Three subjects for classes PP to III now
Classes PP to III will now have only three subjects. Environmental Studies (EVS) will be infused into Dzongkha and English leaving them with English, Dzongkha, and Mathematics.
Royal Education Council (REC) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) purposed for the infusion.
Karma Tenzin, a training developer with REC said that, although EVS would no longer be taught as a separate subject, its concepts and principle would be built into the language curriculum.
Presently, EVS is a separate subject taught by general teachers in Dzongkha.
The principal of Jigme Losel Primary School in Thimphu, Choki, said that the integration or thematic practice had been carried out since 2008. She added that the students of classes PP to III did not understand different subjects. They were all language for them.
Research has revealed that the EVS textbook is a directly translated version of the previous text in English, so there is a risk of confusion and duplication within texts at the same level.
The integration is likely to allow a better focus on literacy at lower primary levels to build a strong foundation.
Education Minister Norbu Wangchuk said that research showed many primary students passed without gaining any necessary competency in the languages.
During the 2017 academic session, Dzongkha teachers will teach the EVS components thematically with Dzongkha.
According to the action plan, by December 2017, the REC is expected to orient English and Dzongkha teachers to the revised PP curriculum and the plan will be followed in a similar manner for Classes I, II and III.
The curriculum framework and guidelines are expected to be available by March or April this year to support the teaching of EVS by the Dzongkha teachers.
While strengthening literacy, the infusion is also expected to promote more time for English and Dzongkha to promote the languages and reduce the workload.
The main contents of EVS consist of history, culture and tradition, geography, science, health education, physical education, agriculture, and creative activities.
EVS was initially taught in English (1986– 1995) and later started to be taught in Dzongkha since 1996.
The ministry also resolved to focus on numeracy and language at the primary level.