About 222 class X students did not continue their studies this year despite the government’s offer to enroll them in private schools on full scholarship.

Of the 12,033 students who appeared the examinations, 4,473 students did not score 59.4 percent pass mark to get admission in public schools.

Deputy chief with private school division, Kinley Gyeltshen said that based on the past trend, the ministry kept provision for 248 students to be absorbed in Taktse Central School.

This brought the number of students to be absorbed in private schools to 4,225 of which 4,003 were admitted in 21 private schools. Of the 4,003 students, 2,231 are in boarder private schools and 1,772 in day scholar schools. Records with the ministry show that as of yesterday, only 129 students had enrolled at Taktse Central School.

There were 139 students who opted for the five private schools, which did not agree with the government’s scholarship package. The ministry would still provide them Nu 30,000 fees while they top up the remaining amount.

Kinley Gyeltshen said that the education officials called each of the 222 students individually to find out the reasons for not turning up in schools they were placed at.

He said that it was found about 100 students had opted for technical training institutes, joined the armed force, monastic institutions, got married, and had left for Australia.

“About two had died, few wanted to continue their parents’ business, some didn’t want to study at all and few reported being ill,” he said.

The scholarship is estimated to cost more than Nu 111M for boarders and more than Nu 53M for day scholars a year. The education ministry has already submitted the budget estimation to the finance ministry.

“We’re only waiting for approval and budget release from the finance ministry,” Kinley Gyeltshen said, adding that the ministry has also submitted additional budget to purchase new textbooks and for monitoring works.

The ministry would pay the fees to the schools in two installments.

Education minister JB Rai said the monitoring division would monitor the private schools every month to ensure that the students are performing well.

“We’ll be releasing scholarship fees based on the performance of the students,” Lyonpo said. “The government is paying so much for the students so, they should at least study and get the pass mark of 40 percent.”

Lyonpo said this is to make sure that the scholarship is not wasted and quality of education not compromised.

“We should be a little stringent and set such conditions to make sure the budget is spent in the right place,” he said. “The purpose of giving scholarship would be gone if they don’t study because they don’t have to spend a penny.”

The students have to sign an undertaking letter with the ministry agreeing the condition that he or she would work hard to honour the scholarship, live up to the school policy, and be subject to monitoring and evaluation of the performance.

The students would not be eligible for scholarship if they were unable to complete the studies or fail in class XI.

Yangchen C Rinzin