Karma Thinley is a former BKP supporter

A veteran in the education sector, Karma Thinley, officially joined Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) on November 15 to contest for the party from Wamrong constituency in Trashigang.

The 45-year-old former teacher worked as the director of the Thimphu-based Royal Institute of Tourism and Hospitality besides serving in various capacities in the education ministry. He holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and Management from St. Francis Xavier University, Canada.

Karma Tenzin of People’s Democratic Party is the current MP from the Wamrong constituency.

A former supporter of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party, Karma Thinley, said that he joined DPT to respect the aspirations of the people of his constituency, who he said have support for his new party and his candidature.

“One would not switch parties just like that. It took five years to understand leadership styles, ideology and overall political climate,” he said.

DPT, Karma Thinley said, is connected at the grassroots, giving the party a unique character and strength.

“Above all, it’s my respect for the community’s aspiration. One has to listen to his constituents. Politics becomes superficial if we are not receptive and in tune with the constituents,” he said.

The candidate said that he already has overwhelming support from his constituents and that he would not let his constituents down.

“As someone conveyed on social media that I am their son of the soil. Now I have to work hard and deserve such overwhelming support,” he said.

Although he has not gone on a familiarisation tour, he said he was connected to his constituents. “I have many relatives there and our community takes relations and kinship seriously,” he said, adding that he would soon head to his constituency.

The candidate claimed that his constituents were eager to see him as their representative. “My constituency still has people living in poverty. It has become my moral and political responsibility to work for the betterment of my community,” he said.

Commenting on the country’s education system, Karma Thinley quoted a popular saying: “The quality of education cannot exceed the quality of teachers. This is where our focus should be.”

He said that while a lot is happening in the education sector, what matters is what is actually happening in the classroom and around learners. “When we say education we must include higher education as well.”

The country’s education system, he said, today is faced with the challenge to connect central school system and school autonomy to actual positive learning outcomes.

He said he would not classify parties since all work towards realising the vision of His Majesty The King and the Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

“One has to be selfless and relevant and in touch with people. I look forward to engaging in a meaningful and participatory democratic process this election and thereafter.”

MB Subba