… to ensure they meet a minimum standard
Education: Education minister Norbu Wangchuk awarded accreditation certificates to the Royal Thimphu College (RTC) and Reldri Academy of Health Sciences (RAHS) in Thimphu yesterday.
The first of its kind, the accreditation process involved a four-day visit by Bhutan Accreditation Council’s (BAC) team to the two institutions during which the team observed classes, met with the management, faculty members and staff, inspected the infrastructure, talked with students, and scrutinised documents supporting the reports submitted by the institutions, among others.
Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that tertiary institutions are important national institutions.
“We have to look up to our tertiary institutions as fountains of the nation’s character building where our graduates’ talents and minds are nurtured so that they are able to harness the new opportunities that the new times offer,” Lyonpo added. “We look up to our national institutions as conscience of our society.”
Lyonpo explained that there is ever growing need to raise education institutions’ standards in the country and it is a demand that is being put by the society on the institutions which is a good and a positive trend.
Lyonpo pointed out that graduates are going to face new challenges and new opportunities. “Our graduates will need skill levels much higher and deeper and expensive than what we had.”
Lyonpo added that we live in a society with new aspirations and ambitions with new world views, and new sensibilities. Moreover, we live in a world with ever changing regional and global politics and therefore institutions such as RTC and RAHS have to nurture and create talents and minds that can lead the society and nation into these new realities.
The Bhutan Accreditation Council, a national autonomous body, was constituted in 2011. The council’s secretariat, the quality assurance and accreditation division with the adult and higher education department, with support from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) trained five pioneer accreditors in June last year.
Of the two types of accreditations, the council started with institutional accreditation.
An official with the quality assurance and accreditation division, said that depending on the need, the council may initiate programme accreditation in future.
The official said that accreditation aims to assure educational quality and accountability, and encourages quality enhancement.
It entails a continuous process to help Tertiary Educationion Institutions (TEI) analyse functions, mission, assess its performance, review its planning procedure and identify ways to enhance its educational effectiveness.
“Accreditation is therefore a method of protecting the welfare and the safety of public by identifying quality TEIs and help raise and maintain institutional standards,” the official said. “Accreditation is mandatory for all the TEIs in Bhutan.”
The council targets to complete accreditation of all the 13 TEIs within the 11th Plan.