Tuesday, April 21st, 2015 - 2:16 PM
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Central school offers child an escape from a life of labour


Education: Eight-year-old Premila, a class-PP boarding student of Dechentsemo central school (CS), was working as a babysitter in Wangdue.  That was three months ago.

One evening of last winter, she met a school staff member, who asked her if she wanted to go to school.  Her parents were consulted.  And Premila’s life changed overnight.

“I use to frequent the shop that was run by the school staff’s wife, and he saw me carrying a baby all the time,” said Premila.  She whispers more than she speaks. “When he asked me if I wanted to go to school, I said yes immediately.”

Premila doesn’t know her age.  She worked for a family in Paro before she was sent to babysit in Bajo.


Picture story

His Majesty the King, Her Majesty the Gyaltsuen, and members of the Royal Family offered Tenzhug (prayers) for His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo at Neyzergang Khamsum Yueley Namgyel choeten in Punakha yesterday. The Tenzhug was offered in commemoration of His Majesty the Fourth Druk Gyalpo’s 60th Birth Anniversary. People from the neighbouring villages attended the ceremony to offer their prayers and were granted Audience and Tokha by His Majesty the King.


DCA divested of airport control

The authority may now focus on its primary mandate as overseer in its new avatar

Aviation: In what should lead to better airport services and stricter enforcement of aviation rules, the information and communications ministry has approved the separation of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and the country’s four airports.

The airports are currently run by DCA, and its services are also inspected or audited by the department itself, which is a conflict of interest.


Samtse hit by second windstorm

unnamedNorbugang lower secondary school building after the storm

Reconstruction of badly hit Norbugang LSS currently underway

Disaster: About 60 men, including officials from Samtse dzongkhag are currently busy extracting timber to reconstruct five structures of Norbugang lower secondary school (NLSS), which were severely damaged by a windstorm on the evening of April 17.

The five structures suffered major damage in the school include a two-storied building with 12 classrooms and another one-storied classroom.  Three staff quarters were also damaged severely.

Although the reconstruction work will start today, Norbugang gup Kinga Wangdi said they would have to continue extraction of timber for another three to four days.

“We need 700 cubic feet (cft) of timber,” the gup said, adding that it would have been difficult without the support received from the dzongkhag team led by the dzongdag.


High drop out rate for Non-Formal Education

Education: The non-formal education (NFE) program, that once received the UNESCO Confucius prize for literacy for empowering more than 160,000 people, is in need of attention.

Both an increasing number of learners and instructors are dropping out of the NFE every year.

At least 1,142 learners dropped out in 2014, of which 666 were basic learners. Currently there are a total of 7,390 NFE learners.


Sex study on adolescence and youth

UNFPA-funded monograph ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Adolescents and Youth in Bhutan’

NSB: Early age marriage and pregnancy, low use of contraceptive methods and spread of sexually transmitted diseases among adolescents and youths are increasing in the country.

This is according to National Statistics Bureau’s (NSB) monograph ‘Sexual and Reproductive Health of the Adolescents and Youth in Bhutan’.


Detoxifying the ‘democratic’ process

It is late, but that’s better than never.  An association like the recently launched Bhutan Democracy Dialogue was one that was missing in our journey to making Bhutan a strong and unique democracy.

The body is a multi party association, which knows well what transpires before, during and after an election.  Such a body is crucial in allowing them to work together for the cause of democracy, even if they represent different political parties with different ideas.


Making good leaders of civil servants

RCSC: To motivate civil servants at the executive level, a training on leadership development skills will be conducted for them.

This initiative comes under one of the reforms being undertaken by the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC).

Today, about 150 executives and specialists holding leadership positions in the civil service, falling under the EX1, EX2 and EX3 levels, manage more than 26,000 civil servants.


RAA rakes up (pay) dirt in Samtse and Phuentsholing …

… and recovers (or is in the process of recovering) sums going into the millions

Corruption: The Royal Audit Authority (RAA) has recovered about Nu 2.8M (million) from a local enterprise in Samtse in connection with the supply of inferior quality corrugated galvanised iron (CGI) sheets to the dzongkhag in the 2013-14 financial year.

Kuensel learnt that the supplier, PP Enterprise, owned by an Indian national married to a Bhutanese in Chengmari, had its supply cancelled and blacklisted by the Samtse dzongkhag administration.


ODTP initiative treads on others’ turf

1509108_10152694257542314_8021762590138407219_nKiwi demonstration farm in Wangkha (Photo courtesy: Yeshi Dorji, BCCI)

The way forward, it was agreed at the AGM, was through cooperation with the agencies concerned

BCCI: With the Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) initiating a one-district-three-products (ODTP) programme, there is a perception that the chamber is encroaching into the domain of some government agencies.

This, the chamber revealed, during the second day of its annual general meeting on Friday, with specific reference to its ODTP initiative.

This, the deputy secretary general, Chandra B Chettri, said, needed to be addressed through confidence and partnership. “The role of the BCCI, by and large, is limited to lobbying and programme facilitation,” he said.

The ODTP, officials from the chamber said, was a vehicle to achieve green revolution, based on a similar initiative of the agriculture ministry, the one-gewog-three product programme.