There is a need for schools to improve mental resilience programmes.

Many reports, from teachers and students themselves, say that our children today are becoming less resilient.

What does that mean?

Our children are overburdened; they can’t handle stress. The consequences are sometimes sad.

However, what our teachers tell us is that workload for students has reduced a lot today. Curriculum designers agree. Even parents do.

So where does the stress come from?

The answer is: not necessarily from schools work and academic pressure.

Bhutan is changing rapidly. With the change, we are living a very fast-paced life. No one seems to have “enough” time for anybody. The rush shows in the way that parents are not able to look at the needs of their children.

All the while, every child is expected to achieve the best.

This can get worse and, that’s why, we need some serious interventions before it is too late.

Some of us argue that we have enough interventions going by the many agencies and budget that the government allocates to these agencies. But the argument is missing the point. How many agencies and how big the budget is not important. What is important is: Are we coming even a little closer to solving one of the biggest issues facing our young people today?

Schools need to create an environment where building resilience in children receives a special priority. Some of the schools in the country are going out of their way, even beyond instruction time and syllabus to ensure that physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of children is taken care of.

Schools have shown that they can do it, given enough resources. Some teachers and educators are of the view that mental resilience can be taught as a subject. Counsellors are important, yes, but a more focused class can do a lot more in the long run.

Healthy children is our future. Knowing that, we need to invest significantly now, at a time when a large number of our young people are finding it difficult to negotiate through the complicated maze of development.

The idea is to make our children smart and strong to not just face the challenges of the day, but also look ahead with confidence and succeed. That’s what is required in the many lofty reforms and plans we are talking about today to give Bhutanese education a new face.

Let’s raise a healthy and resilient future. And this calls for heavy investment from the Ministry of Education.