Thirty-six teachers from various schools in the country are attending a three-day workshop on legal education and awareness programme (LEAP) in Phuentsholing.

Conducted by the Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI), the workshop is training teachers to empower students through school law clubs (SLC).

BNLI officials say the teachers would coordinate all activities of the clubs in their schools, help promote consciousness of legal culture and rule of law in schools.

On the first day of the programme yesterday, they were introduced to the judicial processes comprising basic principles of law and fundamentals of criminal law and civil law.

BNLI instituted SLC in 24 schools on February 21, 2012. There are 35 registered SLCs in the country today. The SLC’s main objective is to promote legal awareness among the youth and the people of Bhutan.

Director general of BNLI, drangpon Lobzang Rinzin Yargay said students would be able to take up a legal career and keep abreast with legal issues in the country.

“This training is to help build the capacity of coordinators who would return to their schools and educate the students,” he said.

A teacher from Motithang Higher Secondary School (MHSS), Kencho Tobgyal, said the training and the law club would impart law knowledge to students. “The awareness of law would help decrease disciplinary problems in schools.” The club has 55 members.

The law coordinator of Minjung Central School (MCS) in Samdrupjongkhar, Tashi Norbu, said he wants to initiate a mini-courtroom in his school. “It is a realisation of my dream.”

He said that with the help of the courtroom, mock trials and mock mediations would be conducted. “It would help students understand the law of the country.”

MCS coordinator said his club had 29 members.

The club coordinator of Bjibjokha Lower Secondary School in Phunakha, Khenrab Jamphel, said there are seven SLC members in his school.

“All are girls,” he said, adding that the club is only two years old. “We are expecting more next year.”

The participants will also visit the court and the women and child protection unit during the training. The workshop ends on December 20.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing