There was a story of a group of students from Arekha Middle Secondary School a few days ago. It was inspiring.

Our children need more than just classwork, homework, and assignments. Often the way we go doing what we are required to do, we forget this fact. The story was about students’ wish and a teacher’s promise. The students of this remote school wanted to experience city life; they wanted to see an airplane fly in Paro and game parlour at Sharee Square in Thimphu.

Teacher: Will you study hard and score above 80 percent in your exams?

Students: Yes, Sir. Will you take us to see the wonders in the big cities?

Teacher: If you keep your part of the promise, I will keep mine. Let’s go see airplanes fly and play some games at Sharee Square.

This was a serious and sacred covenant. The students worked hard and scored above 80 percent. The proud and happy teacher prepared for the tour.  And they headed to Thimphu. Some of the students walked into top hotels and were amazed. A little boy complained that he couldn’t sit on a hotel’s opulent chair.

This is a picture out of classroom. But this is also a picture inside our schools and teaching system. Teaching-learning experience boils down to heart more than head. It is one of teaching our children walk the paths by holding their tender hands. Do we do this enough?

In the world we live in, encouraging children to be competitive is more than just important. Their small and impressionable minds can contain so much. Teach them now and they will never forget the lessons. These little ones from Arekha will now work to achieve not less than 80 percent in their tests and exams.

This is how our teachers, who are at the centre of the sherig system, should bring about change. There are schools that have initiated their own ways to encourage students to excel academically. Some have been recognised, others sadly not. But our teachers also know that their efforts and what they give are priceless and do not run after fame and fortune.

When education system is going through a whole lot of changes, sometimes in the name of improving the quality of education, such small personal initiatives from teachers go sadly unnoticed. Perhaps we forgot where and who to look to.

Dear teachers, lead our kids on, this way…