English | Dzongkha Sunday, April 11, 2021

When the candidates are illiterate

Sep 28, 2010

The functional literacy test is the first and a crucial test that the aspiring local leader candidates have to pass to gain their ticket to contest in the upcoming Local Government elections. As the local leader contenders from Dung, Metakha, Geling, Lokchina, Sampheling geogs in Chukkha sat for the test today at the Phuentsholing middle secondary school, some found their hopes and dreams dashed.

Few minutes into the 2-hour test and these men, who could neither read nor write, realised they have lost their chance of becoming a local leader. There were nine of them in the same boat, all aspiring to become Tshogpa.

They sat in the test room, looking at the test paper in front of them and envying their literate friends who were busy writing. It was a painful experience and about half an hour later, they came out.

Tshering Nidup, 30, and Nado, 36, walked for four days from their village in Mandakha under Dung Geog for the test. But they had no idea what the test would be like.  “We didn’t know much about the test. There was no clear cut information from the Gup and the Mangmi,” said Nado from Dung Geog, Chhukha.

The two men are only Tshogpa candidates of Mandakha village of Dung Geog.  “People in our Chiwog chose us and that’s why we came for the test. But because we illiterate, we are unable to sit for the test,” said Tshering Nidup.

Nado, also from Dung Geog said: “There are no educated people in our Chiwog. People found us capable and wanted us to take part. And here we couldn’t even sit for the test, which means there will be no Tshogpa for Mandakha Chiwog. The danger is our Chiwog, which is one of the remote Chiwogs, will hardly see developments because we will have no one represent us.”

Like them, little did Chennga from Omchu Chiwog of Geling Geog realise that the test has no place for those who cannot read or write.

Another man from Omchi Chiwog can read and write but his poor eye sight failed him.

The men are disappointed but they are still hopeful. They want to give a shot at the viva test tomorrow. But the chances are slim. The viva test accounts only for 40 percent. Not only that, the viva test also includes reading, which they are not capable of.

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