The parents and students of ‘Learn and Earn’ Program approach the Opposition party

While the parents and students wait for a response from the Bhutan Employment Overseas (BEO) on the matter of transparency and accountability, the number of students returning back to the country after undergoing the ‘Learn and Earn’ program through the agent is on the rise.

The parents and students meanwhile approached the opposition to seek suggestions and shared their grievances in a two-hour long meeting with the vice president of the opposition, MP Dorji Wangdi, MP Rinzin Jamtsho and other members of the opposition on Friday.

The parents shared that the situation in Japan exposed the students to vulnerable risks concerning their health and life altogether and said that it also increased financial complications both for the parents and the students.

The group said that giving priority in addressing these issues would prevent many other youths from falling victim to such schemes in the future. “In the first place, we mainly entrusted this program since the program is affiliated and supported by the Labor ministry,” said a youth.

The group alleged that while the labour ministry had sent its officials to examine the situation of Bhutanese youth in Japan twice, the ground reality assessment were not submitted.

The students alleged that most of them didn’t get to meet the labour officials. “Had they informed us beforehand about their visit, it would have been possible to manage our time for the meeting,” said a youth who’ve returned from Japan.

The students also alleged that in some schools where the officials made the visit, the purpose was not clear. “Instead of trying to study and understand our situation, they were defensive about program, and instead counseled the students to work hard in order to gain more.”

The group also highlighted on the lack of transparency from the BEO and the lack of proper monitoring by the representative of the program, and accused of fake promises by the agent.

MP Dorji Wangdi said the meeting gave a clearer picture and merits immediate attention. “The issue is not unknown to anyone now that it has been highlighted in the media every now and then. There seem to be many ways to solve the issue for which government is in best position to do so,” said Dorji Wangdi.

He suggested a formal approach to be made to the Prime Minister, attaching a letter of copy to the chairman of National Council, and the opposition. “Whether you get the response from BEO or not, it’s important that you formally approach the government for the issue to be solved,” suggested the MP to the parents and the students.

“We can’t assure when this issue will be solved, but we will try our best in taking forward the matter in our role as the opposition of the day. However, such issues should be solved as one regardless of the role as opposition or as the ruling government,” said Dorji Wangdi.

Dorji Wangdi said the issue would help the concerned authority to reconsider on creating a solution on unemployment issues in the future.

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