South­east Asia sem­i­nar to­wards ru­ral de­vel­op­ment in Bhutan

Bhutan Times - - Home - Lhakpa Tsh­er­ing

The Royal Univer­sity of Bhutan (RUB) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Ky­oto Univer­sity in Ja­pan brought to­gether of speak­ers and par­tic­i­pants from South­east Asia in Thim­phu for a week long sem­i­nar that will end on 12 De­cem­ber.

The 42nd South­east Asia sem­i­nar themed “Health and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment based on the con­cept of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness” fo­cuses on the chal­lenges of health and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment in Bhutan to ex­plore the fu­ture pos­si­bil­ity in the re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to the or­ga­nizer, there has been a steady in­crease in the life ex­pectancy around the world with ad­vances in medicines and nu­tri­tion, but along with it comes eco­nomic, so­cial and health chal­lenges.

The sem­i­nar aims to deepen the un­der­stand­ing of South­east Asia from var­i­ous per­spec­tives.

The Vice Chan­cel­lor of RUB, Nidup Dorji, said the com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment and oth­ers as­pects are im­por­tant parts for over­all strat­egy in the coun­try. He said, “RUB has se­cret re­spon­si­bil­ity in de­vel­op­ing the hu­man cap­i­tal and build­ing the knowl­edge base of Bhutan's de­vel­op­ment.”

To share ini­tia­tives and de­vel­op­ment pro­grams in health, ed­u­ca­tion and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment, the sem­i­nar in­vited guest speak­ers from Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion, Min­istry of Health, GNH Com­mis­sion and Ja­pan In­ter­na­tional Cor­po­ra­tion Agency (JICA) in Bhutan.

Trac­ing the ed­u­ca­tion journey in last 100 years, the ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary, Karma Yeshey said the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor in Bhutan has been re­garded and pri­or­i­tized in the plan. “The min­i­mum of 25 per­cent to as high as 40 per­cent of plan out­lays has been in­vested,” he said. “They have in­vested heav­ily into ed­u­ca­tion.”

The sec­re­tary fur­ther added that the suc­cess­ful sys­tems in the world be­came suc­cess­ful be­cause of ed­u­ca­tion. “We are very suc­cess­ful,” he said. “We have been blessed to have suc­ces­sive monarch that has been vi­sion­ary and sup­ported the de­vel­op­ment of the peo­ple and par­tic­u­lar the hu­man cap­i­tal.”

Like­wise, Dr Ugen Do­phu, Sec­re­tary for health min­istry, also shared the health min­istry's ac­tiv­i­ties in ru­ral de­vel­op­ment. He said the health con­trib­utes to the hap­pi­ness of peo­ple. “Sci­en­tific study has proven that happy peo­ple lives longer,” he said, adding that the happy peo­ple may achieve per­sonal de­vel­op­ment.

The Min­istry of Health in 2010 started the pro­gram “com­mu­ni­ty­based med­i­cal care for the el­derly to em­power com­mu­ni­ties to take care the el­derly.

Dechen Pelmo, Sr. Plan­ning Of­fi­cer with the GNH Com­mis­sion shared the con­cepts of GNH in­clud­ing four pil­lars and nine do­mains. She said the con­cept of GNH is sup­ported by four pil­lars to ex­ist. “Each of the four pil­lars must be put in place and con­tin­u­ously strengthen,” she said. “Even if one pil­lar is miss­ing or out of bal­ance, it would neg­a­tively im­pact to pur­sue the GNH.”

Mean­while, the Chief Rep­re­sen­ta­tive from JICA in Bhutan, Koji Ya­mada shared the suc­cess sto­ries of com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment ini­ti­ated by JICA such as re­view of lo­cal­spe­cific val­ues, en­abling en­vi­ron­ment for mass­par­tic­i­pa­tion and sus­tain­able lo­cal econ­omy.

Be­sides, he also re­ported the three im­pli­ca­tions for Bhutan on “schools are the hub for com­mu­nity build­ing, in­ter­ac­tion with ur­ban­i­ties and for­eign­ers may cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties and lo­cal con­sump­tion of lo­cal products min­i­mizes the cost for sup­ply chain, and plugs the leak­age”.

Koji Ya­mada said, “While, we al­ways try to dream about big suc­cess, we should start with tak­ing of small and lo­cally, so that the lo­cal peo­ple could go for lo­cal products.”

In the open­ing state­ment, the Di­rec­tor for re­search and in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions at RUB, Pangchung said, JICA has ex­tended ac­tiv­i­ties for ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and in var­i­ous sec­tors. He said, “JICA has been an in­stru­men­tal in the so­cioe­co­nomic de­vel­op­ment of Bhutan.”

The sem­i­nar would serve as a plat­form for Bhutan to share is­sues and con­cerns re­lat­ing to ru­ral de­vel­op­ment and health. It is also an op­por­tu­nity to share ex­pe­ri­ences and ef­fec­tive prac­tices in the com­mu­ni­ties to de­ci­pher such is­sues in Bhutan.

To en­able par­tic­i­pants to re­flect on cur­rent is­sues in their com­mu­ni­ties and learn from strate­gies and ex­pe­ri­ences of Bhutan, the sem­i­nar in­cludes a study tour in Pu­nakha and Wangdi Pho­drang for the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 12 South­east and East Asia coun­tries in­clud­ing Bhutan.

The speak­ers and par­tic­i­pants also shared sig­nif­i­cant is­sues and con­cerns re­lated to the health and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment based on the con­cept of GNH.

The 42nd South­east Asia sem­i­nar themed “Health and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment based on the con­cept of Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness” fo­cuses on the chal­lenges of health and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment in Bhutan to ex­plore the fu­ture pos­si­bil­ity in the re­gion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.