Not so fast

What do you make of this?

The cabinet has reportedly “further ratified” the Education City project bid, and awarded the bid to a consortium of bidders (infinity Infotech Parks Ltd., and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd.) It appears that a contract agreement will be signed this month following which work on a detailed project report will begin.

Good? I don’t know. I still have serious misgivings about the size and feasibility of the project. True, education is a viable business, and we must harness its potential to service both local and foreign demand. But planting a bunch of education institutions in one location, like industries in an industrial estate, is not the way to go.

The Education City could easily become a white elephant. Or, worse still, it could become a breeding ground for large scale, low quality education catering to tens of thousands of foreigners. Instead, it will be easier, and much better, to encourage investors – local and foreign – to build international schools and colleges in various parts of our country.

But there’s another reason why we should be worried. The Education City Bill has not yet been passed by the Parliament. The National Assembly approved it during its last session. Now it has to be approved by the National Council. And then it has to be submitted for Royal Assent.

So why has the government ratified the Education City project bid? And why have they awarded the bid? The government will have the authority, by law, to proceed with the Education City project only after the Parliament passed the Education City Bill. That, after all, is the whole purpose of the Education City Bill.

The Bill is still under discussion in the Parliament. The Parliament may pass it. Or it may not. Either way, the government does not have the legal authority to proceed with the Education City at this time, not until the Parliament passes the Education City Bill.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Govt havent learnt from previous mistake..take them to court …

  2. JustAsking says


    On the eve of the election year, if the government commits this blunder, the opposition can have a field day!

    Best of luck.

  3. Yes, I agree with OL. Instead of building a Education city at one location. Why not Government encourage interested private parties to join international institutions like DPS and others and establish schools any where they like. This way, we can see more regional development rather than all concentrated at Thimphu. We have good favorable locations in Paro, Bumthang, Tsirang, Gelephu etc. We want government to be far sighted and not bulldoze their shit plans.

  4. I fully agree with SAN. our present government has failed in bringing balance regional development in the country, of course they mentioned a lot during their campaign.

    with this trend of development plans, people are unnecessarily invited to the nearest towns and other commercial hubs.

  5. Here are few points to consider.
    1. When we don’t have our basics right which I mean our own education system. I ask you all is our own education system up to the mark? How many of our Minister’s and secretary’s children are studying in any of our schools?
    So let’s see what will happen, all the rich and influential people’s children will go to these schools leaving the poor to study in our own public schools. The government I m sure will put a clause stating that a percentage of the teachers will have to be Bhutanese which means that all the good teachers are gone. So where does that leave our own schools? Your thought will be right. Schools are supposed to be a social leveler where all children are have equal opportunity to succeed, but that is going to change drastically.
    I ask you all, are we ready for it? Let’s get our own system right before we take a huge step mena?

    2. With the education city how many foreign students are going to be studying at any given point of time? Thousands? Don’t you think they will cause social problems? When our own students sees them roaming around town having the best of everything, what will our students think? That the government is looking into the interest of the rich only?

    3. Why do you think that our health system is actually good? It is because the rich and influential complain and make noise that it is not, that’s why the concerned act upon it immediately. Now with their voices gone in the education field, I dread to think what will happen. Many will say that all voices will be heard but will the concerned people heed to their voices that have no authority?

    4. With the Rupee crisis, can we afford to tender and construct such a large city? We need each and every Rupee at the moment. And as I see it the rupee crisis is going to be around for a long time. How long are we going to beg the Indian government? It’s high time we got our head out of the sky and back onto our shoulders. And I m sure most will understand, m not going to give economic lessons here.

    THE question for the hour is Are we ready for it???

  6. This whole thing about the Education City reeks of vested interest. We know the locals who will gain, and gain a LOT from this mega project. That’s why everything is being processed and awarded, legally or illegally, before this government’s term ends next year. In lay man’s term its called “making hay while the sun shines”.

  7. Nima Tshering says

    Thimphu will never become London or any of the rich and luxury cities of the world. Our History says we have taken advantage of developing late learning from the pros and cons of other developed countries. Development required in education and other associated institutions to educate and nurture our younger generations. Thousands of students go out of Bhutan every year in search of better colleges and there is huge out flow money.
    Although Education city looks promising as the new Govt. some 3 years ago but there are other constrains along with such initiatives. when we don’t have enough teachers and lectures in existing schools and colleges how will Govt manage to have highly qualified teachers and lectures for such a huge educational institution. It will add to the mounting problem of shortage of teachers.
    How many foreigner would come to Bhutan to study when they have many renounced colleges elsewhere in the world? what kind of education can we provide?
    There a lot more to be considered before selling the bid and adding incomplete work to the achievement of the govt.

  8. Making fast bugs for the next election and nothing else.

  9. Education City, in one way can benefit the fellow Bhutanese, but spending huge amount, misuse of funds, low quality is what worries the most! Opposition should regulate and be the watch-dog!

