Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Samdrupjongkhar, FCB godown on Fire.

Every time, when I hear about fire incidences, I have a very different feelings, feelings of exasperation. I was never pleased and swayed on any fire incidences so far. Honestly, until now I have never trusted on the cause of any fire disaster either.  

This morning, Kuensel updated me on, Food Cooperation of Bhutan, Samdrupjongkhar on fire. Which lasted nearly for seven hours. The more peeving news was that thousands gathered couldn't contained the fire. 

The more surprising to me was on the cause of fire which was reported unofficially was to be electric short circuit. Why every time our electricity circuit and LPG cylinder being upbraid? What is wrong with our power network and LPG cylinder?  

The big concern lies on the loss of food stored worth of Nu, 100 million plus that was completely raised into flame. Mathematically, the total amount that was consumed by fire cannot be earned by 1000 strong men in their entire life. 

However, the big worry is on survival of our civil servants and school children across the nation. What they will eat from tomorrow when every bits of ration was ruined by fire in the base. It must have occurred due to a human error. Where do we stand in term of GNH mindful index, when such incidences continues to ensue?

For me I feel, this is particularly a very melancholic fire incidences of all. The reason is very simple. Even a year old child can answer you on this, without any penny of hesitation. Firstly, Bhutan is a complete dependent nation to a giant India. Secondly, Bhutan has the least developed economy in the world. Thirdly, it is completely a huge loss for the whole nation. 

On June 24, 2012 –Wangduephodrang Dzong completely gutted and on October 25, 2010 –Chamkhar town raised 66 shops to ground and 267 people homeless for months. However, during this two separate massive fire incidences, honestly I did not worry much. But, this particular fire incidence have left me disturbed and bothered. Since, my concern was on how six schools in eastern Dzongkhag will survive, when their ration was gutted by fire in the base. They were little unlucky this time. Who should take a blame for this?  

Evert time, when I hear or see any fire incidences I always feel something is hidden and my mind always fills with tons of suspicion. I cannot guarantee all but almost all the fire incidences would be a forged one. Otherwise, every house has to be on fire every minute. Since, every household possess power line and LPG cylinder that runs every day. Why every time government properties and offices has to be always on fire? Until we have as serious monitoring system in place, we can never stop from fire incidences to happen.

I am unsure, when next electric short circuit might go wrong in PHPA offices. And I do hope that LPG cylinder in Damchu by-pass office will not storm and explode either. 

This is a serious matter to consider. It is time we must stand out together to put end to such rampant fire incidences from happening in the country, any big or small incidences can cause a serious crisis on our unstable economy and lives of our people. Please, play safe. Stay alert can only safe us from any man-made disaster in future.  Say NO to fire is the only solution!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Setting the National Goal

The training on English for effective communication is far too short but the impact will live on for thousands of teaching fraternity. This five day training has stirred thoroughly on teacher’s spoken competency level. With the spread of English for various reasons at home and abroad, the training have also emphasized on the advantage of being a good communicator as a teacher in school and –beyond.     

Although, English is neither our Mother Tongue nor our official language. But, English being the main medium of instruction in our schools, ministry felt that conducting such PD program for teachers would immensely benefit in making of competent teachers and better education system in the country.  

With the spread of English for political medium, to access information and entertainment and to function actively in the world no more holds the ownership of Great Britain alone. Thus, learning to communicate effectively has become necessary not only in our country, but also to rest of the world. And to a surprise China is pushing forward for learning and communicating in English language. 

Today, English being so invincible it is obvious that even in our context, knowingly or unknowingly it is seen that the usage of English is becoming unofficially official language in all offices.

So, when English has taken such rapid growth every part of the globe, back in our school setting, it is very sure that, English is being practiced and used excessively in our curriculum, organizing school activities and to adjust in the school system needs good English proficiency. In the modern world, it is seen that someone's personality can be easily judged and made with good spoken English and not any other proficiency.  

Although, we have learned English from the very first day of our schooling till the end of university. However, we lack being very effective in this four bands –reading, writing, listening and speaking. This training has mainly conducted to enhance skills on building effective communication skills, barriers of communication, non-verbal communication, public speaking maladies and hitches.

