19 November 2009

Bajothang School Wireless Network: A generation ahead!

When I heard the news (on BBC) of a city in England where every citizen gets access to free wireless internet connection (first of it kind in the world) I just realized that Bajothang School is not bad! You walk into my school campus with a laptop (with wireless device) and you are connected 100mbps wireless network with 24 hours internet for free (Of course I should authorize you).

We began with a dial-up connection in 2007, then we taught internet from book and students has to imagine what email is and search engine… By last year we moved on to broadband. Sharing the internet on an imperfect network was difficult; on top of that broadband is not a connection to be shared on network.
I knew development is going to rain on us when a Singapore International Foundation chose our school along with four other for their Bhutan W.I.R.E.D Project. The core of the project is to use ICT in teaching and learning. And the dream is to connect the five schools with MoE to share resources through internet. The project donated 10 laptops to each school, with a LCD projector each and cameras. We are half way through at the moment but the going is good!

The broadband became old fashioned suddenly; we opted for lease line (all high school must have got this scheme from MoE). Our network became reliable and we started sharing the internet connection. Then the Bhutan W.I.R.E.D required our school to have a domain server which glorified our network and made my college dream come true. Mr. Kong Ming, a volunteer for the project, came out of his shoes to set up the whole thing.

Mr. Karma Jurmi, the man who looks after ICT department in MoE, promised us a set of wireless equipment and he kept his word. Right after we had the network and domain server done we got the wireless set. The power of this tiny device still didn’t cease to amaze me. I worked out a blueprint and left no building in school out of network, through wire and the wireless.

There are about 30 teachers in my school and 27 of us own our own laptops, which are connected to internet as long as they are in the school premises. Mr. Kong Ming showed me even more amazing things we could do on our network. We already started having a school intranet site (of course just within our school network but far more interactive and useful than school website we have) where we can post school announcements, have subject wiki pages, share files, discussion forum, etc.

My senior IT teacher BB Ghalley is on his masters in India. He writes me a mail once in about two months. He tells me that his university has just a few slow computers connected to internet where hundreds stand in line. Is it really a university then? I know his wits can’t withstand this story of a high school he once used to be in. But it’s true Bajo is one generation ahead of many school in the country.


  1. It is indeed a good news that the schools in Bhutan are getting wired. I am sure it will be of tremendous help in taking the students further. Just a few years ago while I was in 12th grade, I bunked a dzongkha class so that I can type my physics/chemistry project. Unfortunately I received only few slaps from a self-appointed lab administrator in the name of having broken his self-made rules (i.e. You're not allowed to enter computer lab during class hours ):-(

    Just a small mistake - perhaps a typo. The maximum throughput for a wireless network is 54 Mbps ( i.e. for 802.11g). Even 54 Mbps is just a maximum theoretical value. In practice, even with the most ideal equipments and without much interferences, we hardly get around 30 Mbps. Anyway, just thought I will let you know.

  2. Thank you for taking time out to read my blog. Yeah you are right about the 54Mbps, I went right up mo? Ha ah ha no matter how much our network bandwidth druknet is only capable of rendering us 256kbps internet bandwidth.

  3. Passu,

    It is good that you are taking the lead in Bajo HSS to have a good networking system. It is so interesting to explore and work around with networking and managing servers... I too am in same job!

    I would be trying to get an opportunity to enter the computer lab every free time I had. I remember a teacher telling,"This is not your father's hotel where you come and go whenever you like it. Please follow the rules". It was in Drukgyel (you know who the teacher is...).

    I have learned ICT myself and I am now ICT officer looking after all networking and website administration!

    By the way, I am you old class mate of Standard XI & XII in Drukgyel...(PG) .

    Keep writing... I know you have capability to write!

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  5. Oya Pema I remember you sneaking into computer lab during the recess while we had the privilege of having whole class. But you learnt the most at the end.
    I heard you did great with RSPN Network and website when you first got into job. You believe or not; I often illustrate your self-learned ICT ability to my students as model.
    So you have started your own business? I would love to host my blog...

  6. Passu,

    Please order your preferred domain name (if you do not own) and the hosting package at this address: http://www.bhutanhosting.com/manage/cart.php. I will activate your blog account after some confirmation and configurations.


  7. Hello Sir Passang,
    I was searching for something in Google and I suddenly found your blog. I was more than surprised, anamoured and more importantly pleased with the level of expertise you are adding up to the history of Bajothang. I was in the school (regrettably) when all this was not possible, but I am lucky to be able to read the developments in the school that I was a part of!

    I wish that you contribute more for the elevation of our only school to the extent of expertise and growth never before withstood.

    Tashi delek.


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