Education: To ensure equality, the government will provide school uniform and sportswear to day-scholar students in central schools starting 2017.

Education ministry officials confirmed this yesterday at the ongoing central school immersion programme and biennial Dzongkhag Education Officer’s (DEO) conference.

The government will spend about Nu 4,875 on a day-scholar child to support this facility, which they did not avail when the central schools were initiated.

Under this facility, a day-scholar students will get a gho, lagay, kira, wonju, tego, school shoes, socks, tracksuits, sports shoes, and a towel.

The facilities approved by the Ministry of Education (MOE) could commence this year if the government approved it.

Director general of education ministry, Karma Yeshey said that the 2017 date has been scheduled keeping in mind the budget, which is in the process at the moment. “If the government approves, the facilities could be provided in this academic session,” the director general said. “It is not necessary that it has to start in 2017.”

The decision follows concerns about “equality” many expressed when the central school facilities excluded the day-scholars.

Meanwhile, during the ongoing conference in Phuentsholing, education officials also announced that 27 new central schools would start this academic session. The government will spend Nu 247.3M to fund these new schools until June this year. Stationeries, uniforms, beddings, stipends, come under this budget.

Of the total budget the government has planned until June this year, Nu 88.2M has been earmarked as expenditure for the day-scholar students.

In the new batch of central schools to open this year, a total of 22,129 students will be enrolled throughout the country. In the initial batch of central schools, the ministry was able to enroll 14,998 students across the country.

A total of 128 participants, which includes central school principals, DEOs, thromde education officers, BCSEA officials, REC officials, and MOE officials are attending the ongoing conference. The programme will conclude today.

The conference will draw an education blueprint implementation plan for 2016, finalize central school operational framework and review the National Education Policy (draft), among others.

Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay addressed the gathering of educationists yesterday evening and motivated the participants. Lyonchoen said the national teacher-student ratio of 1:23 was fantastic by any measure. “You should understand this and keep in mind,” Lyonchoen said.

The Prime Minister said principals and DEOs could make a legacy in their respective schools. Lyonchoen also cited an example of a principal in Rangjung, who had wanted to go on extra ordinary leave, but was retained by the Prime Minister himself.

Good teachers or principals, Lyonchoen said, are assets to the government. “The government would do anything to keep them in the system.”

Meanwhile, nutrition, discipline, driglam namzha, and value education, were some major highlights Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay asked the CSIPCBD participants to concentrate in their respective institutions.

Rajesh Rai, Phuentsholing