Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, education minister Norbu Wangchuk and home minister Dawa Gyaltshen were in Phuentsholing Higher Secondary School (PHSS) yesterday to celebrate the Teachers’ Day.
More than 500 teachers from Chukha, Phuentsholing thromde and Samtse gathered in the school to celebrate the day.
Lyonchoen thanked the teachers for their selfless efforts and sacrifices in educating and nurturing children.
Emphasising how the nation has emerged since the reign of the ‘Father of Modern Bhutan’, the Third Druk Gyalpo’s time, Prime Minister said His Late Majesty the Third King was the king at a very critical period.
He said Third Druk Gyalpo reigned the country for 20 years. “Modern education started in those 20 years, as His Late Majesty decided to have education in English medium.”
He said the Third Druk Gyalpo also built the first motor road in the country linking Phuentsholing, Paro, and Thimphu.
Lyonchoen also highlighted important contribution by the Late King such as abolishing slavery, joining the United Nations and Colombo Plan, and starting the five-year development plan.
“Most importantly he built on our sovereignty almost single-handedly,” Lyonchoen said.
He also said that teachers’ contribution resembles to that of His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo.
“Teachers have taken his vision on, taken his legacy, and achieved what he aspired for the country,” he said. “Just as the King connected Bhutan to the first modern highways, teachers opened up corridors for the Bhutanese children and connect their minds to the rest of the world.”
Lyonchoen also said that just as the Father of Modern Bhutan abolished serfdom, teachers are enabling and empowering Bhutanese children to live independent lives.
The Prime Minister also said that in the 12th Plan, the government would add 60 more central schools in the country. “It would be done within two to three years of the Plan.”
A Dzongkha teacher, Pema Gyeltshen from Gedu Higher Secondary School said that it was a memorable day.
“I am a Dzongkha teacher for 21 years now,” he said. “It has been a good journey.”
Pema Gyeltshen said Dzongkha is improving over the years.
An expat teacher from a school in Phuentsholing, Bhadreshwar Daimuri, 54 said he has been teaching for 30 years in Bhutan.
Sharing how he travelled all the way to Chumey Primary School in Bumthang on a truck’s hood, the English teacher said Bhutan was not like this when he first arrived.
Meanwhile, a school drama team from Thimphu presented an emotional play called ‘The Lantern’ dedicated to the gathering.
The play presented the journey of students being supported by teachers in their lifetime.
Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing