Fulbright scholarship was awarded fairly: DAHE

Education: The allegation against the award of a US Fulbright scholarship, which was shared through an anonymous letter on social media, is invalid, the Department of Adult and Higher Education’s (DAHE)director general said.

“The selection process was fair and inclusive,” director general Tshewang Tandin said.

The letter, posted on social media, alleged that the scholarship recipient was a class 12 graduate of 2013. “The student’s class XII academic session started in mid 2013 and completed in mid 2014, so technically, he qualifies.”

On whether it was fair to compare the marking systems, he said the education ministry selected the candidate and sent him to the school in Canada on a scholarship. “Which means we recognise their education system,” he said.

The candidate, who got selected, went on a scholarship after class X, and has his class XII results from the Blyth Academy in Canada.

Offered by the President of Bhutan Canada Foundation, Sam Blyth, who is also the chief executive officer of the academy, the academy offers two scholarships every two years.

Before him, two girl students completed class XII from the academy.  The Department of School Education selects the candidates.

The guardian of the national topper of the board examinations raised issues with the changing decisions of the selection committee.  The committee, after a meeting on February 26, decided to conduct written tests in English, mathematics, and an interview.

The decision was conveyed to eligible candidates on March 2, but two days later, after the committee received ‘advice’ from the government to stick to its earlier announcement, decided to not conduct the test.

Students, who studied overseas, have been competing for scholarships offered at home, according to DAHE officials.

Last year a Bhutanese student, who studied in Australia, qualified for a bachelor course in mechanical engineering. “He withdrew and opted to study in the College of Science and Technology,” he said.

The department selects about 200 students each year for scholarships both outside and within the country.  This year all scholarship slots have been taken.

“Even if some withdrew, we keep the budget for next year and increase the intake the following year,” Tshewang Tandin said.

By Tshering Palden

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