Secondary tertiary policy


About a year ago, on the 26th of July 2010, the prime minister launched the Tertiary Education Policy. The policy, one of this government’s most significant declarations so far, aims to enrich tertiary education in the country by streamlining how colleges and universities are planned, funded, registered, licensed and accredited.

The education minister described the 112-page policy as, “… a road map for the development and expansion of tertiary education in the country,” and boasted that it would contribute to making our country a “knowledge hub” and our people an “IT enabled knowledge society.”

In his introduction to the Tertiary Education Policy, the education minister boldly, and rightly, declares that:

Henceforth, this Tertiary Education Policy document, approved by the Lhengye Zhungtshog, will be the definitive instrument to guide all stakeholders, public and private, national and international, in developing and implementing programmes of study, material selection and pedagogical practices, assessment and certification, establishment of facilities and the integrity of all elements related to tertiary education in Bhutan.

So far, so good.

Now, the bad news.

It isn’t even a year old and the Tertiary Education Policy is already coming under attack. Actually, the policy is not being challenged. Instead, it’s being sidelined. It’s being ignored. It’s being snubbed. And that’s much worse than coming under any direct attack.

So who is the culprit that is overstepping the government’s inspired policies? Who is the perpetrator that is disregarding the government’s visionary policies? Who is the delinquent that is ignoring the government’s road map?

Believe it or not, that culprit, that perpetrator, that delinquent is the government itself.

The government has drafted a bill – one that the National Assembly is currently discussing – to establish the Bhutan Institute of Medical Sciences. There’s no doubt that the institute is important. It will benefit our country and our tremendously. So it must be established.

But in doing so, the government must follow its own policies. Otherwise why make policies? Why draw road maps?

The Bhutan Institute of Medical Sciences Bill has completely bypassed the processes outlined in Tertiary Education Policy. And it takes absolutely no notice of many of the policy’s important provisions.

So the Tertiary Education Policy’s credibility and authority are at stake. They’re being compromised by the government, no less.

And what are we doing nothing about it? Nothing.


Facebook Comments:


  1. Dear OL, If our government doesn’t follow thier own policies, they are foolish and son of the foolish.But I being a resposible citizen of the country, I am bit worried about it. However I assume that our government has many reasons behind for not following their policies. If not as a people’s elected government, we never expect such things to happen. Any way let us see what things happen next.

  2. Sometimes I believe what you and your leader would have done if you all had come to power.
    Its easy to comment on others’ work than to do even take a small initiative yourself.

  3. I absolutely diasgree with the tertiary education plan of this government because our primary and secondary education systems are not good enough yet. How can they jump to tertiary system? Education is like a tree and it grows upwards. It is very important and very necessary that we start developing form the base and go upwards: let’s strengthen our kindergardens first. Let’s make them very strong through out our country. Then when that is done, let’s upgrade and update our primary education system. When that is done nationwide, let’s develop our secondary systems, and then the tertiary. If we do it step by step, it will be sustainable and beneficial for our country for a long time. Otherwise, trying to establish a tertiary education system WITHOUT A STRONG secondary and prmary education systems is sheer foolishness. THIS WILL RUIN OUR NATION IN THE LONG TERM!!

  4. And establishing a medical college at this point of time is sheer stupidity.

    1. There will be negative rebound effect. Students who qualified for MBBS abroad will go abroad, but students who are qualified to take MBBS in Thimphu will not take the scholarships if they know they are going to be in Thimphu anyway. Believe it or not, this is not the aim of most scholarship students. They will choose some other field of scholarship abroad. This will be detrimental to our country in two ways:

    i)After spending so much, our qualified students will hesitate to take MBBS in Thimphu.
    ii) This in turn will effect the quality of the MBBS students because only the lower group of the qualified stock of our students will take MBBS in Thimphu, thus more chances of producing more medical quacks who will do more harm than treat our patients.

    2.We are not ready. We don’t even have a standard nursing college yet. And using the normal working hospital to teach medical students is not a good idea. Firstly, we do not have enough doctors working in the hospital. Secondly, the burdens of these working doctors will be increased because henceforth they will be assigned to teach the medical students too. This will lead to more doctor cabins without doctors!! Thirdly, medical education is like a apprenticeship. You learn things closely from your teachers in the many years you are in the medical school. But teachers in our medical school is going to come from India on some sort of vacations. These teachers do not know the students and can not impart their skills to them optimally. And during the clinical years, the medical students should be present in the campus almost 24/7 for extensive practical experiences and study. This is not possible in Thimphu. They are going to build the school in Serbithang and make the students study in JDWNRH. I think Lyonpo Zangley thinks producing medical doctors is like producing some arts graduates from Kanglung.

