Education: Seven new private schools are in the offing according to the education ministry, of which two are under construction while  proposals for the rest are being reviewed.

While Kinga higher secondary school in Paro has been approved in principle to be upgraded to a college, two higher secondary schools are under construction in Paro and Punakha. The ministry has also received a proposal for the establishment of a higher secondary school in Bebena in Thimphu and two new primary schools at two different locations in Babesa.

An individual from Wangdue has also proposed for a primary school in Bajo. The ministry has also received three enquiries from Thimphu inquiring about the requirements to open schools.

While two higher secondary schools are under construction in Punakha and Paro, the ministry is at different stages on other proposals. The ministry is reviewing the detailed project report of the proposed higher secondary school at Bebena.

The ministry has completed a site visit. The proponent from Wangdue has been asked to obtain the required clearances.

“They are yet to submit these clearances,” school planning and coordination division deputy chief programme officer Yeshey Lhendup said, adding that one of the proposals from Babesa has been asked to get clearances from the landowner.

The other proposals from Babesa and the one from Phuentsholing for primary schools is still being reviewed as the private school guideline is being revised.

Going by the existing private school guidelines, both the schools do not qualify as per the requirement for land acreage. “But now the ministry is revising the guideline we will see if these schools qualify the revised minimum requirement for infrastructures,” Yeshey Lhendup said.

As per the guideline, though there is no requirement of land, the ministry focuses on area to accommodate minimum infrastructures. Minimum requirement includes seven classrooms for primary, an IT lab, principal’s office, staffroom and library.

The ministry is reviewing the detailed project report. “The ministry will issue approval in principle if it comes through, the proponent can start the construction,” Yeshey Lhendup said.

As of now there are a total of 36 schools of which 19 are higher secondary schools.

Tempa Wangdi