  10. Just wait and see. Do not burry before it is dead. Your complains will go in vain.

  11. educationist is indirectly telling us not to worry or complain because the govt. is going to go ahead and do the mess up anyway! So he knows more than he wants to share with us! Be that as it may, since those of us engaged in this discussion are pretty well informed, we are morally duty bound to express our concerns. these should not be treated as complaints but concerned and informed discussions with the intent to influence more people to participate and make the case stronger against unaffordable and ambitious plans that will ruin the future.

  12. Are we again screwing up our priorities?? Is really required?—when our RUB is struggling with run down or inadequate facilities; when we are not sure about the effect such scheme will have on local socioeconomic conditions; when we are struggling meeting the basic necessities such as food and medicines; when we are not sure whether such scheme will generate employment or other opportunities for locals; when we are not certain about the impact on landscape and tourism because proposed city (probably ugly cement structures)will be built on scenic and most visible location;

    Government talks lot on equitable development; if such talk is serious why not take such city to underdeveloped areas in Bhutan? why built it between Thimphu and Paro that are relatively crowded and developed. There are lot of answers called for before i pronounce my final say on the proposed scheme.


  13. tshering wangdi says

    it is my conviction that the government is going ahead with the work on education city maybe because some of the ministers or who knows even the prime minister must be having some vested interest in the project.

    it can also be there relatives who could be benefited by the education city. otherwise as your excellency has mentioned, why should the govt. proceed with the education city when the bill is still not passed by the Parliament.

  14. Priorities are the following:

    (a) Potable drinking water;
    (b) Roof over the head;
    (c) Schools and BHUs in the geogs;
    (d) Electricity;
    (e) Roads;
    (f) One stop service centres;
    (g) Public transport, especially in the urban towns/cities;
    (h) Ready availability of essential medicines;
    (i) Telephones/mobiles;
    (j) Colleges;
    (k) Etc…..

  15. FLOP SHOW says


  16. extreme arrogance & total disregard towards rule of law is what charaterizes this’s in plain view for everybody to see, after all facts are in the public domain..from alot of hot air when they lost the constitutional case to their volte face on the constitutional development grant to the rupee crisis which they claim on national tv is normal whereas life is being disrupted, particularly for the middle & lower classes..
    that they go ahead with the education city which awaits parliament approval, as sonam zam, above, says, stinks of vested interest..perhaps the acc should inquire into the goings on with this appears there’s something rotten in the state of denmark, as they say..

  17. Nalip-Not Chelip says

    Facts about Education City that you need you know:

    1. Government is not investing any money in the Education City Project.

    2. The project is to be done through PPP model, where the investor will Design, Build, Finance, Own, Operate and Transfer (DBFOOD Model) the City at not cost to the government.

    3. All the projects risk and financial risk is with the investors.

    4. The project land, which is lying idle is leased out to the investors for which the investor will be paying land lease to the government.

    5. The government is also getting revenue share from the project.

    6. The government has started this project through PPP since the government does not have budget to build the city.

    7. PPP models are popular in developing and developed countries. The wide, convenient and short cut toll roads that you see in Bangkok are also built through PPP. Even huge projects like Panama Canal are built through PPP model.

    8. Currently, thousands of Bhutanese students are studying outside in India and mostly in lousy colleges. There is not enough colleges or schools in Bhutan. Education City can help to solve this problem.

    9. High quality education such as top colleges and IB schools are non-existent in Bhutan while almost every parent wants to give the best education to their kids. Education City will give options for parents to send their kids to the best schools and colleges in here in Bhutan.

    10. The Education City is set up to establish a group of reputed premier institutions (schools, colleges, VTIs, training centers, research centers, etc.) in Bhutan.

    11. In case the project fails, the government does not lose anything because all the investment and marketing risk is with the investor.

    12. Education City is a clean environment friendly industry. It is inline with our GNH.

    13. Education City works towards establishing Bhutan as a global hub for knowledge and education. Such initiatives are popular in progressive countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, Dubai, etc.

    14. If Education is successful in Thimphu, it can be expanded to other parts like Shemgang, Gasa, Meark Sakteng, etc. However, to start with it has to be near capital so that investors are willing to invest.

    15. Education is a very happening project and lets try to make it work. Everything we are now is because we got education. Education cannot go wrong.

  18. The Education City project pure and simple is the Prime Ministers pet project not for the nation but to help his family members.

    The project partners are his son and nephew. The PM has gone out of his way to award 1000 acres to the project, spend 100 mn in initial development and now commite Nu 500 mn of govt money on the project. By these accounts the project is already worth more than Nu 1 bn. This means his son and nephew is richer by that much too. The companies involved are also really shady.

    Good going Mr Neptism Aka Mr Big Corruption Jigme Y. Thinley.

  19. All want development. Development means new changes. But, it seems people want development without changes. What is wrong is having Education city when education is key to the nation’s success? Do we want our government to build weapons and bombs?

  20. fuentsho says

    Yeah government should go ahead with this project. If it fails and if the PM’s sons and relatives are involved (with corruption), we will get back to it. If we come to know that our leaders lacked integrity we shall go into civil war. Then I am afraid our country will become no different than the present middle eastern countries where people are taking on the streets 24 hours.

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