YK Poudel

As Bhutanese celebrated the birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, Hongtsho Primary School (HPS) marked it with a learning fair to build partnerships for children’s education yesterday.

The fair was conducted to commemorate Children’s Day and the Constitution.

School Education Director General Karma Galay said that the involvement of parents in such an event was an example of making learning a mixed medium. “The children will be able to learn with practical experience on what is being taught at the school.”

Hongtsho PS Principal Jamyang said that the fair is aimed at making the students aware of the traditional Bhutanese society. “Today is a special day for our students, and we want to impart modern education with knowledge of traditional Bhutan.”

The fair was divided into four different categories: traditional houses of Bhutan; carpentry tools; modes of transportation; and traditional agricultural tools.

Tshering, a housewife, won the competition in the housing category. She said that it took almost two weeks for her to make the model. “I’m extremely happy that I won. I made Dakcha Zhikom (wattle plaster house), and I wanted to make sure my child learns well through my work. I researched the raw materials used to ensure that the model is correct.”

“The school has taken this initiative which is important for our children to learn the architectural values of the country,” she said.

Tshering’s daughter, Jigme Pema Lhazeen, 10,  studies in fourth grade in Hongtsho PS. “We are not yet taught regarding the models that are presented today. However, I am excited to learn with these models when I reached sixth grade,” she said.

She said that she lived in a building and was curious to know about the model when her mother made it.

One of the parents, Rab Dorji Lepcha said, “My model took 26 days to complete, and has come out the way I wanted to present it.” The opportunity has provided him with leisure time to work on his carpentry skills apart from his regular work at the livestock centre.

According to Sangay Namgyel, a social studies teacher at HPS, the fair would henceforth provide students with hands-on experience with the chapters that will be taught.

“The initiative has come from the principal to engage the parents to allow students to connect theoretical sessions to the real world,” he said.

A total of 43 models were made and presented to guests and students as a part of the competition by parents. The school plans to allocate a museum and keep these models so that the students can learn practically when a lesson on a particular topic is taught.