglam namzha. Otherwise you are not true Bhutanese.
    As tradition, the Dzongkha teachers are entrusted with creating fear with such methods of punishment, for punishment are synonymous to driglam namzha way of disciplining. It is again the Bhutenese way of doing things, the unique way.
    The head of the school or the village are not taking the responsibility to question the wrongdoer because they fear the upper boss. 

  25. The world can imagine: In the land of GNH, a  buddhist teacher is compassionate enough to treat his students of primary school as animals that can be threatened away.
    The world can imagine: In the land of GNH, if  a teacher can inject syringe to students just to punish for minor misconduct, what can be the punishment for people taken to jails for misdemeanor or offenses bigger than this.  


  27. this guy shud be treated the same way he treat the kids, n c how he feels when someone pierce needle on his body parts,, wat a cruel human n teacher,, he should be punished accordingly,,, 

  28. So many people demanding further investigation. However, the ‘facts’ have been set in the minds of the readers and no investigation is going to change their opinion. It is thus important that the reporter Tanden Zangmo has done accurate research and reporting. Did she hear of boils on the buttocks or did she actually see boils on 24 pairs of buttocks? 

    If all the reports are accurate, then the teacher needs to be booted out and punished as well. But it is important that in a gullible nation like Bhutan, that the first report be accurate. Sadly, in the rush to publish, this is often not the case in Bhutan.

    And why describe the area as a ‘remote crevice’? 

  29. Now the truth is out and everyone knows about it..where there is no update of the incident? Is it hushed up like all other things(bhutanese style). Why the concernd authority is not reacting? Instead the readers n the public are left barking? Why? Is it not inhumane? How will u react if its ur child? Come on people..lets come out n fight 4 justice..dun simply blah blah…

  30. Education is meant to eradicate brutal and animalistic instinct in Human…and the hedious crime committed by a so called dzongkha lopen is beyond the level of toleverence…Therefore, the concerned agencies should do something to stop such degrading act 🙁

  31. This is because most Dzongkha teachers belong to the jungle.

  32. Sadly, its mostly DLT who are barbarians and they are also known as century.

  33. Nothing else matter in Bhutan. We have kings. We have GNH. We have imposed culture. We have 72% Forest coverage and many tigers.Nothing others matter to lives of Bhutanese.


    Thakur before taking geshe medal like a hungry dog, look into ur hemchu and do right thing. Instead of getting scared of teacher, it is likely that u won’t get any vote in 2013 becoz of ur diplomat attitude, but u r not a leader type, u r a other type

  35. The justice must b done. If it is true, da teacher must b punished. N if da truth is otherwise The Bhutanese or reporter must b done justice soon.

    • If the report is found true,he has no way to escape.Justice will not be denied for those who proven guilty.

  36. This is not a surprise to me. Even if the complaint is lodged to relevant agencies, no actions ll b taken. I ve experienced personally running to follow up the case of one student at gewog, district n moe. All people are linked and victims are left without justice. I thought of filing case to court but thought again that it ll b waste if time. Even court ll back up moe.  

    I doubt how ll those students in zgamgang ll get justice. 

  37. Other newspaper are silent about this news. Thanks Bhutanese

    • other newspapers are  government’s mouthpiece and they are bogged down by DPT . state owned newspaper is sinking to the base of ocean. all the best courageous, daring, and justices reporters with the Bhutanese. 

  38. i wil lodge formal FIR if concern authorities doesnot take action against that teacher and he should be booked under various sections of CrPC for being criminal in nature and its also an professional miscondict which should be booked under penal code…

  39. Excellent theme: “Educating for Happiness”….Hahaha. Attending ministerial panel discussions during International conference, commenting with oxford language on papers, educating for happiness on Ministry letterheads, decorating the ministry building with lights like in Jaigaon…….and alas!! winning ”whatever prices” donot make you an education minister… the educators and the students celebrating 100 years of education in the most painful manner. Your excellency Thakur!!! stop the top down and believe in bottoms up. What is written is not only written but also read. That is why the world is happy and the ministry is happy. GO BEYOND PAPERS FAR BEYOND THE WELL DOCUMENTED POLICIES. Where is your measurement? Where is your evaluation? How are the implementations and what do the feedback say? Magnify your policies from the lens of the bhutanese and you will see a lot more.
    EXCELLENCY, YOU ARE HAPPY, NOT ME AND I AM TEACHING NOT YOU!!!! So where is educating for happiness????? only on the LETTERHEADS and your MOE adm building….Congratulations on a successful slam in the upcoming elections….
    The kamji case?? The zhemgang case??? The thimphu teacher parent case?? The peljorling case???? Congratulations on all these series of events during the sherig century celebration….

  40. Dorji Tshering

    This article need to authenticate its truth. It has been reported by some people in Thimphu, who are not happy with the teachers. It is not one time making story of this kind but reported same during LG election too. However, Media people need to find the fact and create awareness to the communities what should be reported and make it public. The problem is created without knowing the fact. Teacher did not use the unsterilized syringe nor inject the students as punishment. Contact either Principal or DEO who has done through investigation.

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