… relieved parents and teachers thank ministry for the consideration 

Rajesh Rai |  Phuentsholing

Class VII and VIII students and the secondary teachers of the five schools in Phuentsholing will continue their academic session in their respective schools and not be relocated to other dzongkhags, the education ministry (MoE) officially confirmed yesterday.

About 921 students and 100 teachers from five schools in Phuentsholing, four of them under Phuentsholing thromde, would have been relocated to other schools in other dzongkhags.

In a notification to the Phuentsholing thrompon yesterday, the ministry stated that the decision has been made due to several factors. It stated that Covid-19 cases have been significantly controlled and the occurrences are being reduced and that the communities, students and parents were educated about the consequences of the pandemic.

The ministry’s decision also considered the arrival and availability of the Covid-19 vaccines and the government’s decisions and experiences on smart lockdown in times of national lockdown scenario. 

“Above all His Majesty The Druk Gyalpo’s deep concern on the psychological well-being of the parents, students, teachers and the community as a whole,” the notification stated.

Those Phuentsholing students in classes IX-XII, who were relocated in Wangdue, Punakha and Samtse last year owing to the pandemic will return to their respective schools in Phuentsholing after their exams, the ministry has confirmed.

The ministry stated that schools should follow stringent Covid-19 safety protocols. Further, parents, schools, local leaders and the communities must collaborate and work together to strategise and ensure students’ safety, it stated.

Parents and teachers are all relieved with the ministry’s decision.

“I actually don’t have any words to express how much the decision has helped me,” a parent, Bhakti Maya said. 

“It will help me and my son financially, emotionally and mentally. Otherwise, it had been mental torture to think of sending my son to a boarding school.”

Another parent, Sangay Khandu said, “Now, me and my daughter and also those affected parents and students will have peaceful sleep. Otherwise, both children and parents were going through tremendous mental trauma.”

With only a week left to relocate themselves, teachers underwent tremendous pressure, both financially and mentally and emotionally waiting for the ministry’s decision.

A teacher in one of the schools said she is relieved after the notification. 

“And finally I am prepared to begin the academic session with more enthusiasm,” she said. “There are no words enough to express our gratitude.”

The local business community was also worried about the ministry’s initial plan. If the transfer occurred it would have left a huge dent on the businesses.

Phuentsholing business representative Lobsang Tshering said the education ministry took a wise and noble decision to retain the teachers and students back in Phuentsholing.

“The decision has really eased many parents’ and teachers’ worries,” he said. “Moreover, the local economy which was already dying will get to improve until the movement of people from other dzongkhags is allowed again.”

However, Lobsang Tshering said it is every individual’s responsibility to strictly abide by the health ministry’s Covid-19 safety protocols.