Govt turns deaf ear to right to education
Thimphu, February 13, 2009: The constitution of the kingdom says government will provide free education to its citizens up to university level. However, promises are rarely kept here even by the new democratic government that had promised bundles of facilities to the people during the election period.
The Education Ministry announced that students willing to pursue their education in Grade XI must secure 62.2 percent up by 4 percent from last year. According to this criterion, of around 7,526 passed out of 8,137 examinees in the class X exam, only 3,233 students will get seat in the government schools. The class X results published recently says 94.2 percent of the students passed.
The government runs 59 higher secondary schools in the country and the number of private colleges is countable in hands – that’s 11. Obviously, the private schools have no capacity to accommodate around 4,293 students. Poorly, the students have to see India for higher education or join vocational training or look after jobs.
Contrast to the result of the Higher Secondary where girls performed better, Class X results showed bigger number of girls failed – 266 girls against 190 boys. The overall performances of the students also dropped from 95.57 percent last year to 94.29 percent.
Similar trends were seen in university education. The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) had announced that it will take only 1,500 students this year, leaving over 4,000 students in lurch. Neither the government nor the private sector have shown interests in opening more colleges providing higher secondary and university level education to decrease the size of students leaving the country for higher education. It would have preserved a large sum of national income.