Graduating students

Well oriented

Well oriented

About 1,300 graduates are currently attending this year’s National Graduate Orientation Programme. And, like last year, the opposition party has not been included in the programme.

So today, when I heard that the graduates were hosting a cultural show for the public, I rushed to the Nazhoen Pelri. I’m glad I went. Our graduates are obviously talented. And they put on quite a show. From boedra and rigsar to Bhutanese rock and hip hop, the graduates entertained us with a range of performances. Not bad, considering that they’ve been together for barely ten days.

The chief counselor, Namgyal Dorji, told me that the proceeds from the cultural show will go to a charity. Good job.

Congratulations to all graduates for a wonderful performance. This week’s banner, a photo from the cultural show, celebrates the 2009 graduates.

Youngten Lempen Tharchen, an NGOP participant and a temporary reporter at Bhutan Today, has been writing about this year’s graduate orientation on his blog.


Facebook Comments:


  1. When we graduated in the 1980’s, we had ‘national service’ after orientation. That was one of the best times of the beginning of my ‘professional’ life. I treasure it even today. I remember I learnt real life issues (particularly of rural areas) that I had been an alien to in school and college. I was motivated to ‘serve’ my nation and our children and people, in the true sense of service. I am motivated even today and have plans to serve better. What saddens me is that the time between graduation and getting a job today is wasted by many doing nothing but complaining and getting into wasteful engagements. On TV last night, I witnessed an in-patient on a wheelchair at the Thimphu National Referral Hospital. I learnt that his people had sort of abandoned him and the limited hospital staff was struggling with finding extra time to be with him and take special care of him. I thought if a handful of volunteers were available every year to take care of such cases for a period of time (since they have the time), how many needy individuals or even households would benefit? When I was on national service in the 1980’s, it was the NWAB that we worked for. Today, we have many more NGOs that are in need of volunteers to serve disadvantaged communities. I feel it develops ’empathy’ and also ‘contentment’ with our own lives. I wonder if today’s graduates would be happy with ‘national service’ and actually require it more than we did in our times.

  2. It was a fun evening……Tharchen’s blog is good. I also came across another by a graduate attending the NGOP, by Tashi P Ganzin. writes well…:

  3. If Bhutan is truly filled with people like “sheyoen”, Bhutan would have long become a Shangrilla where GNH is a reality. Unfortunately, those people who are not like him are enjoying the Shangrilla part of our country, and those of us who were like him are forced to enjoy the empty GNH.
    I did my “national service” in a rural place in Bumthang in the late 70s and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I still have the memories of those wonderful days vibrant in my mind like it was just yesterday. That was the good old days of yesteryears. But times have changed. In this age of rising unemployments and cut-throat competions, I think having the “national service” for our graduates will not be a good idea. First, in a world where the labor markets demand nothing but “increasing years of job experience”, it will be an utter waste for our young men and women to waste their time doing the “national service” after their graduation rather than finding some job and get working. Why not leave the national service to the government and the civil servants? If they don’t have enough people to do the national service, increase the government workforce. It will increase the employment and reduce unemployment rate in our country. Second, during those years, we never knew what was happening on the other side of the mountain. People in the east are basically disconnected from the west and if we wanted to know the reality of life in the east, we needed to go there and experience it by ourselves. But this is hi-tech world where you know what is happening at the other side of the world with a click. You can virtually experience all that you need to know at the other side of the world by just sitting at your desk. There is no need to send our youths to the rural areas just to find out what is happening there for a few years, come back to the capital city and make them unemployed hooligans hanging in our streets because most of the vacancies available are already taken then. Therefore, I think they must, if at all, make the “national service” an option for those graduates who are voluntarily willing to do the service and not make it compulsory for all.

    I saw the PM talk for hours at the function and I thought they will also invite the OL to speak but they didn’t. I am surprised. The Graduate Orientation Program is a national function and these two people are the most significant and most critically important people we have in our country at this point of time. As much as the graduates need to be informed about the government’s plans, policies, rules, regulations and laws, they also need to know what the non-governmental elites of our country is upto. This is again, in contrast to the yesteryears where people took whatever the government said and did was always right. People were very rarely given any avenues to think differently and out-of-the-box. Times have changed again and the more the people hear one-sided stories, the more people know that it is just a bullshit. The age of democracy has begun and I think the DPT government hasn’t woken up yet.

    NB: Sorry OL but I must say that I am not a PDP fan. I remain a free man.

    • I said ‘time between graduating and getting a job’ and that definitely means TODAY! I agree, however, that ‘national service’ should be optional – under whatever other appropriate name. I have interviewed many graduates (not all fresh), who were unemployed and willing to take up ANYTHING. This is reality! I’d like to think of them as a blooming productive group, who can find something to do – for themselves AND the society. We’ve also got to open up doors for them, including giving vocational experience before the actual job. We’ve got a reality to deal with at the moment. ‘What ought to be’ is usually empty, isn’t it? ‘What is’ is what we’ve got to deal with right now. ‘National service’ is just one temporary option among many.

      • Yes you are right but the longer we leave it “optional”, the longer these problems will remain unsolved. If we create real jobs and permanent positions for these otherwise called “national services” in our civil service system, I am sure it will definitely absorb a good portion of our fresh graduates annually because this sector is an ever growing social service sector. We could gainfully employ our youngsters immediately after they are out of their collegs and also give our youngters an instantaneous opportunity to start their lives rightaway. National services should not be an optional program but a permanent organisation that employs people to do the jobs covering all matters and issues related to public welfare services. Some one needs a home somewhere, why depend on volunteers? Can’t we have a stable organisation who can build homes for our people forever? That is my point.

  4. O.L,
    please, why dont the govt. want to include the in the public gathering. It seems that they want to keep our opp. party in the dark, so that they ( dont raise questions about there (ruling party) mistakes.

    Also, I saw the opp.leader alone at the airport. seems there is no one to see him off or there is no one to accompany him to the US to attend the UN meetings.

    I thought that, its a disgrace to the and to the public.

    Just my thoughts…..

  5. Wai whats wrong – We know the Labour Ministry incharge of hte NGOP is headed by a DPT Minister but is the secretary also a DPT and like wise the Directors etc. Other wise, why would the OL not be included.

  6. The only value I took from the orientation was the networks that I built during the programme. And of course the certificate without which I couldn’t write the RCSC.

    Presentations and Q&A – mediocre as always unless it has changed significantly. I always worry when a talk (including Q&A) exceeds 90 minutes..

  7. Tashi P. Ganzin says

    first of all ‘thank you’ di for considering me worthy enough for your praise. I am glad you compared me with the likes of the bloggers mentioned by his excellency, the opposition leader.

    well orientation was good and i asked about 8 questions. i think i learned a lot and i made many new friends and met old ones. it was great platform for socializing.

    now my concern is RCSC exams and getting job. life’s becoming more challenging with each passing day.


  1. […] 1,300 graduates are taking part in the annual graduate orientation programme. And like last year, and the year before, the opposition party will not have the opportunity to meet […]

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