Yangchen C Rinzin 

Clarifying the misunderstanding, including people drawing conclusions that the Gedu College of Business Studies (GCBS) will be moved to Mongar, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering said that he had only asked the Royal University of Bhutan to explore possibilities.

Lyonchhen said that he wrote to the Vice Chancellor, but had only requested to explore the possibilities of consolidating college campuses. 

Lyonchhen said it was a discussion that happened with the Vice Chancellor while discussing about TVET, but nothing was finalised and there was no concrete decision taken. 

 “We discussed consolidating Gyalpoizhing College of Information Technology and GCBS in the same campus,” Lyonchoen said. “I requested to explore the possibilities so that the colleges can share resources.”

Lyonchhen said he had never asked RUB to relocate, but if feasible, asked RUB to free up GCBS to house the planned TVET institute and the headquarters of National TVET council.

The letter mentioned that the government is undertaking major reforms in technical and vocational education sector to channel more students after class XII into skilled-based technical and vocational education. An autonomous TVET council is planned too. 

 “Since the government foresaw minimal need for physical infrastructure expansion for tertiary education, there could be opportunities for RUB to consolidate its colleges,” the letter stated. “The government requested RUB to explore possibilities of consolidating colleges, if feasible, free up GCBS for TVET.”

Lyonchhen said that it was just an idea to have TVET in the South where it would be feasible for TVET institute to function, which would also be near the College of Science and Technology, have private industries to provide on the job training to students.

 “Those were the vision of TVET and then we shared the ideas, asRUB as an autonomous agency could look into such possibilities,” Lyonchhen said. “The letter did not talk about relocating GCBS immediately, which many people assumed to be so.”

Lyonchhen added that the discussion has not reached anywhere, not even in the Cabinet and that it was just an idea that was shared during the discussion on revamping TVET. 

 “If we were to really shift, we would have announced it through media. It was a talk happened with the Vice Chancellor. The decision depends entirely on the RUB and if not feasible, it will not happen.”

During the meet the press session last Friday, Lyonchhen said that if such an idea could benefit student, the government would go ahead even if it is costly, but this is not being done to find place an area for TVET. 

Vice Chancellor Nidup Dorji said that although RUB received a letter, it did not specifically ask for relocation, but for the possibilities of consolidation. The Vice Chancellor said that there are lots of things that RUB needs to look into before taking any decision. 

 “People should not worry and we’ve not submitted any kind of report to the government,” the Vice Chancellor said. “We’ve not even looked into it, it’s just a letter that we have received.”

Meanwhile, Gedu College’s President Sonam Choiden said that letter was shared informally and there was a discussion among the staff to provide feedback to the RUB. She said that while the college supports government’s plan for TVET, the college would like to request the government to also consider cost implication.

 “In such a situation, cost benefit analysis is important and this is the only suggestion that we want to make,” she said. “If it is a study then choose the least cost method because we’re concerned about the country’s exchequer.”

The president said that the college completely supports government’s decision, but suggested government to carry out a thorough study and give them the best option.