04 December 2013

Made in Bhutan Apps (BHUTANews)

It's so shameful to discover that Bhutan couldn't produce one person capable of programming a simple computer software that we could proudly talk about in the world. Forget about a full scale software we haven't developed a mobile phone application so far. Somewhere I read that an 11 year old has developed an application for iPhone. I personally have lots of guilt because I entered computer lab back in 1999 and ever since I have been in touch with computer but still today I am dealing with Microsoft Office. I was never prepared for that. Exam was our only concern.

But wait, what have we here? An Android App made in Bhutan! The makers of Sherig Collection has pioneered an android app called BHUTANews. It's the first of its kind in the country and perhaps the alarm clock to us all. The app, which for now is available only on android devices, is capable of giving up-to-date news compiled from Bhutan's major newspapers, magazines and blogs. It's a one stop shop for news in Bhutan, and if you don't want to miss anything you should get it. It's free! Apple device users should have to wait.
Download it for free!
Like their Facebook Page to Ask Questions and Post Feedback

While I and my generation failed to make any significant impact on Bhutan's IT history, I have great hope in some of my students. They will do what I couldn't and when that day comes you will read about it here on this blog. You already read how much they have done during the School Club Exhibition.

Also some massive changes are coming the IT education in Bhutan, which has the potential to produce first generation of Computer programmers in Bhutan. I will write about this later. For now you download the app.


  1. Congratulations - makers of Sherig Collection for developing the app. Well lop Passu, you need not feel guilty of not being able to produce an app or produce someone with the ability to develop one, despite being a very IT savvy individual yourself!
    To be able to develop an App or to become a programmer or great coder has nothing to with ICT or computer science. It is a grossly misunderstood concept especially in Bhutan to the extent of using ICT, computer science, hardware engineer, network engineer etc. as interchangeable or synonymous terms. Can’t blame the ignorance!
    What is required to be a great coder is - an inquisitive mind and a logical thinking skill, which unfortunately is not enabled and nurtured by our culture and education system respectively.
    It doesn't mean that YOU and I or the younger generations do not have the potential to do programming - appropriately known as coding. The problem is with our thought process – the way we think which is shaped by our culture which has influenced our education system as well. Our culture doesn’t enable and allow inquisitive mind in children to flourish which otherwise is necessary to develop logical thinking skills which is a must to becoming an “app developer”. Our culture doesn’t allow our children to question. We expect our children to just follow what elders or the person in authority think and says. It is considered disrespectful to question or to justify what one thinks to one’s superior or elder, thus nibbing the inquisitive, creative and innovative mind at the bud.
    Unconsciously I also land up doing same thing with my kids, often time even telling them what is the right way to hold a cup. I am pretty sure they will be able to figure out how to hold a cup on their own way!
    More so lack of enquiry mind and poverty of logical thinking skill is aggravated by the current state of our education system. The heavy irrelevant content curriculum compounded by exam oriented syllabus and assessment doesn’t allow for inquiry based learning, problem solving and project based learning which fosters creativity, innovation which in turn would result is “app development” in this context. Sad!
    The logical thinking jargonized as algorithm is happening and practiced in our day to day life without we knowing it. It is done in doing things in most efficient way. For eg: what would be most efficient way to locate a page – say page 50 in a book of 100 pages?
    As we would instantaneously do it - Logical thinking….1. Divide the book in half and check the page no. if one gets it right, good that’s it! If not, 2. Flip pages in batches from either of the side which seems to have little more pages than exact half of the book. 3. We would continue with these steps a couple of times and we would strike our goal. That’s programming!
    To actually code it one need to know a language – which can be learned like any other languages (Japanese, French…) with its own specific syntax, semantics and conventions. So…Java, php, Python, ruby and the sort.
    Want to start? This seems to be a good place www.codeacademy.com Good luck.

  2. Sir Karma, that makes a lot of sense, basically we point at the same point, we were never directed into that direction of logical thinking. Now, after reading your enlightening comment I still can't help feeling guilty because we in the IT field are the best chances and we haven't done anything have we.
    I learned the basics of two languages in high school- QBASIC and C++ but after the exam that's it. No continuity.
    I will visit the codeacademy, hope my basics contribute a little.

    Thanks you so much for the time and comment.


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