  5. When DPT govt. of JYT does not follow the Constitution and other laws, how can one expect them to follow their Policy?

  6. Very unfortunate! I wonder whose responsibility it is to ensure that the Policy is followed? A medical institute would be most welcome but only if the policy was followed (assuming that it is good and practical enough). I think the parliament should take this seriously, or else it sets a bad precedent for all such policies that may be passed through it.
    btw, anyone know if there is a definitive Education Policy document? I mean for basic/school education system. For all I know there used to be a “draft” Education Policy in the 80s, and since then I only saw quarterly policy guidelines and instructions issued which of course kept changing things as per the whims and fancies of whoever was in charge.

  7. Dear OL,

    I am very regular supporter of your political values and style of work. However, on this particular issue I must appreciate government. The initiative and off the beat procedure to set up BIMS is indeed welcomed. The process to set up BIMS bypassing the policies or setting up of Committees will only expedite the much awaited requirement.

    Same time, my appreciation for the government is not unconditional. I hope that there is no hidden agenda in expediting the proposal. We also demand from our leaders that such a noble thought ‘Tertiary Education Policy’ should not be sidelined the way it has been for one year. If you cannot implement a noble thought on ground then please dont raise false hopes. As someone once said : “We don’t have dearth of great thinkers, what we lack is simple doers”.


  8. As far as am concorned I feel that our goverment’s initiatives on establishing medical college in our country is very enriching. By now Our education system is around 50 years old. For how many years we are going to depend?. One day we have to stand on our own foot. Never the less with this initiatives our poor government can reduce thir educational expenses.Like wise there are better lot benefits to our government.

  9. why spend so much …time ..and energy in making these policies in the first place if they are not going to used in making important decisions such as establishing a medical college in the country.

    This is why we have room for interpretations when a problem arise because we plan programs, activities and development in isolation of other relevant and important stakeholders. this is why, there’s more of ignoring the actual problem and covering it up than actually doing something and correcting it…

    our government is either really lazy or not capable… both of these are bad role models as the first elected government of the country. they set an example that the future government is going to follow….
    Believe me if i were them … i would be in the fields trying to see what needs be done.. instead of acting all mighty and important in the capital…. i would write proposals on behalf of their village, a family if there in a need……. and if not I would educate them about facilities and services there are for the people and the youth. I would go to schools , talk to the students and encourage them to work hard …
    these are so simple .. and yet so important and crucial… ..
    But no…. they like to talk over the head and confuse people even more.. they like to sell GNH without first understanding how exactly to do it.. oh well we have Mckinsey, we have all the qualified people from all over the world to tell us how and confuse us even more..
    At the end we either don;t have enough money or the human resources ( quite a popular and repeated excuse…)… Hello, nonprofits do as much work and with quarter of the people…… so really wake your eyes…
    so many things can be done very easily if its done in strategic manner….
    sorry… i had to say this…

  10. Our leaders are always looking for short cuts — circumventing even national laws and policies. This will cost us dearly in the long run — in our children’s future.

  11. Sonam Penjor says

    Mr. Khenrab, we have all the right to criticize the govt. PDP being in power is a different thing.

    Criticism is a part of the political game. Talk some sense buddy…….Why dont you take up some initiative rather than moaning from a small corner chewing doma like a bloody typical Bhutanese Civil Servant.

    It’s the duty of OL to make some sense amidst useless DPT shits…….

    Lastly, people like u with the aforementioned mentality should have been in India……

    Cheers dude ……..just my say…offence not intended…….just an active discussion…….

    If you retaliate by writing against me, then you really fit in the group of old school…bunch of lazy fogs……..

    TRASHI DELEK LA..(The true spelling of Tashi Delek indeed)….Hope you note that point……

  12. Carrying on the Legacy I suppose.

    This is what has always happened, and still continues. Somehow, our policies always remain well structured English documents only to be shelved. When I happen to do some literature review I came across many impressive policy documents and project reports which I have never experienced in reality back home. How Sadddddddd….Same thing seems to be happening with the G2C services too.

  13. I feel all the institutes in the country including will Ugyen Wangchuck of environment and Conservation, Bumthang should come under one umbrella.

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