Staff reporter 

His Majesty The King has granted access to online resources for students to learn coding as soelra to the children of Bhutan.

The soelra was presented to the Ministry of Education by His Majesty’s secretariat yesterday morning.

Along with the presentation, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between the MoE, Department of Information and Technology (DITT) and the Royal Society for STEM (RSSTEM).

The RSSTEM, which is an office under the His Majesty’s secretariat set up to strengthen Bhutan’s participation in scientific and technological innovation, received Royal command in February this year to explore educational platforms to make coding more engaging and fun for students.

A press release from RSSTEM stated CodeMonkey was jointly chosen over several leading platforms in consultation with the MoE and DITT. “CodeMonkey is a popular online platform which offers paid coding lessons, taught through games.”

According to the MoU, the MoE, which has received the soelra on behalf of the students, will implement the programme, with support from DITT and RSSTEM.

RSSTEM’s director, Karma Wangdi, said Royal Soelra is special and extraordinary happening in the midst of the pandemic when the Thorne is fully occupied leading the fight against it.   

“We would also like to join everyone in offering our deep Obeisance and eternal gratitude to His Majesty for His Love, Care and Boundless Compassion, and offer our humble prayers for His Majesty’s long life.”

He said CodeMonkey also has good resources for teachers including well-developed lesson plans and teaching materials with solutions to challenges contained in the lessons. “It is also equipped with classroom management system with automatic grading and assessment of student performance, and also provides a dashboard overview of the whole class which can be viewed at different levels.”

The director said CodeMonkey will be implemented in the second half of 2021 academic year based on the feasibility with respect to computer labs and connectivity in schools.

He said according to the plan, it will be rolled out from August in all lower secondary schools, middle secondary schools and higher secondary schools, where it will form part of the ICT curriculum for classes VII to VIII, and will be supplementary learning for other classes. “For primary schools and below, it will be rolled out wherever availability of computers and connectivity permits.”

Karma Wangdi siad from 2022, when devices and connectivity reach all schools, CodeMonkey will be implemented as part of the ICT curriculum from Classes PP – VIII.

He said RSSTEM would continue working closely with the education ministry and DITT to support the swift and successful implementation of the Royal Soelra.   “As the Ministry of Education implements Codemonkey in schools, the Department of IT and Telecom and RSSTEM will be there to render all possible support.”