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2 nd May bears spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance to all Bhutanese since it is the Birth An­niver­sary of our beloved Monarch Zhing­shey Dampa Druk­gyal Sumpa Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and also ob­served as the Na­tional Teacher Day. As a spe­cial trib­ute to Zhing­shey Dampa Druk­gyal Sumpa - the found­ing Fa­ther of mod­ern ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, the DAY is marked as the Na­tional Teacher Day and bears spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance on the im­por­tant role of our teach­ers since it is the teach­ers who con­tinue to carry for­ward the spirit of mod­ern­iza­tion and na­tional devel­op­ment. As an im­por­tant stake­holder in the na­tion build­ing process, teach­ers are the torch bear­ers who dis­pel the dark­ness of ig­no­rance and shed light to our learn­ers. From the time secular schools were in­tro­duced in early 1900s to 1968 when the Third King in­au­gu­rated the first Teacher Train­ing In­sti­tute in Samtse, our teach­ers have played a vi­tal role in shap­ing the na­tion’s des­tiny.

At the school level, the Day is ob­served by the stu­dents as a very spe­cial oc­ca­sion to ex­press their grat­i­tude and deep ap­pre­ci­a­tions, and to hon­our their teach­ers for their spe­cial con­tri­bu­tions to the school or in a par­tic­u­lar field or in the com­mu­nity in gen­eral. It is also a time when both teach­ers and stu­dents re­flect deeply and strengthen the teacher-pupil bond­ing which is deeply rooted in the core Bhutanese val­ues of Thadamtsi Layju­drey.

Be­liev­ing that the ed­u­ca­tion providers are the most priv­i­leged group fully en­trusted upon by the public for the all-round devel­op­ment needs of their chil­dren; ac­knowl­edg­ing the need to be wary of the un­lim­ited pos­si­bil­i­ties for eth­i­cal per­spec­tives that are chal­lenged by the chang­ing so­cial val­ues, sci­en­tific and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances and evolv­ing laws; and the in­creas­ing rel­e­vancy for the ed­u­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als to con­form to the high­est pos­si­ble stan­dards of eth­i­cal code of con­duct, the Gov­ern­ment is cur­rently in the process of es­tab­lish­ing the Na­tional Teacher Coun­cil, the high­est pro­fes­sional body that would pro­tect the in­tegrity of the teach­ing pro­fes­sion through fair and trans­par­ent reg­u­la­tions as well as en­hance their pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment.

As we ob­serve this Day, may I take this op­por­tu­nity to share with those of us who are di­rectly in­volved in the ed­u­ca­tion of chil­dren and has di­rect bear­ing on their ac­tion, speech and mind the fol­low­ing words of wis­dom of His Majesty the King.

“To­day I speak on be­half of our teach­ers and stu­dents – our teach­ers will al­ways be com­mit­ted and ded­i­cated teach­ers – our stu­dents will al­ways be dili­gent and loyal stu­dents – but it is the duty of par­ents, pol­icy mak­ers and the gov­ern­ment to put the right tools in their hands – the right books, the right cur­ricu­lum, the right di­rec­tion. For this, we must first ask our­selves where we want to go as an econ­omy, as a democ­racy, as a na­tion.

In other words, what is the Vi­sion for Bhutan? Then we must build an ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem that nur­tures peo­ple with right skills, knowl­edge and train­ing to ful­fill this Vi­sion. ……I feel that there is no bet­ter rea­son to use this word than to de­scribe the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion. For, if our Vi­sion is not con­tained in the pages of the books that young chil­dren hold, in the words of our teach­ers as they lead their class­rooms, and in the ed­u­ca­tion poli­cies of our gov­ern­ment, then let it be said – we have no Vi­sion. We can dream of strong bu­reau­cracy of the high­est stan­dards but we must not for­get that those stan­dards must be set in schools where our fu­ture bu­reau­crats are”

As we re­flect on the golden words of His Majesty the Druk Gyalpo, may our Teach­ers too con­tinue to in­spire gen­er­a­tions of Bhutanese with the light of wis­dom and knowl­edge that each of our teach­ers truly hold.

On the oc­ca­sion of this very spe­cial day, on be­half of the stu­dents, par­ents and the en­tire na­tion, may I of­fer our sa­cred prayers and trib­ute to all our Teach­ers, past and present, for their in­valu­able ser­vices, self­less de­vo­tion and for be­stow­ing the best learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ences for our chil­dren. The Na­tion ded­i­cates this day to all Teach­ers as a ges­ture of our deep ap­pre­ci­a­tions. Happy Teacher’ Day!

བཀའ་དྲིན་ཆེ་.... སློབ་དཔོན

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