The dawn of new age for Bhutanese education

Covid-19 is going to change the way we plan our future. When it is finally gone away, we would be reacting to home and world events very differently. We will have become a little wiser.

We have been struggling to revolutionise our education system for some time now. Not many years ago, we tried our hands on online and tele-education. It did not take off because growing out of the old system was difficult for many. But then we are doing very well all of a sudden because we are compelled to.

There are complaints from parents and students. This is natural in the beginning. It takes getting used to. Many already have positive reviews regarding tele-education that we have had to start in the wake of Covid-19 threat.

Soon we will be able to figure out what we lack and where we need to focus on. Done right, online and tele-education will come with great benefit in the long run. ICTisation of education will be a reality. When all these things come together, driving our education system for the 21st century needs will be easy.

These are the opportunities that we have today and we should make the most out of them. But success will depend largely on connectivity and access. These infrastructure challenges will have to be dealt with beforehand. Will our children in rural areas, for example, be able to take advantage of these changes?

Besides providing wider learning horizon to students, online and tele-education have the potential to also address the problem of teacher shortage in the country. We would have dedicated and highly motivated teachers in the cadre and they can be retained with good pay. Expenses on school infrastructure, which have recently grown by many folds because of myopic political decisions, can be cut down significantly.

We are talking only about education. Covid-19 will have changed the outlook and the behaviour of all the sectors in the country. Businesses will be looking at their efficiency and sustainability very differently. The government offices will hopefully have become more responsible and caring when it comes to public service delivery. But then the greatest opportunity lies in changing our education system altogether.

Investment will be vitally important in this sector.

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