English | Dzongkha Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Government to invest more in teacher training programmes


Oct 21, 2019

The Prime Minister says the government is going to invest more in teacher training programmes to improve the quality of education in the country. This was shared while meeting the Gups and Thrizins at the recent 10th Dzongkhag Tshogdu and Gewog Tshogde Chairperson’s Conference in Bumthang.

The Prime Minister also said the government will stop the system of funding scholarships for class 11 and 12 students studying in private schools in a few years time. He said they will instead be absorbed in the government schools.

According to the Prime Minister, the government will revamp teaching programmes in Samtse and Paro Colleges of Education by investing more in capacity development of lecturers working in the two colleges. He also announced that trainees of the two colleges will be paid the highest monthly stipend as compared to students of other colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan. The trainees will also be guaranteed a job after the training is over.

“We will give the first priority to Paro and Samtse colleges of education during the undergraduate scholarship selection process for students who have passed class 12 exams. After the selection, they will then undergo the teaching training with a guaranteed job in teaching within the country as well as in other developed countries by collaborating with them,” said Dr Lotay Tshering, the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also said the government is expecting to enrol another 1500 class 10 passed students in private schools in the next academic year. He, however, said that this system would be discontinued in a few years time and that all class 10 passed students would then study in government higher secondary schools.

“In about two to three years time, all class 10 passed students will be able to study in government schools. We won’t be able to support scholarships in private schools. This has upset some of the private school owners. Every one of us knows that this new system benefits the country, the public and moreover, so far most of the students who had to study in private schools to continue their education are the ones from poor families. If we are to benefit such students, we shouldn’t be influenced by what few private individuals have got to say about their businesses,” added Lyonchhen.

The Prime Minister said he instead asked the private school owners to improve the standard of their schools and make them better than that of the government schools during a meeting 4 months ago. He said this way the children from well-to-do families would opt to study in private schools. To improve the standard of private schools, he said the government will support the private schools’ owners with loans, provide experienced teachers from government schools wherever required and give the approval to hire foreign teachers.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister also said the government is looking for funds to fulfil the Breastfeeding Allowance promised by his party. He said the allowance will not just be specifically for breastfeeding but it will also take care of eligible mothers and their children:

“We have pledged to provide Breastfeeding Allowances during our campaign. This pledge has been revised and now the allowance will be increased significantly. Once the children are taken care through 1000 Golden Days, the ECCD programme will commence and the Health Ministry will then hand over the programme to the Education Ministry. The Health Minister is working on gathering the funds for the allowance currently. The allowance will now be three times more than what we have promised with the Breastfeeding Allowance. It is taking some time to deliver the pledge as such activities are for long term benefits of the people.”

Meanwhile, the government is soon going to approve a Nu 1.5bn worth Information and Communications Technology (ICT) programme under the education flagship programme. The government intends to introduce ICT courses in schools across the country from class 4 or 5 onwards and from preprimary level if possible.

Kipchu  

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