Respect, honesty, pride

Value education

Thimphu Primary School graduated their first batch of students this morning. 21 children who had recently appeared for their first board exams received certificates from their principal, Ma’am Carolyn Tshering.

In her final speech to her outgoing students, Ma’am Carolyn urged them to never forget the all-important values of respect, honesty and pride that their school had taught them. I’m reproducing her speech below to share her timeless message with students, teachers and parents throughout our country.

This week’s banner celebrates primary education in Bhutan.

Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to our first ever Graduation .  In most western countries it is normally college and university students who enjoy a graduation ceremony, but in America they hold graduations for pre-primary students, primary, middle school etc.  In this case I don’t see anything wrong in following an American custom.!!

This morning’s function is all  about class VI.   I advised them to talk about what school has meant to them and what they have learnt about life, over the past six years of their education.  I asked them not to talk about any particular teacher but to thank  everyone and most importantly to thank you the parents. What they are about to say are their own words. Most have not shown their parents.

I have watched  with pride, some  of class VI students from KG to VI  (Pema Lexzim, Galek, Tobden, Tenpa, Yiga, Selden, Jitseun Pema and Tseki. )  change from adorable wide eyed children, thirsty for knowledge grow into mature, thoughtful  eleven year olds.

To you boys and girls,  I hope  you will not forget what we have instilled in you – respect, honesty  and  pride

Respect for your parents, family, teachers and every human you meet. I hope you will show as much respect to a school bus driver or your home help as  you do to your parents. They are all human beings, with equal feelings.

Honesty and integrity – without these you will have no  true friends.  Money does not always bring happiness – it an help, but true happiness is being blessed with good health, a loving family and true friends. Remember your friends in class VI. Keep in touch with each other.

Do not be swayed by peer pressure .  You will be entering schools where many students are much older than you. When someone (or a group) try to persuade you into saying or doing something you are not sure about, question yourself. Is this what I have been taught?

Is this right? Is this what my parents would want me to do?

Be strong. Stick to your convictions.

Pride – for your family, for your school, for your country and equally important for yourself and what you are trying to accomplish and what you have accomplished. Hold your head up high, think positively.

Finally I hope you will all continue to love your amazing environment and  educate those around you to preserve what we still have in Bhutan.

Have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, your dream will never come true.

Thank you for giving me the   privilege of teaching you.

TPS book week

In wonderland

Mountain Echoes, a four-day literary festival in the capital, organized by the India-Bhutan Friendship Association, has concluded successfully.

Coincidentally, Thimphu Primary School organized a lesser known, but no less important, literary festival of their own last week. Students pledged to stay away from television during all of “book week”, yielding, instead, to the delights of storybooks. They read books, wrote and told stories, designed book posters, donated books, bought books, and quizzed each other about books and authors.

And yesterday, at the final day of the TPS book week, the students put on a costume parade for their parents and teachers. Most of them dressed up as their favourite characters from their favourite books.

This week’s banner showcases the Class VI students of Thimphu Primary School. You’ll find more photographs of the costume parade – mostly from Class VI, I’m afraid – at the gallery.

Superman and the carpenter

Flying kisses

Business Bhutan carried an interesting story last week. It was about a young student’s fantastic encounter with His Majesty the King.

Here’s another story…

When Galek came home from school recently, she excitedly announced that she had met His Majesty the King. She explained that our monarch had visited Thimphu Primary School that day. And, she recounted every detail of the royal visit, from the stories that His Majesty had told them and the soelra that they had received, to the songs that they had sung and the flying kisses that they had exchanged.

“Our King told us a story about a carpenter”, broadcast Galek. “A rich man ordered a poor carpenter to build a house. And when the house was complete he unexpectedly gave it to the carpenter. The carpenter was very happy. But after a few years, his house started crumbling. The carpenter regretted that he had not built the house well. The moral of story is that we must always work hard and work honestly!”

“When our King was a young prince”, she continued gushing, “His favourite superhero was Superman!”

Later that evening, before her bath, she carefully placed two invisible objects on the dressing mirror. And, immediately afterwards, she plucked the invisible objects off the mirror and gently put them in her pocket.

Seeing her exaggerated movements, her perplexed mother inquired, “What was that all about?”

“Flying kisses”, answered Galek. “Our King blew us flying kisses. I caught two of them!”

She went on to explain that the students had blown flying kisses to His Majesty the King. He had collected all of them, promising to use them for energy while trekking across high mountains and low valleys to meet our people who live in remote villages. In return, His Majesty had given them flying kisses.

About a week later, Galek’s mother opened her closet, and discovered that her daughter had secretly decorated two portraits of His Majesty the King with her prized stickers

“The flying kisses are there,” she pointed. “They remind me of Superman and the carpenter.”