… agriculture, EVS,  and media studies subjects to be discontinued

KP Sharma  

Economics, which is currently offered as an optional subject, will be a mandatory subject to students of classes IX to XII from the 2023 academic year.

This change is a part of reforms in the education sector, according to the education ministry.

The ministry’s letter to the dzongkhag and thromde administrations sent on September 25 stated that the rationale behind this is “to provide our children with the foundational understanding of Economics which is important to navigate the 21st century.”

As per the letter, the implementation of this change will be done in two phases: Classes IX and XI in the year 2023 and classes X and XII in the year 2024.

The ministry also decided to discontinue some subjects currently offered as optional subjects in the same manner. Subjects like Agriculture for Food Security (AgFS), Environmental Science (EVS) and Media Studies will be discontinued accordingly from the year 2023.

This means classes IX and XI students will no longer have these optional subjects next year. However, students in IX and XI this year who have studied these subjects will be allowed to continue studying the same subjects next year.

An official from the Department of Curriculum and Professional Division (DCPD) said that these optional subjects were initially offered to diversify the curriculum and offer interest-based subjects to the learners.

“With time, market scope and career opportunities have to be considered as well,” he said.

The Agriculture for Food Security subject was approved in 2010 and teaching in 20 schools started in 2013. The Media Studies began in 2016 and Environment Science Curriculum in 2015.

Some teachers said that these subjects could have continued as they provide better career options. “Subjects like Media Studies, and Agriculture in Food Security provide students with basic skills when they enter the job market after class XII,” said a teacher in Thimphu.

The education ministry’s letter states that discontinuing optional subjects will help the students focus on core subjects thereby enhancing and improving academic rigour and performance among the students.