Skip to main content

When they are ready

The Ministry of Education discovered 890 'underage' children admitted in schools across the country in 2019. Thus, the ministry in May 2019 issued a notification revoking the admission for these children. Majority were in urban centres. 

Desperate, parents and the affected schools requested the government to intervene. They also requested the government to consider lowering the enrolment age to five years. Currently, in Bhutan a child can legally go to school only when s(he) is six years old. 

And that policy was strictly followed a few years ago to the extent that some schools refused to admit children even if they were short of a few weeks. So, parents, mostly in urban areas, resorted to faking their children's ages. Many parents were guilty of adding years onto their children's actual ages. However, most parents, we are told, managed to correct their 'mistakes' later. Faking a child's age was rampant both in government and private schools. But the story was different in remote areas. Parents had to wait and watch until their children turned six. I have blogged about this issue way back in 2012.   


Then, the ministry decided to relax the policy a bit in that a child who is five and half could now get admission in government schools, provided those schools can accomodate them. 

And that, in my opinion, became the source of confusions. Private schools were initially unhappy, thinking that the public schools would take away children who otherwise would be in their schools. That move certainly benefitted parents in remote villages - where principals interpreted enrolment policy so religiously - but again created conditions in urban areas where suddenly parents no more had to fake their children's ages. 


Policy lost its teeth. Children as old as four found their ways in private schools. We turned our blind eyes. And this year the ministry woke up, from a deep slumber, to find 890 underage students enrolled in PP. Obviously, parents and schools would be disturbed because children were already half way into their academic year. Although the ministry was adamant, the move by the Prime Minister of Bhutan came at the right time. This year's 'underage' PP children would be able to continue, after all. 

But I am sure this is not the end of the problem. Working parents have no choice but to find ways to send their children to school. 

Maybe it's time that we lower the age of enrolment to five years. Now that our children are smarter, give them early start. In 2016, the then Children's Parliament recommended doing the same. If our children, as young as four, are able to cope up, I feel the policy needs a revisit.  

Otherwise, our children would end up watching Youtube and TV nonstop. 

Comments

Post a Comment

So what do you think?

Popular posts from this blog

Utpal Academy - Bhutan's first All-girls High School

Academic Block Welcome to Bhutan’s first all-girls school. Isn’t that wonderful news to all our parents? Certainly, as a parent of a one-year old daughter I am excited about the coming of a school exclusively dedicated to the needs of girls. Our girls need special treatment, which we can for sure entrust the responsibility to Utal Academy, Paro. Dinning Hall I really like the name – Utpal – in Buddhist world, Utpal is another name for lotus flower, which is believed to grow from mud and yet blossoms into a beautiful and majestic flower. It stands for purity and many deities are depicted holding flower Utpal, more prominently Jestusn Dolma, the Goddess Tara. Symbolically, it also stands for the transformation of our girls. What an apt name for the school! Hostel Room The Principal’s message posted on the academy’s website promises providing our young women an “opportunity to participate fully in a wide range of extracurricular activities to develop skills and qualities that

Unblocking

  That in the end is what we make out of it. After all, a block is something everyone suffers once in a while, but they have overcome it by doing more and more regularly. Such is the power of practice – you can already feel it coming back. Such is the power of consistency - imagine how much better it would come out if we do it on a more regular basis.    I am a firm believer that we need practice but have failed more than once to keep up to that belief. Now I believe that everyone does this regularly. That's why, I need to invest more time and effort in honing this skill. I know I have deviated a lot from my original thought process, and I am aware of it. But I am also doing it with a purpose. And that's to say that I am going through a lot these days and have failed to express myself more effectively.  

Fighting RCSCE-phobia

Now that the orientation is over, graduates all over Bhutan would be hunting for information and scratching through all our history books. And in absence of readily available information, it is going to be so frustrating for many. There are are aspirants like Tashi.P Ganzin who are already seeking divine intervention- whether to appear or not to.  This is the biggest moment in a graduate’s life – it’s time to learn and relearn so many things about the home and the world. And they need good attention from their parents and relatives, guidance and advice from elders. I am sure all 1300 graduates who attended the NGOP may not appear RCSC Common examination, but we need to inspire and encourage those that brave the odds. Many of my friends are waiting to take the exam of their life – their future will either be made or broken when RCSC declares the results. And my full prayers and support are with them. They are terribly afraid of it to say the least. I heard while there are no prob