Education Minister Norbu Wangchuk said that establishing a college in Tsirang was difficult and might take time.

This was in response Tsirang MP Kamal Bahadur Gurung’s question on the possibilities of upgrading Damphu Central School to a college.

The MP said that a college in Tsirang would ensure greater access to higher education for students from the neighbouring dzongkhags, especially from the south-central region. He added that the school submitted a proposal to the education ministry in 2015.

He said that every year, thousands of students go abroad for higher education.

“The socio-cultural, economic, and political consequences facing students studying outside the country needs to be considered. A private college may resolve such issues while also creating opportunities to study within the country, students from low income families may not have access to higher studies.”

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that as the tenure of the government would end in about eight months, it would be difficult to ensure that a college would be established in Tsirang. “Although the question was timely as the 12th Plan is being prepared, there are many things we need to consider while establishing a college.”

He said that experts are assessing the feasibility of upgrading Damphu Central School to a college.

Lyonpo said that if a college were to be established, a new college would be better instead of upgrading the school. “The facilities and infrastructure required for a college would be different. The country is still short of central schools.”

Trongsa MP Tharchen said: “Irrespective of wherever the college is being constructed, it should be guided by policies and Acts related to establishment of college.” He added that completion of assessment and feasibility studies would take not less than three years.

Dagana MP Sonam Dorji said that research was important but the objective of the work was more important. “The problem arises when the work is not done in required places.”

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that Tertiary Education Policy is managed by tertiary education board. “The policy is aimed to create knowledge-based society.”

Rinchen Zangmo