Language: Following the directives from the last National Assembly (NA) session in May to review the shortage of Dzongkha language teachers in some Dzongkhags, the Social and Cultural Committee of NA presented a total of eight recommendations to the Parliament yesterday.

The chairperson of the committee, Kuenga presented a report on the inadequacy of Dzongkha teachers and poor standard of Dzongkha language.

The findings of the committee stated that the dominance of English language in work places and inadequate deployment of teachers are some of the causes for low standard of Dzongkha.

The Chairman said that in Dawakha Lower Secondary School in Paro there are only two Dzongkha teachers and in Radhi Middle Secondary School in Trashigang for around 300 students there is only one Dzongkha teacher.  The committee therefore, recommended revisiting the teacher deployment policy along with teacher-student ratio and the class teacher system in order to improve Dzongkha.

The recommendations also included the need to calculate Dzongkha marks for calculating the overall pass percentage of class XII examinations and monitor the use of Dzongkha language in official correspondences and meetings.

The need to develop a language law to promote the national language effectively and reviving the system of teaching History subject for class seven and above in Dzongkha were also highlighted by the committee.

Members deliberated on the report reflecting a common consensus that it was important to improve the quality of Dzongkha, as it is the cornerstone of Bhutanese culture and identity. Representing the education minister, the Minister for Economic Affairs informed the House that the problem of shortage of Dzongkha teachers was not as grave as it was seen to be. He said that the problem was faced only by some of the schools and expressed that the Ministry of Education will review the recommendations made.

Adopting all the eight recommendations from the committee, Speaker Jigme Zangpo said that the responsibility to promote the national language should be shared by all the Bhutanese people.

Recommendations from the education ministry, Dzongkha Development Commission, consultation with teachers, media and senior citizens were taken into consideration while formulating the report.

Younten Tshedup