The College Hunt

It is time for high school graduates to choose and decide upon their future goals and the path they take toward it. Colleges are in fact the start of a new beginning to set up a bright future.

“Kids nowadays choose colleges based on their popularity, the friends present and the total expenses,” said Dechen Yoesel Choden a high school graduate from Yangchenphug higher secondary school (YHSS). She said that most of the kids go for colleges which are well known and cheap. Some of them even blindly trust the consultancies just because they offer admissions to colleges which are affordable. So, in short kids go to colleges which are cheap and offer courses they want to take.

For most high school graduates in Bhutan an attempt at the government scholarships is the first move. After that those who do qualify either opt for a course where their interest may or may not be of the utmost. The students who do get what they want (the course) are satisfied but there are also some who drop the course to take up another one just because the country is not of their choice.

On the other hand, students who do not qualify for any scholarships turn to their parents and the various education consultancies for advice. Regarding the self-financed scholars, the fairly-privileged are sent to colleges known to be the best, which usually means expensive. The rest settle for cheaper and affordable ones thinking it would ease the burden on their parents and also, they can easily avail the courses they want.

“I don’t think students today actually have a set goal to enter a particular college nor have they actually thought out what they want to do in the future in a proper manner. Most of them are still lost at this point where they “should” have already applied for colleges,” said Jigyasha Pradhan another high school graduate from YHSS.

 

But this of course, doesn’t apply to all students.

Popularly established-thinking among the lot is that unlike developed countries where students are well-prepared before the end of their high school regarding their interests and choice of colleges that would best suit them, Bhutan provides only a few range of options which limits possibilities of exploring in different fields of studies and personal interests.

“When I had completed my 12, I was still running a blank in my head as I didn’t know which course to choose and where my interest stands. But deep inside I had this true love toward media and film making so I thought I’d try it out and it was exactly what I did, ” said Sonam Dorji a graduate from St. Joseph’s college in Darjeeling.

Sonam thinks one should pursue one’s interests and not blindly go to any college just for the sake of a job. But now the ratio has changed and more students follow their interests rather than go blindly to any college of their parents’ choice.

An excerpt that appeared in the New York Times stated “And if she’s like most of my peers when I was her age, she’ll wind up picking one that gives her a sense of comfort, of safety. That’s what too many kids do. They perpetuate what they’re familiar with, gravitating to the same schools that their friends are or duplicating their parents’ paths. And there’s so much lost in that reflex, so much surrendered by that timidity.”

Reflecting on those lines Sonam said “students should pursue one’s interests and not blindly believe in their parents and the various education consultancies just for the sake of a job in the near future.”

Thinley Choden and Jigme Sonam / Thimphu

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