Three colleges to start this year

Two higher secondary schools to be upgraded to college

Education: Two higher secondary schools in the eastern districts are identified to be upgraded to colleges, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay announced yesterday at the meet the press session.

He did not disclose the names and other details of the identified schools. Another college will begin at Yonphula in Trashigang.

The Royal University of Bhutan and education ministry are working on the final details on upgrading the schools.

Lyonchoen said the government decided to follow the old modality of upgrading high schools to college as in the case of Sherubtse College.

The college at Yonphula is expected to come up at the Centenary Institute of Education (CIE), which was part of the former  Royal Education Council.

Sprawling across 75 acres of government land, the campus has recreational facilities, office building and residential quarters, all of which were underutilized after the Royal Bhutan Army phased out in 2011 and 2012.

The immediate proximity of the area to the domestic airport and Sherubtse College is expected to add to the advantage of constructing another educational institution in the region.

Lyonchoen said establishing colleges would provide options to thousands of students opting for low grade colleges abroad.

He said many Bhutanese students have to settle for cheaper colleges when they do not qualify for internationally recognised colleges outside the country.

Subsequently, they are not able to find employment with degrees from non-recognised colleges and universities, as they cannot compete with other graduates from good universities.

“They only waste the time and resources of their parents,” Lyonchoen said.

Establishing premiere educational institutes is part of the East Development Initiative (EDI), which the government approved in principle 2014.  EDI aims to economically strengthen and develop the six eastern districts.

The initiative was developed, following the People’s Democratic Party’s pledge of “rising east”, which promised balanced developmental activities in the eastern districts.

Tshering Palden

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