It is hope that all such gap can be filled at the earliest provided that individual teacher have taken this summer PD program positively. I have learnt how to manage and overcome stage fright. From this training, I have realized that the importance of teacher's spoken English language is all to put better food on the table at the end of the day.

The other reasons could be to inspire and motivate our fellow teachers of their importance and the value they carry in the society.   

However, at the same time we have seen lot of mayhem being levitated through social media throughout nation. Some of the mentioned hue and cry was about the unreliable weather, the road conditions and wrong timing. Many felt it was planned and conducted during winter break. But, finally without any hitches the training was over and everyone seemed to be happy and satisfied.

We look forward for continued support from our ministry for all times.

Monday, July 24, 2017

White Wagtail

White wagtail (Motacilla alba)

                                               To mark, World Rangers' Day.

Length: 16 – 19cm
Status: Fairly common winter visitor.
Altitude range: 110 – 345m.
Habitat: Rivers, streams, damp fields, vicinity of water and short grassland.
Food: It depends mainly upon varieties of insects, fish, frogs, etc.
Description: The white wagtail is a small passerine bird in the wagtail family, motacillidae. It has extremely variable head pattern and mantle color indicating its racial identification of breeding males. This species breeds in much of Europe, Asia and parts of north Africa. In Bhutan, it is found in all the places especially in southern and central areas.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Taxi Driver - The Most Challenging Job in the Market.

This past one week I have been constantly watching bbs Television just to be on the toe of latest happenings. But, to my surprise, almost all the news fed were neither informative nor educational, many were unmannered except for few road network connectivity for commuters due to recent heavy downpour.

All the coverage were, "15 nabbed for smoking in public areas, Druk PNB ATM teller accused of siphoned Nu. 10M, 54 years-old man gets 17 years in jail for raping a minor, etc." 

What is happening to GNH country? 

Yesterday's headline on, 'Aspiring taxi drivers may have to face an interview.' have captured my attention the most. The content of the news has really alerted and touched my nerve, although I am not making life out from gearing taxi string. I feel their feelings. 

Though, I fear for sharing my opinion on this agenda, but it's my long term frank opinion. The three most hatred jobs are, 'teacher, taxi driver and police personnel.' I don't know why people have to hate these profession so much.

Is there anyone who don't take a taxi drive? Is there anyone who don't want to do education, teachers are the inevitable person and the main pillar for the success of education? Is there anyone who don't want law and peace in order and themselves to be well shielded by our police personnel?

Although, the need to sit for an interview to become a taxi driver has become important due to many reasons. However, more important is self-consciences. Given a chance anyone can pass any level of test but this test alone can't define person's integrity, knowledge and inner self.

As stated by taxi drivers, "most people look down on their profession today.", "people feel that those who fail in their duties, as a civil servants, armed personnel or monks become taxi drivers." How can we determine one flash of interview alone is enough to determine that person and change the whole mindset of our society towards taxi driver?

Then, what going wrong with our teaching profession, they have a decent qualification and have taken all kinds of tests and interviews. Yet, we see their profession isn't sailing well in the society today, although many say, 'teaching job is a noble profession.'

Dear taxi drivers of Bhutan, as you have raised your voice over the low graded job you are doing in the society for the society and so does is my job. I am an educator and people have same notion about my profession too. Don't worry we share the same fate. Not only you and I share such poor fate. There are our police personnel who have even vilest fate than ours.

Besides all the hurdles, I know our teachers will continue to nurture minds, taxi driver’s drive their passenger home safely and police personnel continue to guard the nation and uphold laws and justice for all of us. Our country will continue to prosper better. 

Don't forget to Burn and Shine! It won't cost you more.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Digitized textbook for students in pipeline - II

While China is busy nagging supremacy over Bhutan's ancestral land, Bhutan continues to make ineffectual planning.  

Indeed, REC (Royal Education Council) planning onto such a cool digitized textbook is already laudable, a very smart initiative for the day. But, who will bear the entire cost escalation?  

If REC is looking forward to provide quality education, back problems and reduce workload. Digitized textbook is not the ultimate solution. 

Firstly, we must look for better classroom walls, stronger windowpane and superior place to sit on and better infrastructures. I feel lockers for every student in the school is must and slashing unwanted topics is always healthy. 

