Friday, January 20, 2012

Reading-Dying out

The school is a seat of learning and it holds the sacred responsibility of raising a generation and producing efficient and productive citizens. The change that is brought about by the forces of modernization in Bhutanese school goers is extremely overwhelming. And this change in the name of modernization is bringing sweeping changes in the thinking pattern of our youth these days.
What was once the source of all knowledge, the means of educating and exploring the horizons of knowledge-reading is beginning to fade away? The youth of today are neglecting this noble habit. To inculcate a reading habit is the quality of a learner. Reading helps one to morally improve and become a better human being. Reading also enhances appropriate word power and language proficiency. It enables us to appreciate the insights and dynamics of learning. Books have this potential to offer to its readers a wide range of knowledge.
These days’ pupils seldom read if this trend continues we will be producing youth that will later be handicapped intellectually. Youth these days are fond of I-pods, cell phones, mp3 players and so many other handy gadgets and may be in future these gadgets may find its way into the classroom. School goers are at a stage holding things of primary significance instead of books. Young people attending schools with such objects which I believe don’t really aid to learning may become a potential hindrance to teachers in schools.
To embrace change is a good sign of growth but change must be positive. People reading online materials, surfing the net, collecting useful information in the web are some habits of positive change. In the midst of change one should not forget that we must change for the good and good for the better. As it is it is never too late to learn and broaden our mind, we must ask, advice and encourage people to read and to maintain a positive reading culture for oneself. Thereby, we move a step ahead to be the brighter, responsible and educated citizens of tomorrow.
My earnest plea to the educated parents of our youth today to be responsible enough with the forces of change. If done, teachers like me would feel we collectively made education a sense, not a jargon.

Lobzang Nima

GNH and Alcohol

The other day when I incidentally turned my eyes on a news channel (Al Jazeera)-the report shocked me. It reported on Bhutan and I was thrilled to see the Dzongs and the magnificence of Thimphu. But hearing carefully to the news, I figured out that the report isn’t worth a speck of pride as Bhutanese. It stated and figured out that a large majority of our young people are alcohol-friendly, almost sixty percent. The figure is staggering in a small Buddhist country like ours. That’s awfully bad but the report wasn’t wrong either.
Sixty percent of the Bhutanese population consists of young people and figures speak for themselves. Yet the cream of our population and the future torch bearers of our lofty vision of gross national happiness are nowadays seen more in bars and hotels with bottles before them. What can be more worrisome than the sight of alcoholic youngsters?
Its cause is simply because of the fact that alcohol is available in plenty in our country. The system of not selling or serving alcohol to people below 18 years of age is questionable I suppose. Although the rule in place, I don’t find any alcohol seller enforcing it and may be this ultimately caused the youth and young people to drink. Can the concerned authorities make this cliché “No alcohol below 18 years”, to 20 or higher? The future of our nation is at stake if alcohol consumption is rampant. 

The Holy Office

It has become obvious that teaching is now no more a wise choice of profession for our young people, marked by controversies and confusions as it is. Teaching has often been looked at as a comfortable profession. It is usually the last choice in the list of professions for college graduates.
“Government to revamp education” sound like a cliché. But worth telling is worth telling twice. The talk of quality of education is on everyone’s lips. But rather than merely talking about it, why don’t we bring some changes in uplifting the morale of the teacher? People rather smugly say that the quality of education has gone down or deteriorated over the years, but has anyone wondered why? Of course, a large chunk of the responsibility falls on the teachers themselves. I know this because I am a teacher by profession. I have seen some teachers struggling to give their best, while some try best to escape the same doing the minimum.
Recently we have seen a good number of teachers leaving the teaching cadre and joining some other organizations. Dissatisfaction may be at the root of it all and those who left might have a long tale to tell. The difference between teachers in the urban places and remote corners is just a confident sum of Nu: 800 which don’t really boost the morale of the teachers posted in the remote corners. When that happens, the teacher is not inclined to give his(er) best adversely affecting the quality of education ultimately.
Mind you my fellow Bhutanese, Bhutan is more remote than urban, but the facilities are better at the urban centres and towns. That is why more people would prefer to be posted in the towns. In view of this government’s effort to revamp education must be directed more towards schools in the remote areas, so that better teachers would be attracted to postings in the villages. It could mean anything from better teaching aids and materials to better housing facilities for the teachers.
This would certainly prevent teachers from resigning to join other professions in urban areas.

Lobzang, Zhemgang!