Although the new education minister Jai Bir Rai is an empathetic finance specialist by profession, he said, working with the education ministry shouldn’t be a major challenge.

The ministry has a blue print, a strong human resource and a good foundation, he said. Lyonpo Jai Bir Rai said his expertise in finance would help him shoulder his role in managing and facilitating resources effectively.

“Everything is in place and I don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “All I need to do is maintain it to move as fast and effectively as possible.”

He said that had he been appointed as the finance minister, it would have been easy for him in terms of technical aspects. “But it is a great privilege for me to work with the ministry of education,” he said. “I hope to serve the nation in such a way after five years, people will remember my contribution as significant.”

Lyonpo Jai Bir Rai said that one of the challenges in the education sector is retaining the teachers.

“We always talk about the quality of the education, but most of the educationists leave their profession if they get a better opportunity,” he said. “My role is to boost the morale of our teachers, inspire them to serve the nation and to look after their welfare.”

Jai Bir Rai said when he joins office, he wants to sit down with the ministry’s team, and keeping aside Nyamrup pledges, assess the progress of planned activities. “My first week’s work is to look at all the work reports.”

His first priority in the ministry would be to fulfill spill over works, review and complete them and then incorporate Nyamrup’s pledges.

“I am concerned about how I would be able to take my responsibility to serve the people during my tenure and so my celebration would be only at the end of five years,” the education minister said.

A 45-year-old from Pachhu, Chhukha contested from Phuentsholing constituency and has a master of business administration by research with a major in accounting and finance from the Maastricht School of Management, the Netherlands.

Ugyen Dorji