In the courtyard of Dechenphodrang monastery in Thimphu, more than 30 monks were involved in a health and sports education (HPE) session on the World Children’s Day on Tuesday.
The programme was spearheaded by Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV), which maintained that HPE was important and had become common in the primary schools.
The initiative marked the 30th anniversary of JOCV programme in the country.
HPE festival was also observed across the country, especially in the remote schools where there are Japanese volunteers.
Senior programme officer of volunteer programme, Tshering Palden, said while schools had budget and plans for such activities monks focused mainly on academics. “We would like to continue with the programme in other monastic institutions if the programme goes well.”
A volunteer, Koya Higa, said the initiative was aimed to make younger monks acquire a habit of doing exercise daily to maintain health and improve physical and mental fitness.
“I feel that monks do not have much time for exercises,” he said. “All children have the right to live a healthy life.”
Another volunteer, Yasunori Mori, said HPE programme had improved over the years. “In the future, it would be good if Bhutan can conduct such programme on its own. It would be a good opportunity to learn about Bhutan and HPE.”
To strengthen and revive the HPE programme that began in the year 2000, the education ministry plans to deploy one HPE teacher in every school.