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The College of Rigney in Trashiyangtse is now renamed as the College of Zorig Chusum.

Following media reports on the closure of the college of Rigney in Trashiyangtse, the labour ministry swiftly moved a note sheet to rename the college, which the prime minster approved.

But reports from the field indicate that a new name is all that the college has. Save for one, it will be transferring its 11 students to the college of language and cultural studies in Taktse, Trongsa this August. The college is expected to offer diploma courses from July this year but has not recruited instructors or enrolled students nor acquired the space that is required for a college.

This move was made after the labour ministry realised that the course it was offering at the erstwhile college of Rigney was a duplication of a course offered at Taktse. Today, there is an institute of zorig chusum and a college of zorig chusum in Trashiyangtse, one offering certificate course and the other planning to offer a diploma course.

But it appears that the labour ministry is convinced that this is not another duplication, even if it’s only a namesake institution. What appears to legitimise a college with no students or infrastructure or faculty is the government’s pledge. In such a case, the issue of unplanned policies and its consequences are rarely discussed, let alone questioned.

The college of zorig chusum is also not under the Royal University of Bhutan. It has however, informally shared that institutions don’t need to consult the university to open a college. It has been learnt that the university had earlier tried to upgrade the institute of zorig chusum into a college but dropped the plan for want of resources. The labour ministry, which is already challenged in addressing unemployment issue in the country, has now taken up the management of a college.  As an authority on technical vocational education, the ministry must tell the people how our zorig chusum graduates, besides helping in culture preservation, are doing after graduating from these institutes.

Now Sherubtse College, which is managing the Yonphula Centenary College in Kanglung will transfer its Computer Science course to Gyalpoizhing College of Information Technology in Mongar. Among the three new colleges, Gyalpoizhing College appears promising, not only because it is under the RUB but given the infrastructure and academic developments it is pursuing.

The college’s infrastructural needs will however displace the nearby Gyalpoizhing Central School. The school, which has already discontinued classes XI and XII, will not be a central school nor will it offer boarding facilities. But the government’s rationale to open central schools was to avoid a situation it itself is responsible for creating today. At least at Gyalpoizhing.

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