En­hanc­ing the civic spirit in the stu­dents

Bhutan Times - - Home - Thin­ley Choda

Ato­tal of 108 stu­dents from ru­ral and ur­ban ar­eas started a friend­ship camp for ten days from 21 De­cem­ber in a re­mote place of Bjib­jokha in Pu­nakha.

The camp saw the stu­dents from ur­ban ar­eas of Phuntshol­ing, Thim­phu and Paro with the stu­dents of Pu­nakha Dzongkhag to share their ex­pe­ri­ences to build their friend­ship in the va­ca­tion.

The en­thu­si­asm to build ru­ral-ur­ban bond can be seen in the week long cam­paign or­ga­nized by the Camp Ru­ral Ur­ban Friend­ship (RUF). The pro­gram ex­pects to bring together chil­dren in ur­ban cen­ters and ru­ral ar­eas of Bhutan in an ed­u­ca­tional and recre­ational setup which would help to en­hance the civic spirit of the stu­dents.

It has been a trend pro­longed from 2014 with the vi­sion to bond the friend­ship be­tween the ru­ral and ur­ban stu­dents.

Ten­zin Dorji, the pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor of the camp, said that the stu­dents will be placed in each home and will help the house own­ers with their daily chores such as cook­ing, dish-wash­ing, fetch­ing fire­wood, feed­ing cat­tle, gar­den­ing to clean­ing their home. He said, “In this way, the stu­dents will be able to fully ex­pe­ri­ence this way of life.”

Dur­ing the camp, each stu­dent from the ru­ral ar­eas is matched with a stu­dent from ur­ban area to share their ex­pe­ri­ences which is called Charos (friends). Ten­zin Dorji said that stu­dents write to each other be­fore and af­ter the camp. He said, “In this way, they be­gin to un­der­stand their dif­fer­ences and sim­i­lar­i­ties, and de­velop a life­long friend­ship.”

Un­like in the past camp, this year, the camp con­sists of pro­gram such as home stays, trea­sure hunts, sleep­ing in the tents and con­nect­ing with the na­ture among oth­ers.

The noble idea was en­vi­sioned by young teacher, the late Kelzang Ch­ho­den, while she was teach­ing in Lungten­gang Pri­mary School in Da­gana. She re­mains as a founder of the camp RUF and she sur­vived by her hus­band, Ten­zin Dorji, who is the pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor of the camp.

Since both of them were teach­ers, they felt the im­por­tance of bring­ing chil­dren from two dif­fer­ent worlds together. They re­al­ize the im­por­tance of bridg­ing the dif­fer­ences or at least make stu­dents learn from each other’s dif­fer­ences through their friend­ship.

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