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PDP’s culture pledges remains largely unfulfilled

During the last government’s tenure, renovation of over 2,000 choetens across the country and several construction of dzongs were some of major achievements in the culture sector.

However, People’s Democratic Party’s pledges such as making Dzongkha IT-friendly and incorporating dying languages in the school and college syllabus remain unfulfilled.

PDP initiated and completed the renovation works for several dzongs such as Trashigang Dzong, Gasa Dzong, Lhuntse Dzong, Rinpung Dzong and Ta dzong, Trashiyangtse Dzong.

The construction of Wangdue Dzong and reconstruction of the Drugyel Dzong in Paro are underway.

Construction of new nunneries and hostels were also initiated to improve the living conditions of the monks and nuns.

According to the State of the Nation report, PDP government had decided to upgrade Royal Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA) to a college. “Up-gradation of curriculum has been completed and government is exploring land to build the college. Construction is set to begin in the 12th Plan.”

The government also pledged to establish a national online library with data on culture and heritage, which will be freely accessible to all the education institutions.

In September 2016, PDP government launched e-library in five colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan, two medical colleges, Royal Thimphu College, Royal Institute of Management and 21 schools across the country. The library had textbooks, reading resources, and other curriculum materials on an electronic library.

PDP’s pledge to document oral traditions remained a pledge. Civil society organisations have initiated several activities towards documenting oral traditions.

Department of Culture is also working to preserve traditional rammed earth buildings, managing of cultural landscapes and has initiated a draft guideline to improve resilience of cultural heritage sites in Bhutan.

Pledges

We will launch programs to make Dzongkha IT friendly and promote its use across social media platforms.

Modules on dying languages and arts will be planned in school and college syllabus.

A national online library will be established with data on our culture and heritage and it will be freely accessible to all education institutions.

Monastic education will be recognised along with mainstream education so that monks and anims can play a bigger social role.

While our monks and anims serve the rest of the community spiritually, we will enable monastic education to equally equip them for the job market.

The physical facilities at the monastic schools will be improved.

We will launch documentation of our oral traditions.

We will recognise our artists and writers who work with modern mediums and encourage their initiatives with the help of civil society organisations.

Traditional arts and crafts will be promoted and revitalised.

We will create centers of excellence in arts, crafts, and vocational training.

We will introduce Art Education in schools.

We will launch a fast-track mechanism for the preservation of all heritage sites and initiate geo-hazard assessment of all major historical monuments.

We will increase the number of traditional bazams.

Heritage sites will be preserved and we will improve the accessibility to important sites of historic religious and architectural importance.

We will encourage architects who use local resources and adapt traditional forms of architecture such as rammed-mud housing.

Phurpa Lhamo

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