National Drama Competition returns to cultivate literary and drama skills among students

Commemorating the 34th birthday of Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen yesterday, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development reintroduced the National Drama Competition in Thimphu. The competition aims to exhibit the literary and dramatic ability of students in higher secondary schools across the country. Starting this year, the competition is expected to be an annual event.

Motithang Higher Secondary School performed the Episode in the Life of an Author by Jean Anouilh as the inaugural performance yesterday.

The Ministry of Education and Skills Development says another 49 dramas chosen by various districts and Thromdes will be evaluated. From them, the top three dramas will be awarded cash prizes.

Each of the dramas will be assessed by three judges from the film industry and those with cultural background.

Norbu Wangchuk, the officiating chief curriculum officer with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development’s school education department said, “We asked the schools to prepare the drama and based on that, the competition is supposed to continue. But now since the midterm is approaching, we will not continue. So we’ll start after the midterm when the schools resume. So maybe we are planning to complete this competition by the end of July.”

Each performance will be a classic, contemporary or Bhutanese short play in English medium with a maximum duration of 90 minutes. The ministry says the competition will use Dzongkha as the medium next year, which is expected to enhance the language skills of students.

Meanwhile, the students and teachers engaged in the drama say this competition is truly helpful in forming new friendship and improving the skills of students that are yet to be developed.

Tshering Rigphel, a student of Motithang Higher Secondary School said, “This kind of competition has helped me build bonds with some certain schoolmates that I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I’ve been able to really show my own skills because of all the teamwork and effort we put into this play.”

Similarly, Phuntsho Rabgay, a teacher of the same school said, “It gives the opportunity to all the students because this can give them the required skills. They can develop the skills such as speaking and also help them to boost their confidence and I think they will also develop their creativity”

According to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, the competition was launched in 2017 but it could not be continued in the following years due to the pandemic.

Drama is important because it allows emotional expression, enhances communication skills and confidence, promotes critical thinking, and facilitates cultural understanding among others.

Singye Dema

Edited by Kipchu

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