NATIONAL TEACHER DAY
MESSAGE FROM SHERIG LYONPO
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!