… proposes RUB to relook at its decision to discontinue humanities courses

KP Sharma 

The Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) is relooking at the possibility of increasing the intake for Paro College of Education (PCE) following the Prime Minister’s intervention and discussions with the education ministry.

RUB Vice Chancellor, Nidup Dorji said, “The intake for Paro College of Education (PCE) would be relooked owing to the current shortage of manpower and need.”

The government would also open up more scholarships in two private colleges and create additional slots in three nursing colleges to help the students enroll.

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that the government is in constant discussion with the RUB to increase the intake and slots in some courses where humanities students could be enrolled to pursue tertiary education in the country.

The issue surfaced after the RUB shocked many parents, whose children completed Class XII Arts board exams, with the decision to discontinue offering seven humanities courses from Sherubtse College and re-purpose the College of Language and Culture Studies in Trongsa as a part of reforms in the tertiary education sector.

Lyonchhen said that although the government cannot interfere directly with the affairs of RUB, he held a lot of discussions with the RUB and the education ministry recently.

He said that the review and findings of RUB and experts cannot be denied or disagreed to in a fast-changing world. “I find it difficult to counter and justify them to revisit it.”

The humanities courses previously offered according to the review stated that graduates face difficulties in the labour market as the courses have limited scope for employability in future.

However, Lyonchhen said that he had talked with RUB to strategise the implementation as it is unfair for the two batches – recently passed and present class XII students – as the decision was announced suddenly.

He has also asked the education ministry to tell students about the opportunities after class XII and discontinue offering subjects from class XI if the subjects are not offered in colleges.

“I have suggested making some subjects like Mathematics compulsory as all courses now require it in colleges”, he added.

Lyonchhen said that he had requested the RUB to increase the intake by any means so that a maximum of the Arts students could be enrolled like in the previous years. “We should understand the objectives of reforms and such issues are expected to surface when the system is changed for a better future.”

Some of the courses offered to Arts students, Lyonchhen said have the least benefit to the graduates which may lead to regrets in future.