Bhutan is on the fast-track to open up its country and embrace the outer world. For a small kingdom that received its first television only in 1999, the decision to increase and outsource its education program is commendable.
After extensive discussions with the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck and his senior government officials, global IT and education company, NIIT has launched a new initiative called ‘Playground Kiosks.’ The idea inspired by similar implemented programs in India, will lead the IT literacy program in Bhutan.
130 touchscreen Playground kiosks will be set up throughout the country. The kiosk (computer learning point) will have a satellite dish, a solar panel and will be run by NIIT. To participate, a Bhutanese student or citizen will sit in the kiosk, log on and will get connected to the world, to surf, learn and entertain.
The Bhutanese Government aims to create a new generation of an ITaware society that supports its sustainable economy. This initiative is catered specifically keeping in mind the ability and background of the Bhutanese people. Though open to all, the program caters specifically to the youth and promotes the use of computers, the need for training teachers and civil servants.
The NIIT project is expected to reach out to at least one lakh students, train a few thousand IT professionals, schools and enterprises in a couple of years.