The first batch of working professionals pursuing continuing education (CE) graduated yesterday from the Royal Thimphu College (RTC).

Although other colleges offer CE courses, RTC initiated the CE program where workers from different organisations could continue their education after work.

At 36, Kishor Biswa received a Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) in human resources. To continue his education, he drove from Paro for a two-hour class everyday for the last four years. “I always wanted to pursue higher education and my wife has been very encouraging,” he said. He works at the Paro College of Education in the human resources department as a senior administrative assistant.

Another graduate, Phuntsho Choden, 34, completed her Bachelors in BBA in human resources. She works with Bhutan Telecom as a customer care agent. She said that the wait has been long but worth investing. “What I struggled with was managing time between office work, family time and education because we have to attend classes after office,” she said.

The first batch of 119 continuing education (CE) students graduated yesterday along with 263 regular students from Royal Thimphu College.

A father of two, who works at the Bank of Bhutan, Nado Tshering, said it was challenging to attend all classes of his BBA in human resources. “I also had to sacrifice many trainings and workshops but I feel that it would be helpful as we gained valuable experience while doing presentations during the four year course,” he said. “Without my family’s support I wouldn’t have been able to complete the course.”

CE courses were initiated from August 2013. The undergraduates had to spare two hours for six days a week.

The courses offered are Bachelors in Commerce (B Com), Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelors in Computer Applications, BA in English and Dzongkha and BA in English and Environmental Studies.

CE coordinator, Tandin Dorji, said of the more than 200 who enrolled for the CE programme, 119 completed the course. Those who dropped the programme cited problems related to family and finance. “Despite challenges, many pursuing CE showed utmost dedication and were able to complete their courses,” he said.

Royal Thimphu College’s President Thakur Singh Powdyel, said, that all CE graduates had undergone the minimum requirements to achieve full-fledged university degree certificates.

“A formal university degree is an asset in itself as it opens up avenues to several options,” he said. “These graduates have better career progression prospects; they can handle the challenges of the world of work with greater confidence, demonstrate higher levels of competence and enjoy increased choices.”

Thakur Singh Powdyel also said that CE would help in the building of a knowledge society and that CE program is a significant strategy in that direction.

The former Chief Justice,  Sonam Tobgye joined the students and college at the graduation day.

Rinchen Zangmo