KP Sharma

In a move to revive ancient drama theatre and provide a platform for students to showcase their literary and dramatic talents, the Ministry of Education and Skill Development has launched the National School Drama Competition 2024.

The competition, coinciding with the 34th Birth Anniversary of Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, involves participation from all higher secondary schools across the country.

The competition will see participation from all higher secondary schools across the country, offering a national platform for young talents. Participants will perform classic, contemporary, or Bhutanese short plays, with English as the medium of language.

The top 50 drama entries from the thromdes and dzongkhags will be selected by education officers  and submitted to the Department of School Education (DSE). The top three dramas will receive cash prizes – Nu 100,000 for first, Nu 75,000 for second, and Nu 50,000 for third positions.

The preparation phase at the school level began on April 11 and concluded on May 25,  and the selection of the best school dramas at the dzongkhag and thromde level took place from May 25 to June 5, 2024. 

Staging the dramas, at the national level,  started on June 2 and will continue until July 2024, with performances held in various dzongkhags.

An official from the ministry said that the competition aligns with the ministry’s vision to provide wholesome education to students and is part of the ongoing educational transformation in the country. The reintroduction of the national drama competition, the official said was instructed by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

“Drama and other performing arts hold a special place in education. As part of the education reforms, we are placing greater emphasis on wholesome education,” the official added. 

The official further said that drama and other artistic shows enhance students’ creativity, confidence, character development, and social behaviours.

“They allow young minds to explore complex environments, empathise with diverse perspectives, and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.”

The Education and Skill Development Minister, Yeezang De Thapa, expressed her happiness during the inaugural performance at Motithang HSS, praising the skills showcased by the students. 

“The arts are not optional. They are essential in a well-rounded education,” Lyonpo said. 

Lyonpo added that drama, more than entertainment,  is a powerful medium where stories are told, emotions are shared, social issues are exposed, and participants understand the world from different perspectives.

The National School Drama Competition 2024 stands as a testament to the commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals capable of thriving in the 21st century, according to the officials at the ministry.