A good reform

Education lies at the front and centre of our national life. Our success and our failure will be determined by the robustness of our education system.

Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment’s (BCSEA) decision to include more competency-based questions that will require critical thinking is welcome.

Education, declining quality of education in particular, has been the subject of national debate for far too long. At long last we seem to have gathered some courage to redeem our ailing education system.

We need to congratulate ourselves. The daring we have shown is a vital sign of development.

Rote learning has advantages. It has disadvantages too. A child may have a poem or methods of a mathematical problem by heart, but what good is that if the child has not understood why, how and what of what he can blurt out flawlessly?

Experts with BCSEA say that inclusion of skill-based questions will improve, among others, students’ critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, reasoning and innovation.

Exam-oriented education system has lived its time. It served it purpose well. What we now need is an education system that focuses less on exam results and more on skills development.

Studies have shown that skills or personality development is critical benchmark of learner success. Learning environment in our schools has improved by much over the years. Access to the Internet is making teaching-learning experience more enriching and effective.

Education in this country is going through a major reform today. It began with Educating for Gross National Happiness programme a few years ago. Already schools have reported enhanced academic performance and improved student behaviour.

But we will have true success only when our children are able to think critically and analyse and tackle problems so that they can really understand the subjects they study in school.

It is a good initiative we have begun. The quality of our education hinges on the success on this reform.

3 replies
  1. irfan
    irfan says:

    Why, where and from whom to be educated lead us all to a system of school learning. That system does provide us with education, but it has two methods to it…a method of education and a method of teaching. The examination system always provides a balance between the two and can also be biased towards the methods of teaching. The method of education does need to take in consideration the capabilities of a human brain and abilities of it in an individual. Any reform in the examination system can easily change the methods of teaching, but not necessarily education as a method. One example can be the compulsion to opt for science or arts or commerce after class X where a better method can suggest that we can leave that compulsion for the graduation level onwards. Whatever the system of education is, it shouldn’t force the best of the brains into redundant skill sets. Otherwise, the system of education may revolt against the methods of teaching and, any examination system may not be good enough to protect teaching methods. The future of education probably awaits a reform in its very methods, not just examination or teaching.

  2. MIGNIEN
    MIGNIEN says:

    Education in Bhutan deal with a very good reputation among third countries .
    I am happy for the country !
    But there is a gap between the quality of an academic education and the needs of the tiny industry of Bhutan . So youths do not found in the country a career commensurable with their ambitions ; They look abroad but they need to have skilled possibilities . And possibities abroad are scarce..
    The only way is to develop or create industries and firms inside the country .
    I quote the very reality ” we need an education system that focuse less exam results and more on skills developpement” More blue collars than desk jobs !

    That is a very good report to this well adopted reform ; go on Bhutan ! I hope this policy will decrease the number of jobseeckers ! .

  3. Merak Sakteng Youngba
    Merak Sakteng Youngba says:

    Kuensel (2014) stated on educational hiccups: “What does the cow give?” For the current educations in the schools, there is only one answer. To have two answers is the privilege of answering and three is luxury. It also boils down to the institutions when it functions just like inflated high schools and the direction of teaching and learning just runs astray. Keeping in mind all the critical thinking, discovery learning, analysis, problem solving, reasoning and innovation are just ritualistic and not exactly to making a meaning. The head of the institutions functions: dictators functioning as principals and principals function like dictators. Supposed to be educational and academic institutions with educational leaders, the colleges, schools and students are to be critical thinkers. However, colleges are deficit of educational leaders and are operated by the mechanical educational bosses who boss around on the best bureaucratization and hard administration thus short circuiting the meaning of education. The educational institutions are on the course managed by the babysitters and not by the intellectuals who think of being the Bhutanese educational architect.
    It reminds me of Horace Mann, 1864 cited (Silberman ,2000,p 54): “The educators who refuse to enlighten the intellect of the rising generation, are guilty of degrading the human race! And the educators who refuse to educate the children as they should are bringing up incendiaries and freaks to destroy the property and life, and to invade and pollute the sanctuaries of society.”

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