Education: The Sherig Endowment Fund (SEF) was launched yesterday with the objective to provide equitable access to quality education to children across the country.

The fund is allocated to promote action research in the schools both private and government, to address challenges related to quality teaching and learning, school management and emerging youth issues.

Initially only action research proposals from teams in the schools will be accepted. This according to a press release from the ministry is to inculcate and promote team culture and peer-learning among the schools through such activities.

“As the fund grows, the grant will also be made available to teachers, principals, vice principals wishing to conduct action research on their own,” education secretary Karma Yeshey said.

This year, 100 proposals from schools will be supported under the fund. Each qualifying proposal will be eligible for a maximum grant of Nu 20,000. The fund will be released at the beginning of the research. The details to apply the grant are available on the education ministry website.

According to the press release, the government established the endowment fund based on the directive of the 14th Lhengye Zhungtsho in 2013 mainly to provide equitable access to quality education to all children across the country.

The endowment fund is established with a seed of Nu 10 million. In addition, the ministry will also support 15 proposals through life skills education programmes funded by the UNFPA.  The ministry awarded around 15 proposals through the life skills programme yesterday.

One of the recipients of the fund was Khasadrapchu Middle Secondary School. Its principal, Karma Samphel, said that the fund would enable schools to build on research capacity. “The fund would also help schools come out with research based solutions to youth issues like drugs and suicides,” Karma Samphel said.

For the Sherig Endowment Fund, the ministry will soon call for proposals through the media. The dzongkhags will also be instructed to submit their proposals. The Sherig Endowment Fund was one of the campaign pledges of the government.

The education minister Norbu Wangchuk and finance minister Namgay Dorji attended the launch event.

Tempa Wangdi