Secondly, we must think for Smart Classroom Settings (i.e. classroom with WiFi connectivity, overhead projector, audio system, video surveillance system, etc). 

Thirdly, teacher recruitment policy must be upgraded. I mean teacher entry should be for degree holder. Ministry must hunt for competent teacher candidate through series of aptitude test. One teacher can make a huge difference in education system and in the life of student. Therefore, I feel bringing in right teacher candidate is most for the success of Education.  

I don't mean, two teaching colleges and teacher graduate are not doing well. They are doing exceptionally well in the field and –beyond. However, with change in time, and for various social reasons, it is must to have proper degree qualification, and not mere degree in Education field.

This big initiative would definitely bring many positive impact in our boys and girls and would lessen the burden of our teachers. However, I could feel that parents have to sell their last milking cow to meet school demand. Parents who have more than one school going child or single parent have to auction their Kidney, if not their last bull would be unlucky. 

I feel going textbook less curriculum would be absolutely ambitious but an expensive affairs for both RGoB and parents. 

While far powerful country like US and Japan have never thought of such hogwash educational reforms, Bhutan is pushing for this unrealistic project. Is it appropriate this time? Do we have all the luxury to go for such Hi-Fi system, when we don't have functioning PC in school? While Trump Administration is busy negotiating with North Korea for Satellite Superiority, Bhutan continues to make such unsuccessful project to run into broken classroom. 

Should this smart textbook less curriculum be continue to progress, Bhutan's dream for world class education will continue to be unfaithful. Although, the cost of software package developments are borne by RGoB at the initial phase, after all, the service depth goes to all our parents.   

It seemed to me that REC is going crazy upon digitized textbook, which is not at all possible this time. Whatever, implementation part is not as easy as designing by sitting in their office. Before planning such huge project, first they must study and understand the problems at ground level. Therefore, one thing they have to understand is, many schools across the country don't have functioning computer and strong classroom wall. 

I fear simply jumping into digitized textbook to solve 'irreversible back problems' is not the ultimate solution. Rather planning to invest in good system is more important. I am saying what we can do to improve the quality education as well as to prevent back deformities of school boys and girls. I feel, Bhutan is not yet ready for this big Gamble. This would be a complete failure! 

 School Bag.
Image - google
                          be continued

Note: This is completely a personal view. This is not to offend any readers or concern agencies. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

REC towards digitized textbook for students

Yesterday I was alerted by BBS news on, "REC working towards digitized textbook for students," which have put me into thousand different mixed feelings and have unpleasantly hijacked my level of testosterone out of order.

I am also the product of Bhutanese Education System. I had the opportunity to have free schooling. I had a rigorous up and down hill walk with almost 3–5 kilograms of books on my backpack. I don't blame for it. Many a times the normal weight on my back sum up when I needed to carry some sport gears, etc. And during summer season the weight on my backpack escalate up with Polythene Plastic. 

What few research findings on cause back and posture problems by carrying school books have become a serious concern for Ministry of Education? What about education system in the west? Do they have all the luxury to attend school without education gears? I feel carrying few necessary learning gears at their back won't be a much problem. What about farmers or unprivileged child, who works round the clock lifting and transporting heavy objects, etc.?

What about some Indian coolie who work more than eighteen hours straight of hard labor in Phuentsholing bus terminal? According to the research statement their back should look like football and they have to die through acute back pain. Does it sound scary? Who is responsible for them? 
Who cares for them?
REC (Royal Education Council) concern over our Youth is absolutely hat off initiative they are heading towards materializing textbook less curriculum. Do we have all the possible facilities, potential manpower, expert on IT and the subject matters to come up to such software package. I am in good faith that it won't turn up to horrendous facts for Bhutan. I hope this initiative won't turn up into World War III. Next I don't want to see our school going children claiming that they can't carry phone and tablet on their back.  
I hope REC is not indirectly promoting such bag.

          be continued...

Friday, June 23, 2017

My Response to Education Minister on what he said on Toilet Cleaning Jobs in Australia.

Past one week, I have seen people of all kinds disposing their poor character in response to education minister's poor choice of Toilet Example which went viral in Anonymous –Facebook page. I suppose maximum could be a Bhutanese living abroad in Australia. I must say he was unconditionally paralyzed with all kinds of insalubrious comments, as if they belong to other planet. Although, everybody has right to fix anyone but not this way. This is totally out of character. There are always ways to put things up for discussion. This possible man-made disaster may not have occurred otherwise –if minister could have been little more sensible in citing such down-graded example and our people have been little more literate and positive. 

