Yangchen C Rinzin 

With the possibility of Yonphula Centenary College not getting enough students after a year, the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) is expecting a government directive or alternative to move on.

The Vice Chancellor (VC) of RUB Nidup Dorji sought advice from the government because the education ministry will be sending in-service teachers to pursue Masters in English in Samtse College of Education.

As a part of teachers’ development programme, the education ministry launched a new M.Ed English and M.Ed Geography last year.

“This means after sometime we may not get students. The college today has only in-service teachers after education ministry supported by sending English teachers to pursue master’s programme,” the VC said.

The VC also shared that there was no concrete plan as of now as to how to continue the college since there is also a lack of fund to develop the college.

Options are also being explored but RUB sought advice as to whether to continue and consolidate college campus with Sherubtse College or to use it for other purpose, or to close down altogether.

The VC told Kuensel that RUB is hopeful that in due course of time there will be a concrete decision and have a clear directive, as the situation evolves. “The problem is even if we get students nobody wants to study unless it’s a scholarship. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen to the college campus.”

Yonphula Centenary College was established in October 2017.

The college was managed by Sherubtse College faculty as an interim measure. The president of Sherubtse College function as the president of the college.

In accordance with the education ministry’s plan to provide master’s degree to all teachers, the college’s primary objective was to provide a master programme for in-service teachers.

The college provides only Masters in English course.

President of Sherubtse College, Tshering Wangdi, said that the college had not received any executive order from the RUB to close the college but the college campus could be used for other purpose based on government’s decision.

The president said that the college had also proposed plans to the RUB as how the campus can be extended as part of Sherubtse college.

Today, there are three professors, nine academic supporting staff and an academic dean in the Yonphula College with 56 students undergoing master’s programme.

“We’ve enough facilities such as classrooms, library, IT facilities, and Wi-Fi facilities in the hostel,” the president said. “We’ve a space to accommodate another 200 students in the hostels.”

However, the Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering has asked the RUB to wait for now and that this issue should be discussed further with relevant stakeholders so that the campus is not wasted.

A total of 76 in-service teachers have completed Master in English programme from the college since its establishment.

Additional reporting by Neten Dorji, Trashigang