His Majesty the King’s National Day address on December 17 in Paro delved deep into the life of the nation and set the tone for its future successes. It was one of the most important Royal Addresses that defined the shape and soul of this forward-looking nation.

The making of the nation has not been an easy process for a country that had found peace and was very much comfortable with harmony it enjoyed in the sheltered cloister of self-imposed isolation.

But there was the urge to open up. And boldly we did. Today, 108 years since the unification of the country under the Wangchuck Dynasty, Bhutan has achieved tremendous heights of development. We must commend ourselves for the successes we have been able to achieve in a short period of time.

Our successive Kings, the government and the people worked hard with the common aim to build this nation of ours that is rising ever so confidently among the comity of nations. What peace and prosperity we enjoy today is thanks to the vision that our monarchs set for the country and the people.

His Majesty spelt this out most eloquently in His address to the nation on Thursday. When the countries around the world are going through serious natural and man-made crises, Bhutan has been fortunate to enjoy continued peace and prosperity.

But, most importantly, the success of the nation hinges on the success of education and strong and dynamic civil service, said His Majesty the King. That’s is why His Majesty conferred recognition award to the outstanding educators and civil servants who served the nation for more than 30 years.

The nation’s eternal goal remains to build a just and harmonious society. To achieve this, the country must build strong education system and an eminent pool of civil servants. The awards were instituted to encourage young professionals to work hard. Twenty-eight educators from the Ministry of Education, Royal University of Bhutan, and Royal Institute of Management, received the recognition award (gold) for their exemplary service to the nation in the field of education and excellence in leadership and management.

“This award is an expression of appreciation to our civil servants, and more importantly, it is a reminder to the civil servants that they must continue to shoulder their responsibilities impeccably,” said His Majesty the King.

Every national day, teachers and educators receive recognition award for their service. What this signifies is that the country gives special importance to the success of the country at the heart of which lies success in education.

As His Majesty said, we have now come to the stage of development that requires us to act for the benefit of the country and its people.  It is a matter now of whether we can muster the courage to do it, not of whether we can or not.