Sherig Endowment Fund launched
The Ministry of Education launched the Sherig Endowment Fund (SEF) on 23rd August 2016, an initiative started by the government to provide equitable access to quality education to all children in the country.
The fund will be used to promote action research among schools, public and private, to address challenges related to quality of teaching and learning, school management and emerging youth issues.
During the initial phase of implementation, only those action research proposals submitted by schools as a team will be accepted. This is mainly to promote a culture of team building and peer-learning within the schools through such activities. As the fund grows, the grant will also be made available to teachers/principals/ vice principals wishing to conduct action research on their own.
This year, a total of 100 proposals will be supported under the Fund. Each successful proposal will be eligible for a maximum grant of Nu. 20,000, which will be released at the beginning of the research. Details on how to apply for the grant are available on www.education.gov.bt
In addition, the Ministry will also support 15 proposals thorough the Life Skills Education Programme funded by UNFPA. Coinciding with the launch of the Fund, Lyonpo Namgay Dorji, Finance Minister awarded the grant of Nu. 20,000 each to 15 successful proposals received from schools.
The Fund will be managed by the Board with seven members under the chairmanship of Education Minister with support from the technical committee. The policy & planning division under the Ministry of Education will serve as the secretariat of the fund.
The education system in Bhutan has made tremendous progress since the start of planned development. From a mere 400 children in 11 schools in 1961, there are over 171,000 children studying in about 540 schools as of 2015. The coverage of primary education or Net Primary Enrollment Rate stands at 95.2 percent, not including the approximately 2.5 percent students (6-12 years old) studying at other levels or in other forms of education. Commensurately, the enrollment continues to improve at the higher secondary and tertiary levels.
Despite the rapid progress, there is much concern on the quality and relevance of the education. The country is now challenged with the need to provide a quality education, which will enable each and every child to become a responsible and productive citizen of the country.