Over the years, the expansion in social media has posed lots of risk to self and other. With change in time and mentality, we needed to be very careful and selective in using words and examples. Who knows sometime own family members can be too dangerous to share some information. We must know that things we speak and share can reach to any part of the world within a blink of eye. 

It seemed that ministers toilet example have created havoc and have demean overall morale of our people living in Australia. I feel such example should not doom their status in the society since it is like any other job. If they feel such jobs need to be respected they should not have bothered much. I don’t know why people feel so cheap to be address as a Toilet Cleaner.    

If the notion of our minister is solely to doom people working in the west through his toilet example, we are helpless. But, if it is for the greater cause, I am completely touched with the comments our people have passed through the Facebook page. I suppose it may not have come from a qualified individual to hurt someone's sentiment knowingly. What someone had cooked up –supposed to be his speech to a group of teachers is right. And his intention is to convey that we have no other skills than to take up toilet cleaning jobs in the west, it is completely disheartening. 

Then, our education system and curriculum are failing absolutely, it seemed that our teachers and schools across the country are not doing their job. Even, our minister is also a part of this big failure. And he should be blamed for failing our education system in the country.
As an educator, I wanted to inform His Excellency that the quality of education and overall development of our students have further headed down.  All the recent unending reforms that took place in our education sector have produced all kinds of hollow, wasted, deserted, barren, and dry Youth, nothing seemed to work for them. Whatever example we relate to them, nothing seemed to ignite their poor thinking and character. In the first place, I have seen the concept of positive disciplining have failed terribly. I feel something is really missing from our education system. I am not sure what could be that? –mindset or poor parenting or teachers quality or teachers monthly salary or curriculum package.

Everyone expects their child to excel in studies, co-curricular activities and personality. What more has given to our teachers other than their monthly salary? Which is barely enough to run them a decent meals. I know ministry of education has a big say on two, five day training on 21st Century Transformative Pedagogy and English for Effective Communication Training which due this summer break.  

Nevertheless, the actual intention of our minister was to hearten our teachers to dream big, must look into the 21st century, to raise the quality of education and to prepare our school boys and girls on rapidly changing world  with all kinds of skills. But, where is the justice. Where is their social status? How much is their monthly income? How about their daily workload? Where is their right?

I feel simply underlining such issues –on the need to uplift the quality of education alone won't help ease this unprecedented problems. We must work together to understand the problems our teachers faces daily, not merely highlighting on the issues. Perhaps, torn classroom walls and broken school policy won’t help Education to do miracle overnight. 

For a small landlocked and dependent country like ours, education is the most important weapon we can give to our children. I know another set of ‘Toilet Cleaning Example’ would collapse our ministry. It is high time we must come together and start to build a greater and stronger nation with all possible tie. Together we can!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Greater Flameback

Greater Flameback (Female) (Chrysocolaptes lucidus guttacristatus)

Friday, June 2, 2017

Princess Mako of Japan and Queen Jitsuen Pema Wangchuck of Bhutan

Princess, Mako of Japan in the country's traditional receiving ceremony. 
As princess Mako, officially prepares to leave for Bhutan. Bhutan started to prepare for it. Bhutan set a fire of eagerness to receive the Japanese Princess. This Royal visit is perhaps the first of its kind in the Himalayan kingdom. And we hope this visit may forever remain in the heart of two countries.  

While she is in the country, she is expected to visit some holy sites, have an audience with the King and the Queen at the Golden Throne. She is also expected to meet Japanese overseas cooperation volunteers and attend a flower exhibition in Memorial Chorten in the heart of capital city. Before she leaves for Japan, she is also expected to visit Tiger's nest, popularly known as 'Taktshang,' a Buddhist temple which lies at an altitude of 3,100 meters above sea level.

