The Centre for Educational Research and Development, Paro College of Education, in collaboration with University of Birmingham, UK launched Education in Bhutan: Culture, Schooling and Gross National Happiness at Royal Thimphu College on April 29.

Chapters of the book give reader close understanding of Bhutan’s policy moves and interventions in the areas of non-formal education, development of special education, traditional medical education and gender in education. They spell out goals and priorities of nation’s education. The book brings to table meaningful contexts that deserve serious discourse.

Educating for Gross National Happiness that the Ministry of Education started in 2010 across schools in Bhutan led to the development of Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014-2024: Rethinking Education. Although Bhutan has achieved near-universal mass education, challenges remain – how to systematically integrate education of gross national happiness  values and practices in Bhutanese schools.

Among the Bhutanese chapter contributors are prominent scholars and educationists like Dasho Zangley Dukpa, Dasho Pema Thinley, Thakur Thakur Singh Powdyel, Singye Namgyel, Phub Rinchen, Phurpa Wangchuk, Tempa Gyaltshen, Tashi Tobgay, Jagar Dorji, Pema Tshomo, Kezanf Sherub, Rinchen Dorji, and Tshering Wangmo.

Reflecting on the current challenges in the education, Thakur Singh Powdyel, President of Royal Thimphu College, said that curriculum is the soul education and that education must be as much broad-based.

Bhutan: Culture, Schooling and Gross National Happiness is a narrative of Bhutan’s sherig journey as seen by the nation’s eminent scholars and educationists. The book is perhaps the most comprehensive publication yet on the development of Bhutan’s education system, “understood in light of the country’s history, culture and development of the philosophy of gross national Happiness.”

Edited by Matthew J Schuelka and T W Maxwell, the book will be a useful reference point for researchers, policymakers and practitioners, tertiary students, teachers and educationists interested in Bhutanese education and challenges.

Jigme Wangchuk

Bhutan: Culture, Schooling and Gross National Happiness

Edited By Matthew J Schuelka and T W Maxwell 

252 pp. Springer series 36.