Importing teachers from beyond seven seas

Published on May 05 2009 // Main News

Thimphu, May 05, 2009: Bhutan, which once said it has more population that country can sustain, has now begun importing workers from foreign countries. Though thousands of Indians still work in various Bhutanese offices and unskilled sector, Bhutan will not import people from western countries for teaching.

It would be early to comment whether Bhutan will be able to retain its cultural identity without being eroded since it had said it faced such threats from some section of Bhutanese citizenry itself.

Bhutanese students will soon see teachers from Canada teaching mathematics, science or English, arrangement made through Bhutan-Canada Foundation, which was launched on May 3.

The foundation said it will send certified teachers from Canada to take over the job in Bhutan where teacher shortage has affected education system.

The Toronto-based not-for-profit organization, the foundation seeks to continue and promote greater cooperation between the two countries and tap non-traditional sources of support from Canadian corporations, institutions and foundations.

The foundation will also arrange scholarships for Bhutanese in Canadian schools and universities and explore avenues for health professionals to contribute to the health sector in the country.

Official Canadian assistance to Bhutan was withdrawn in December 2008. Seeing decreasing support from the Canadian government, king met with Chairman and founder of Blyth Education in Canada, Graham David Blyth and sought his assistance to rebuild bilateral relations.

The foundation is headed by Nancy Strickland, a Canadian national, who has over 20 years’ experience working in the education sector in Bhutan.