Showing posts with label Best School in Bhutan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best School in Bhutan. Show all posts

01 March 2013

Rejected Seats in Government Schools

Last year at this time I was going through a similar feeling and almost the same thought when I wrote "The Best School in Bhutan" where I was trying to differentiate my definition of best school and the definition people and even the authorities have put together. Nothing changed ever since but it brought personal gratification, having figured out the foolishness with which people hunger for reputation and glamour.
Education Ministry defines Class XI intake capacity every year, based on which the qualification mark is set but the recent trend of brilliant students choosing private schools over government school raises one important concern: has the government studied and considered the number of qualified students not take their privileges and therefore leaving seats in government school vacant, which could be otherwise given to students who ran short by a few points? I am of the opinion that we should keep at least over 100 students in standby, who could be considered in government schools after private school admissions are over.
There are students with brilliant marks who are welcomed into private schools and there are students with brilliant parents who can take their kids to private school for so many reasons despite having qualified but on the down side there are students who neither have brilliant marks nor have brilliant parents, for them it's the end of their schooling life. Giving away those seats rejected by the lucky students to those for whom the road has ended would be godly. No less than 100 seats are rejected every year, which could other wise change 100 lives forever.

There should be a system in place to find how many more students can each school take after the admissions are over to make full use of government resources, after all a class of 20 students takes as much resources as that of class with 40 students.
A simple example from my school might shed light on the wider picture: 66 students qualified for class XI, of which the top five students (with 85%- 92.8%) have opted to move to private school on special admissions and one has changed school. A few new students came in from other schools but the whole total could only make up for a section of Science and Commerce stream each. One student who want to take up Arts stream had to be moved to Punakha because we didn't have enough students to begin that stream. We have done the same for the last three years in row after we phased out boarding felicities. My school alone has provision for at least 30 Arts students who can put up on their own as day scholars, and I am sure there could be many schools who same capability.This happened not because of our ministry's miscalculation but by the outflow of qualified students to private schools- which of course is not tracked and considered.
How do we track the outflow? What provisions can be created to make maximum use of government schools and give higher education to as many children as possible?

08 September 2012

Happy Retirement Lopen

Lopen Namgay Phuntsho from Punakha was a teacher since 1973. It was an emotional moment when I saw about his retirement on the Facebook. He is finally done with his job. In last 40 years he made differences in lives of thousands. Those thousands include me. This great teacher and I crossed our paths in Drukgyel and I spent four best years of my life under his care.
During my days in Drukgyel I feared my share of fear and loved this man as much. It didn't take long before I understood his true content. He was the personification of truth and Justice and maintained these two greatest principles throughout, that no soul ever dared challenge this stainless man. He made us believe in truthfulness, and we trusted him for justice.
Teaching and Disciplining Since 1973
When I took my first step in Drukgyel the first advice I was given by my seniors was to tell the truth if I was caught doing mischief. His long experience has given him the super ability to detect lies, and thus becoming the first known biological Lie-Detector. He would throw a few question and if the culprit is lying he would turn very red (perhaps this is where he got his nick name- Asha Maap, which mean uncle Red) and remove his HMT watch and the show goes on until the truth comes out.
The best part of the man is that he honours truth. He would stop when the truth comes out, and it was up to us to decide when to tell it. That taught us life's best lesson. I was caught drunk with two of my friends and even before he asked I told him I drank beer. He said, "Even beer can make you drunk, but it's better than whiskey." He took us home and offered tea and he never mentioned about the beer. That's it. I never dared another bottle of beer until the last few days in Drukgyel.
About justice, this man was the leveler. In his hostel it's ok to be a villager's son to enjoy equal privileges. My three years of torture in Gaupay and three years even before that in Dawakha had made me believe that we were lesser human and that we only deserved lesser than those from richer families. But in Drukgyel Lopen Namgay Phuntsho called us all by our names and he took us for who we are and not for who our parents were. Every punishment is justifiable against our mischief and nobody cries foul, we just cry. He did not have a list of favorites, nor did he have a blacklist. Life in Drukgyel was fun and scary but not insecure, thanks to this man.
I faintly remember an incident where he was firing a boy and the boy was begging for mercy, and from his house came his old mother with a stick and our deadly warden ran like a little boy. That boy was rescued. I loved that incident, not because the boy was spared but because it showed how he still remained his mama's boy.
After nine year, that was last year, I met him in Lobesa. At first I nearly ran away then I remembered I was a married man with a daughter now and that I have also become a teacher, but that one instant when I saw him it transported be back to Drukgyel. To my grandest surprise he shook my hand and said, "Passa Tsheri, you are teacher in Bajothang no? Kinley Dorji has finally become an army officer..." He not only remembered my name and found my address, he went on telling about all my friends whom even I didn't know where they were. He was a human encyclopedia. I was spellbound. So, next time you meet him be prepared for surprises!
I thank him for being there in my life and playing very important role in my transition from a boy to a man. He also has a great role in the type of teacher I have become though I can never be half as good as him. Only thing about him that I didn't consider in shaping my life was his English, that was better left for himself.

22 March 2012

The Best School in Bhutan

After the declaration of Board Exam results, it's interesting to see and hear how people make bold judgement on schools. Which school is the best in 2011? There is yet no official research done on this though, but Bhutanese society must have already declare their result by now. And I am not even curious to know the result because I know the foolishness with which the result is drawn. Even the official declaration of "Top Ten Schools" last year amused me, because even they thought it wise to judge schools by their academic results.
Bajothang in Summer
My school is one among the few schools decorated with ill reputation by the public, and therefore they want to take away their good performing children to schools with good reputation. This is an annual trend and many of our academic toppers leave for "better" schools. They don't stop for a while to reflect on which school made them who they are, not even their parents. Their ticket to "better" schools are confirmed because they are going with outstanding marks, and therefore keeping up the reputation of that school.
But here we begin again with new set of students, and the best part of my school is that we don't look at their past- their character certificate and mark sheets. If we are so hungry about reputation we would just take in students with good marks and stainless character certificate but we are not.
Not every child is born with intelligence, not every child is born talented but if a school wants the intelligent and talented students where would the less gifted majority go? Children are young and innocent and aimless, therefore they can be naughty, aggressive, violent and mannerless but they have the right to education, they have the right to grow and correct themselves. If a school denies them admission, where would they get time to fine their way in life?
My school takes in just everybody because it's the school's moral responsibility to educate every child- not just every good child. It's not about building and keeping reputation of a school, it's about children's right to education. And in keeping with this national interest we land up having disciplinary problems, and sometimes poor academic result. And that's how we get our ill reputation by doing good. Should we mind?
School is just an open stage, students themselves are the magicians. And my school is a stage where all magicians are given equal space and time- often some magics are different but magic is a magic after all, god made it that way, and we have learnt to accept that.
Going by the result my school is not the best school in 2011, but going by what I know of my school it is the best school and I am proud.