… thank parents, teachers, and everyone 

Jigmi Wangdi 

A total of 13,373 students appeared for the Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate Class XII examination in December 2022. Of that, 14 students from across the country topped the Science, Commerce, and Arts streams.

“I was shocked. It was very unexpected for me,” said Rigzay Lhamo, the Science stream topper. A student of Ugyen Acadamy, Rigzay says she has hopes of becoming a surgeon, a cardiologist to be specific.

“I want to improve the medical facilities within our country. I want to become a specialist in a field that is complex, as we do not have many here in Bhutan,” she said.

Rigzay aspires to improve the medical field as she heard many people complain about the facilities and services in the hospitals.

There are five students from Ugyen Academy who are on the toppers’ list this year. Tshering Choden, who came in third position in the Science stream is one of them.

Tshering, like Rigzay, hopes of working in the medical field. “It has been a lifelong dream to become a doctor. I want to pursue MBBS,” she said. Tshering says she wants to give back to the country in the future.

“I have been in boarding schools most of my life. I got a scholarship from Ugyen Academy after Class X for which I am grateful. It is because of the free education I received throughout my life that I want to serve my country and people in the future,” Tshering said.

Pema Wangchuk from Desi High School topped the Commerce stream. Like most others, Pema said he was shocked as well. “I didn’t expect to top the stream. I am happy I did.”

Pema hopes he can apply for a scholarship to continue his studies. “I want to become a chartered accountant. But I repeated in Class XII. So, I am not sure if I will get a scholarship.”

Choki Dorji, also from Desi High School who came in second position in the Commerce stream is also a repeater.

“To all the students who will be sitting for the board exams, never give up. Life will always give a second chance and we have to try no matter how much we fail,” Choki said. He aims to become a businessman.

Yadsel Lhazin Tshhogyel, also from Desi High School who came in second position said that their success is owed to the school and their teachers. “We were able to achieve this because of continuous support from our teachers. They worked as hard as us and this achievement belongs to all of us.”

Yadsel wants to pursue her studies in economics. “I want to learn and gain exposure abroad and come back home to use my experiences to serve the country.”

Jamyang Kinley Pema from Motithang Higher Secondary School topped the Arts stream.

“It felt amazing to hear the news and I initially thought that BCSEA could have made a mistake,” Jamyang said. She wants to pursue International Relations now.

“The subject always fascinated me, especially seeing different countries and how they connect. I want to work hard to develop Bhutan’s relations with other countries too,” Jamyang said.

“I felt blank for a moment,” said Euden Dema from Ugyen Academy who also topped the Arts stream. “It was beyond my wildest dreams and I was shocked to see my percentage being on the same level as other toppers,” she added.

Euden says that she wanted to prove that humanities students can also do well. “There is always more appreciation towards Science and Commerce over Arts. Even students feel this way and think that Arts is for low-achieving students.”

Euden said she wants to serve the country in whatever way she can with integrity. “That will be my small contribution to His Majesty’s dream of handing over the country’s future to capable citizens, which is us, the youth.”

Rinzin Norbu from Karma Academy came in third position in the Arts stream.

“I was surprised when I saw my results,” Rinzin said. “I was raised by a single mother and she cried when she found out I was a topper. Seeing my mother happy made me happier than topping my stream.” Rinzin says he aspires to become a lawyer, which is also his mother’s hope for him.

Similar to Rinzin, Kinley Gyem from Taktse Central School aspires to become a lawyer. Kinley is the topper of the Language and Culture Studies examinations. “I was surprised when I heard the news, but I was also happy.”

“I am grateful to my teachers and friends who supported me, I would not have achieved this without them,” Kinley said. She hopes to serve the country in the future.

This year, the overall pass percentage is 87.80 percent, compared to 82 percent in 2021.