RUB convocation: King asks students to improve Math, English and Science
Thimphu, February 17, 2009: King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk has asked the students from Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) to concentrate more on Mathematics, English and Science.
Addressing the third convocation of the university for Samtse and Paro Colleges of Education on Tuesday said in all the countries where progress has been strong in the areas Bhutan strive to develop, the strength of the education system has been in Math and Science.
“In fact in India, the favorite subject for most students is Mathematics. In Bhutan, Mathematics is one of our main weaknesses– most students do not like Math and the majority score less than 50 percent. We have similar weaknesses in Science and amazingly, even English,” he said.
“We have done our work well, our policies have been good – everything we have done we have done with the interests of our people and country in mind– that is why we are here today as a unique and successful nation. But my saying these things will not change anything,” he added.
Stating that he worries every single day about people and country, King Khesar said, “And to voice these worries frankly so that we do not get carried away, get caught unawares, or become complacent. So bear with me as I speak to you about my concerns about our education system or standards.”
Hinting at the political changes in the country, he said, “We must understand that the times have changed here in Bhutan and all around us in the world. We cannot face new challenges with the same tools. The private sector is adjusting itself to new challenges and opportunities; the bureaucracy is finding its place in a new system of governance; the entire country is adapting to new roles in our young democracy.”
He underlined the need for building an education system that nurtures people with the right skills, knowledge and training to fulfill the vision of Bhutan – sooner the better.
“We can dream of a strong bureaucracy of the highest standards but we must not forget that those standards must be set in school where our future bureaucrats are,” he said.
King further said to dream of world class IT parks, of being an international financial centre, of competing at international standards it needs talents and skills bestowed from schools and colleges, adding that strong education system is required for dreaming a nation of environmental conservation, GNH, a strong economy and a vibrant democracy.
Developing hydropower, mines, health, tourism, banking, Information Technology; roads, domestic and international airports were some of the areas pointed out by King Khesar which needed development during tenth plan.
He questioned if the Bhutanese education system reflects the country’s changing opportunities and challenges.