One of the flagship programmes of the previous government, the central school, is under review and is likely to undergo major improvement, according to government sources.

Recently, the Cabinet asked the Gross National Happiness Commission while reviewing programmes of the 12th Plan to relook into the expansion of the central schools programme.

Foreign minister and the government’s spokesperson, Dr Tandi Dorji, said: “We cannot open new schools without correcting what is wrong with the current schools.  We have asked the GNHC to see how we can improve the central school which is a very good strategy.”

He said that the government was also considering whether students of class pre-primary to two need to go to central schools.

One of the complaints against central schools so far has been that the children of lower classes are too young to be in such a school and thus deprived of care.

Lyonpo Dr Tandi Dorji said that they are too small and that there are issues of caregiving, among others.

The problem with the existing central schools is that younger children do not get enough care, teachers do not have adequate quarters and the schools are crowded.

“This we want to remove,” he said. “All these would be finalised in the coming week.”

Lyonpo said that if it was required the government would definitely expand the programme but the mechanism of the central schools would differ.

“It might not be from class PP to XII but from class VII to XII. These are things that we are trying to change,” he said.

He said that there was a separate provision in the 12th Plan to reduce informal boarding.

“That can be done even in other schools, such as a lower secondary school, need not necessarily be at a central school,” he said.

There are 64 central schools across the country and there were plans to open 60 more in the 12th Plan. 

Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa pledged to review central schools to make it better and reopen strategic community and primary schools that are useful and beneficial in certain communities.

Tshering Palden