The construction industry of Bhutan is about 40 years old. However, very little advancement has taken place in terms of the quality and technology of construction. For a small country like Bhutan, there are far too many contractors given the small size of the construction industry. At present there are over 4,000 contractors in the country.
In the absence of sound and definite construction policies, the construction industry today is going through a rough time. Contractors [... Read More]
A layman’s (as opposed to academic) diagnosis of the state of health of our school system
Say something often enough and, even if false, it can get to sound like fact
CORRECT me if I’m wrong, but to my own hazy recall the first real talk of a drop in standards of education was bandied about around the same time some bright sparks in the dept. of ed. resolved in their collective wisdom to drop Shakespeare [... Read More]
What does joining World Trade Organisation mean for Bhutan’s health sector?
The implication of international trade on health has been recognised for centuries. The Black Death (plague) followed international trading routes in the 14th century.
International health organisations like the Pan American sanitary bureau (1902), office international d’hygiène publique (OIHP 1907) in Paris, health organisation of the league of nations (1919) and WHO (1948) were created mainly to control the spread of infectious diseases through international trade/travel [... Read More]
The Economic Stimulus Plan (ESP) is a kind of stabilisation measure undertaken by the government. It aims to inject an additional Nu 5B in the economy. It is more of the nature of supply side management to expand aggregate supply. Funds would be channeled through two routes of monetary and fiscal systems. The monetary channel is the primary channel, which aims to strengthen the capital base of financial institutions by Nu 4B and is expected [... Read More]
Subordinate debt Rs 2.1B to Financial Institutions (FIs)
An economic stimulus plan (ESP) has to be clearly focused on specific sectors and not broad-based. The current Plan spreads over 23 sectors and 58 subsectors. One must determine where the growth will arise from and thereafter answer questions on what the essential needs and support systems required to materialise that growth are. ESP cannot be a stand-alone program to stimulate growth. It has to be a combination [... Read More]
Be Bhutanese, Buy Bhutanese
• To promote national industries and services, all government purchases should be biased in favour of national entities and made mandatory to buy from Bhutanese registered firms. Domestic preferences for Bhutanese products (value added by minimum 40%) should be given as high as 15% over imported ones. This will give a shot in the arm for the establishment of national trading units, industries and service providers ensuring, revenue generation, tax revenue, [... Read More]
PART II Starting with NAPE in the late 1980s (which I witnessed firsthand as a teacher in eastern Bhutan), much effort has gone into introducing child-centered, activity-based learning in Bhutan’s classrooms, especially at the primary level. Many Bhutanese classrooms continue, however, to be characterized by teachers doing most of the talking with students’ oral production limited to parroting one-word answers in unison.
A couple of explanations for this are that regardless of the training [... Read More]
The concurrent acquirement of both a second language and subjects taught through it
The editorial of February 18 on the teaching of languages as part of school education raises a number of noteworthy issues. Chief among these is the importance of authentic communication in the classroom and the need for teaching approaches to create a ‘language-rich classroom environment’ for supporting language learning. More broadly, the article ponders the question of what it means to learn a [... Read More]
It is good to know the debate on genetically modified organism (GMO) has finally found its way to our shore. It was inevitable, of course because Bhutan is no more an isolated lost Shangri-La.
GMO, a product of modern scientific development with its one leg historically hanging in the past (1800s or even earlier), is both a blessing and a curse, depending on how we want to interpret it. Much of this interpretation, like in most [... Read More]
Similar strategy could also be adopted for animal husbandry and horticulture sectors.
With the growth of commercial farming and to create a ready market and add value to its produce, the government must act as a catalyst in setting up export based agro (including diary) industries. This could be achieved in partnership with commercial farms and private sector similar to the setting up of industries like the calcium carbide and Ferro silicon and under FDI. When [... Read More]
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