Personal Stories,

The path is uphill. But we are climbing.

May 2nd is Teachers Day in Bhutan. And I was invited to attend the celebrations at Changlingmethang stadium, where all teachers from Thimphu Thromde had gathered richly attired in colorful beauty beyond description. They were to be celebrated and revered for the day. Lines of tents on both sides of the ground were filled with bright smiling teachers.

The entire stand was filled with students, in different colored uniform. And the Indian teachers of yesteryears who were the Ministry’guest were seated, mesmerized by the various display of color. On the other side of the pavilion were the Bhutanese guests who had served in the capacity of teachers, but were now either retired of working in other ministry.

A brass band and a contingent of Scouts were ready to portray their military display, while young boys and girls stood ready to present their cultural items. Various dignitaries who support Education in Bhutan came to pay their respects to teachers of Bhutan.

The chill in the air didnt deter us in coming together to celebrate our teachers in Bhutan. And the sign is good. But is it just for the day? I reckon we need not just verbal ‘trashideleks’ but also actions from all stakeholders. We need support from the community and the government. We need support from the parents and the Ministry. We need to stop pressurizing our teachers, and instead ask them to be accountable themselves.

Let them come up with IWPs themselves, not impose various aspects of IWP on them. Let them own the IWP. On a side note, Hon’ble Prime Minister also highlighted on the need to review IWP of teachers, and touched on PD programs for teachers. He also shared plans to minimize contact-teaching hours for teachers.

And we must also not forget to acknowledge the Indian Teachers who were the pioneers of Education in Bhutan. And this forum is a good idea to thank the 43 of them who traveled all the way from India today. They represent the advancement of modern education in Bhutan. They are a storehouse of Bhutanese history.

As I sit behind the various powerful educationists, I feel dwarfed. My contribution of 13 and half years as a teacher is just a grain of sand. Yet I feel proud to be part of this Bhutanese teaching fraternity.

Today, we have lots of challenges in education. Yes, classrooms are still crowded, curriculum is still evolving, teachers are still leaving the system, but something good will ultimately come out of this. This, I feel even as the chill air runs up my legs amid the crowded stadium. Major change in Education has finally come.

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KK is a civil servant hailing from Trashiyangtse. He labels himself as an amateur blogger and a passionate photographer. He is based in Thimphu City, BHUTAN

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