Imperial princess Mako of Japan, King and the Queen of Bhutan.
For Bhutan this Royal visit speaks in volume. It shows the kind of good will bilateral relationship two countries have maintained for so long. Indeed, over the years Japan has nurtured Bhutan with utmost care, loyalty and dedication. For a long period of time Japan has been a great financial power for Bhutan. Japanese have shielded Bhutan in multiple ways than any other country in the world in terms of development of agriculture sectors, bridge constructions and machinery donation. What we are? What we have today all around the country are all because of Government of Japan? Thank them!

I always have a high regards for Japanese people on their high work ethics, morale and high quality work. Often times I see Japanese project –DNC and JICA, a point of reference for quality work. Japan for me is always a place that will remain so special for endless reasons. However, I have a very high regards for Japanese people in Time Management which Bhutanese are ethically very poor at for centuries.

With development in progress, I could see unending values to learn from Japanese people. Therefore, I wish this Royal visit would further wire our existing relations and cooperation to next higher level. 

Princess Mako and Her Majesty sharing the
 special token of good will relationship. 
Although, we don't have any metro-politan-cities as your country have in multiple places. We don't have complicated doors to open and smart toilets system to worry about. What we call our only big city in the country is still run by the most assiduous traffic-men. It doesn't mean we run excess in number of heads. We are approximately seven-hundred-thousand living soul. Which you may sometime miss understand as a Robot. We are a firm believer in doing manually by human beings. And they are our traffic men!

All we have is a green environment, which is always ready to serve us the most needed element for survival, which science called it as an Oxygen and literary we called it a Fresh Air. Indeed, our forest are doing their best they can! Country's development are still in rows. It doesn't mean we have stopped working on our long term goals, –the future. It's not the end. 

Country upheld the concept of GNH excessively for all the purposes of life. We practice GNH values even while eating –we sit in circle placing all our food items in center. Our Mother or eldest sister lovingly serve us the meals. We talk only when we finish munching our food. 

However, over the years we started to feel some burnt on our land and forest resources. Since, our government have started to mine even our mountains to fulfill their political pledges.

We have a visionary and selfless Monarchs who works day and night for the benefit of his country. We have the most beautiful Queen with beautiful Heart and with all the quality of a great human beings. As you see Bhutan may not look like what you have seen in different media. However, we have the cleanest and undisturbed environment in the world. Our forest coverage is still with seventy-one percent unused, which other country just dream for it. Therefore, Bhutan is still a carbon negative country in the world.

I take this opportunity to wish people and the Royal Government of Japan continued peace and prosperity for all times.  

I wish Princess a very Happy stay in the Land of Drupkas and safe return. Long Live Wangchuck dynasty, Bhutan and Emperor of Japan! 

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Population and Housing Census of Bhutan - 30th, 31st May and 1st of June.

What can you say about this nationwide population counting? Within few days of time, I have seen Facebook page status being over flooded with PHCB status. Some updates says, ‘I am finally being counted or some still waiting to be counted, but for some it's –beyond call of their job.’ What does it mean? Does it mean we are too eager or least interested to take part in this national call after a decade?

According to press release from the office of Prime Minister, "this particular event is an important national undertaking. All the public should support officials by providing them with the honest and accurate information. PM, had assured that the data collected would remain safe and secrete." This must have given our general public a gust of relief to be honest while answering. Therefore, I am sure the data collected would be most accurate and direct.   

The good news was the information collected would be used for devising of policies and planning, development and monitoring for future. But, I am not sure how far this political mouth can be implemented correctly.

Fortunately, I got my own share of questions to answer to a government official on the second day of PHCB. As far as I am concern and the son of Pelden Drukpa, I maintained honest and straight answers. The lucky part was that, I don't needed to introduce myself with the data collector since she was once my high school classmate. Currently, she works in Health sector and I work in education section. How many would have got such an opportunity to interview between classmates? Anyway, I got break to interact with my own high school mate after nine years of departure.

This nationwide population census recording is one last chance and measures to provide statically correct population records. It can speaks volumes of country's status. This should work as a base for any development activities that has to take place in the community. It must act as a bridge for government to identify the needs and requirements around the country. 

With much faith and trust, I have provided the most appropriate, accurate and honest information to enumerator. I have wholeheartedly thrown a cup of tea as a gesture of kindness. Since, she had flatly rejected my Aara offer. Whatever, I look forward for the promised political inductee to come soon.

I have done my part with the most honest answers. Did you?