Seventeen students from Lingzhi Primary School and Soe and Barshong’s extended classrooms (ECRs) attended a weeklong student enrichment programme in Thimphu.
Organised by Thimphu dzongkhag administration from December 23 to 29, the programme was expected to develop the students’ creative writing, speaking and reading skills.
Thinley Om, 12, is a beneficiary. She is a student of Lingzhi Primary School.
She said she saw lots of difference in learning facilities and methods between Thimphu and Lingzhi. “It is my first time in Thimphu.”
She said she learnt to write a mini children’s book on yak during her writing session after realising the importance of yaks in her locality. “I also completed reading two books.”
Thinley said she is more comfortable learning Dzongkha than English. “I am trying to improve my English in terms of both speaking and reading as it is very important.”
She said that despite participating in literary activities in school, English is still a challenge for her.
The programme coordinator, Norbu Wangdi, is a teacher of Kuzhugchen Middle Secondary School.
He said that different activities were conducted to engage the students. “To improve speaking with better usage of vocabularies, students did action rhymes, picture description, sharing experiences and storytelling. As a part of creative writing, students drew pictures and wrote a story on it.”
He said that to inculcate reading habits, they were taught how to read precisely by adopting different reading methods.
Thimphu dzongkhag’s deputy chief education officer, Lham Tshering, said the programme was also initiated to provide exposure to the students.
Norbu Wangdi said that to gain exposure, they invited students from private schools to interact with the participants. “Students also visited religious sites, National Council and met with government officials.”
Lham Tshering said the dzongkhag had conducted research-based reading programme during summer vacation for 72 students from six different schools in the dzongkhag. “It was a success and we added speaking and writing programme to make it more inclusive this time.”
She also said the programme was conducted with the financial support from ‘Save the Children’ and students are between nine and 11 years of age and from classes III to V.
Lham Tshering said that all tutors were from Thimphu.