Last week there was a curious incident of the Thimphu Thrompon Kinley Dorji and the Thromde Executive Secretary Pasang Dorji giving different views from the same organization over review of the tracksuit notification.
The Thimphu Thrompon in an interview to The Bhutanese clearly said that the tracksuit rule would be reviewed and that it may even be done away with if the issues raised by parents and schools cannot be addressed. The Thrompon had said he did not want to make it strict if it was not working.
However, the Thimphu Thromde Executive Secretary who is the bureaucratic head of the Thromde two days later took a completely different position in another newspaper saying it will not reverse the decision on the tracksuits. He in that article said that schools will have to follow the new rule.
It is interesting to note that lower down in the same article the position of the Thrompon is against different saying that the tracksuit rule needs to be reviewed and if there is a problem then the rule would need to be reviewed.
Confirming this divide in positions a senior Thromde official on the condition of anonymity said, “The new rule on the use of tracksuit also divided the Thrompon and the Executive Secretary. While the Thrompon noted tracksuit notification needs to be reviewed the Executive secretary of the thromde challenged it saying that the decision on tracksuit shall not be overturned and schools in Thimphu, both government and private, are expected to implement it.”
The Thromde official said, “Because of the differences between the Thrompon and the Executive Secretary and criticism from parents, students and schools, the thromde arranged consultation meetings with 19 government school principals on April 4 and 15 private school principals on April 6 where many issues were raised and discussed.”
An Assistant Principal from a private school also confirming the divide said, “The notification lead to controversy and disagreement between the Thrompon and the Secretary. While the Thrompon favored reviewing the tracksuit rule, the ES did not want to change the rule.”
During the meeting with the schools the Thrompon said it is not mandatory for students to wear tracksuit during sports day as they can also wear t-shirt and shorts depending on their convenience.
Thimphu Thrompon Kinley Dorjee said, “As mentioned before, Thromde is reviewing the tracksuit rule and we are still not done with the review. Once the review is completed, we will distribute a circular within one or two weeks.”
When asked about the Executive Secretary’s differing view in the media the Thrompon said, “That is just his opinion as the official position of the Thromde is that there will be a review.”
Meanwhile ES Pasang Dorji claimed that the other newspaper in question might have ‘misinterpreted’ the information he shared with them.
He said, “I agree with the Thrompon and so we are reviewing the tracksuit notification. Most parents and school are implementing this rule and the people who are complaining about this new rule are mainly non-Bhutanese.”