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Monday, April 27th, 2015 - 6:13 AM
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A malady called rural-urban migration Part III

Fallow-Land

While the Forest and Nature Conservation Rules and Acts may be the cause célèbre that encourage rampant predation by animals on human crops and livestock, the principal cause for Goontongs, there appears to be other causes that contribute to declining rural population and disenchantment with life in the villages. The inordinate implementation of the commitment made at the 1990 Jomtien World Conference on Education for All, seems to have played a significant role in the annual migration of rural population to urban centers – particularly [... Read More]

A Malady Called Rural-Urban Migration Part II

A-Village-Home-2Abandoned? A goongtong in Tongmijangsa, Trashiyangtse

In recent times, the media – particularly Kuensel, has been reporting on a brand new social malady called Goongtong – the apathetic case of abandoned households in the rural areas of Eastern dzongkhags. Other than arousing a mild sense of curiosity generated by the term itself, the tragedy that is Goontong does seem to have created much flutter among the authorities. If it did, there is no sign of it. Goongtong is a term derived from the combination of two independent words: “Goong” meaning household, [... Read More]

The Edenlab has landed (or soon will, in Bhutan)

The world-renowned environmental education UK project is about to take a bow at BhIF After an impressive run for 14 years in the United Kingdom (UK), Eden Project, the famous environmental education attraction from the UK, is making a foray into Bhutan, landing as Edenlab. Edenlab, the international creative partner of Eden Project UK – one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations – will stage interactive, immersive artistic events and installations to promote environmental sustainability and wellbeing during the first-ever Bhutan International Festival scheduled [... Read More]

A malady called rural-urban migration

Old-Couple-Grinding-FlourOnly the old remain

“If something is not done in the next 5-10 years, I can foretell that the dzongdas of the eastern dzongkhags will have to be referred to as dzongda of Mongar wildlife, or dzongda of Trashigang wildlife etc., because there will be no humans left in the villages – except wild animals. It is a policy failure that needs immediate correction.”   -Yonten Tharchen Secretary General, Bhutan Taekwondo Federation   Yonten Tharchen went home to Nganglam after 19 years and returned to Thimphu completely bewildered and [... Read More]

The case of leaked English paper II and the price for justice

BCSEA’s Decision is Unfair and Unscientific   The Bhutan Council for School Examination and Assessment, BCSEA board in its wisdom decided to award English I marks for English II, as the two papers are related. I believe that this decision is unfair and unscientific for reasons I shall present here. But first, allow me to comment on the information given by the board on this matter. The board mentions that it will take anywhere from about Nu 4-11M to redo the examination. This is a [... Read More]

Schools can give a healthy start in life

Araham Lincoln once said that, “the philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Indeed what school children think today, the nation thinks tomorrow. Schools not only offer wonderful opportunities for learning and thriving, they are also uniquely positioned to give children and adolescents a healthy start in life to enable them to fulfill their potential and succeed. This is of critical importance today because of increasing and early onset of health problems related to obesity, unhealthy [... Read More]

Quality of education has not deteriorated

Bare to the calves with dirty knees, uncombed hair with its colour hardly natural, dirty nose that bubbled with mucus now and then, and with decaying teeth that needed the service of a dentist, life was harsh. The school was not a homely place either. Knees were bent to serve as desk for slates that were mostly broken. Standing was sometimes, better than sitting on the cold broken floor. Quite often, bunking a class to escape slaps for losing a chalk was neither a better [... Read More]

Best and worst year in Asia in 2014

There goes the Year of the Horse.  As 2015 and soon, the Year of the Sheep, unfolds, it’s time for one last look at the year we left behind. A year ago, taking a page from Washington Post political columnist Chris Cillizza’s awarding U.S. President Barack Obama the dubious distinction of  “Worst year in Washington,” we took to the digital pages of Fortune Magazine.  The challenge – naming who had the “Worst year in Asia” – and the “winner” then of that least desired of 2013 prizes: Obama [... Read More]

The Fourth King and our ecological health

དགའ་བའི་ཚལ་ན་ལྷ་རྣམས་རྩེ་བ་བཞིན།།  ཁུ་བྱུག་མྱོས་པའི་གདངས་སྙན་གླུ་ལེན་ཅིང་།། དུས་རླུང་བསེར་བུས་མེ་ཏོག་འགྲིམས་པ་བཞིན།། སྤྲིན་གྱི་གླང་པོ་དགའ་བའི་སྒྲ་འབྱིན་ཅིང་།། ཆར་གྱི་སྣང་བ་རབ་བཟང་བསིལ་བསིལ་བཞིན།། རྩ་བ་ལོ་མ་འབྲས་བུའི་ཁ་ཟས་ཀྱང་།། སྡིག་དང་མ་འདྲེས་ནགས་ན་དུས་བཞིར་ལྡན།། ཉོན་མོངས་རྣམས་ཀྱང་ངང་གིས་ནགས་ན་འགྲིབ།། མི་སྙན་བརྗོད་པ་སུ་ཡང་མ་མཆིས་ཤིང་།། འདུ་འཛིའི་གྲོང་ལས་རྒྱང་རིང་གྱུར་པས་ནི།། ཞི་བོའི་བསམ་གཏན་ངང་གིས་ནགས་ན་འཕེལ།། དམ་པའི་ཆོས་དང་མཐུན་ཞིང་སེམས་འདི་དུལ།། ཉེ་བར་ཞི་བའི་བདེ་བ་ནགས་ན་ཐོབ།། མདོར་ན་ནགས་ཀྱི་ཡོན་ཏན་མཐའ་ཡས་ཏེ།།   Like the gods dance in an enchanting forest,   Cuckoo sings sweetly in a heady note.    Like the flowers sway in a gentle season’s breeze The five-headed elephant of Indra trumpets delightfully. Like a shower that freshens our consciousness Those edible roots, leaves and fruits of four seasons, Uncontaminated by sins exists in the woods. Many mental toxins naturally wane in the woods. There is none to say any [... Read More]

NC going overboard in criticism of mining sector?

During the course of discussions on the Royal Audit Authority’s (RAA) report on mining and quarrying sector, both in the National Council (NC) and talk-shows on the national television (BBS), the proponents and management of the mining and quarrying units came under a barrage of criticism and condemnation from the NC.  The relevant government agencies were also not spared from the wings of their condemnation. There was a palpable feeling of passion on the issue amongst the honourable members.   While it is desirable to [... Read More]

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