Government expects Yonphula to turn into an education hub 

Education: The government has confirmed that it will open three colleges in the east as pledged.

The three colleges will be opened in Gyalpoizhing in Mongar, Trashiyangtse, and Yonphula in Trashigang. The college in Trashiyangtse will be a rigzhung institute that will specialize in zorig chusum. The courses to be offered in the colleges at Younphula and Gyalpoizhing are yet to be decided.

The Royal University of Bhutan and the education ministry are working on the curriculums for the colleges that will be established in Younphula and Gyalpoizhing.

Education minister Mingbo Dukpa said a taskforce from relevant agencies has been deployed to conduct a preliminary feasibility study to work out the courses. The preliminary feasibility team will then submit its findings to the ministry.

“Only after the government has received the findings of the preliminary feasibility study would we be able to say what courses would be started in Younphula and Gyalpoizhing,” Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa said.

“The preliminary report is supposed to be ready by the end of this month,” Lyonpo added.

Based on the report, the government would decide when to open the colleges.

“It all depends on the preliminary study because different schools have their own individual circumstances such as the number of teachers, infrastructures and area,” the minister said.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay confirmed the locations of the three colleges during his visit to the six eastern dzongkhags for mid-term reviews recently.

Lyonchoen said that the Gyalpoizhing Central School would be upgraded to one of the colleges because of its faculty strength of 60 teachers. Eleven of the 60 teachers hold a master’s degree. The school covers an area of over 62 acres. The central school was decided to be upgraded as it would save the government from spending heftily in building infrastructures, which will also be time consuming, Lyonchoen said.

Trashiyangtse Institute of Zorig Chusum (TIZC) is going to be upgraded to a Rigzhung College. The college will specialize in Zorig Chusum. TIZC established in 1997 to preserve and promote the 13 traditional arts and crafts offers training in 10 different trades such as Lhadri (painting) Patra (wood carving) Jimzo (sculpting), Trezo (ornament making) and Shagzo (wood turning).

Bapzo (traditional mask carving), dralham (traditional shoemaking), tshemzo (tailoring) and tshemdru (embroidery) are other courses offered in the traditional arts and crafts institute. Currently, TIZC has an area of 8.36 acres with 30 staff catering to 177 students.

The third college will be established in Yonphula across 75 acres of land. The place has basic recreational facilities like a football ground, office buildings and residential quarters. The college at Yonphula will  replace previous Centenary Institute of Education.

Economic affairs Minister Norbu Wangchuk who is also from Kanglung said Yonphula would become an education hub because of the presence of a number of educational institutions. Today, Kanglung  has five schools including primary, lower secondary and higher secondary schools besides Sherubtse College. Even a branch of Kelki Higher Secondary School is under construction. There are also two shedras.

Opening of the three colleges will provide education options to thousands of students traveling abroad to continue tertiary education Lyonchoen said..

Tempa Wangdi