Three par­ties pledge to re­view cen­tral school pol­icy

While PDP pledges to es­tab­lish a cen­tral school in ev­ery ge­wog

Business Bhutan - - Nation - From Thim­phu

Tsh­er­ing

While the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) pledges to es­tab­lish a cen­tral school in ev­ery ge­wog should they form the gov­ern­ment af­ter the 2018 elec­tions, the other three po­lit­i­cal par­ties have pledged to re­view the cen­tral school pol­icy for im­prove­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the party man­i­festo of Bhutan Kuen-Nyam Party (BKP), they will re­view the cen­tral school pol­icy to make it sus­tain­able and af­ford­able, more rel­e­vant for the chil­dren of poor par­ents, and also pre­scribe a min­i­mum age for chil­dren to be ad­mit­ted to cen­tral schools and re­tain ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity pri­mary schools and Ex­tended Class Rooms in the com­mu­ni­ties where fea­si­ble.

A BKP spokesper­son said the cen­tral school pol­icy needs to be changed as ac­com­mo­da­tion for stu­dents needs to be re­duced due to a large num­ber of stu­dents and pre­scribe a min­i­mum age for chil­dren to be ad­mit­ted to cen­tral schools.

Ac­cord­ing to the Druk Nyam­rup Tshogpa (DNT) man­i­festo, they will re­view cen­tral schools pro­ject to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties, en­sure ad­e­quate in­fra­struc­ture and hu­man re­sources. DNT main­tained that it will also re­view the pro­ject to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties and turn ev­ery fail­ing poli­cies of cen­tral school into suc­cess by con­sult­ing rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers and strength­en­ing re­sources.

“Cen­tral schools will re­ceive fa­cil­i­ties; there are oth­ers in non-cen­tral schools by pro­vid­ing sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties to other stu­dents based on needs and pledge to re­open com­mu­nity and pri­mary schools that are strate­gi­cally lo­cated to ben­e­fit peo­ple,” states the party man­i­festo.

A DNT spokesper­son said the re­view will in­clude find­ing the lo­ca­tion of cen­tral, com­mu­nity and

pri­mary schools, num­ber of stu­dents, the dis­tance among oth­ers and draw a plan for sus­tained con­sol­i­da­tion as op­posed to the rush to close all schools at one go.

Sim­i­larly, ac­cord­ing to Druk Phuen­sum Tshogpa (DPT) man­i­festo, they will re­view and im­prove cen­tral school pol­icy to make ed­u­ca­tion more eq­ui­table and sus­tain­able and es­tab­lish Ex­tended Class­rooms and Early Child Care and De­vel­op­ment Cen­tres in ev­ery Chi­wog as deemed nec­es­sary.

A DPT spokesper­son said they need to change poli­cies of cen­tral schools like main­tain­ing schools in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties up to class VI and cen­tral school to have class above class VII till class XII, which will re­duce teach­ers’ work­load and will make space in hos­tels for stu­dents to live.

He also added that the pledge also in­duces re­open­ing of ECCD and pri­mary schools with fa­cil­i­ties of cen­tral schools.

Mean­while, the cen­tral school sys­tem be­gan with 24 pi­lot cen­tral schools in 2015. Twenty-seven new ones were de­clared in 2016, tak­ing the num­ber to 51 and cur­rently there are 63 cen­tral schools in the coun­try.

All stu­dents in cen­tral schools re­ceive sta­tionery, school uni­form, school shoes, socks and sports gears. Boarder stu­dents are also pro­vided mat­tresses, blan­kets, bed sheets, bed­cov­ers, pil­low, pil­low cases and towel. They are served all three meals, while day schol­ars are pro­vided only mid-day meal.

The In­dian gov­ern­ment sup­ported the es­tab­lish­ment of 37 cen­tral schools with Nu 3.4bn through its pro­ject tied as­sis­tance pro­gramme and 12 more cen­tral schools through a small de­vel­op­ment grant of Nu 536.4mn.

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