On poor drainage, changes to primary education, organic food production and nocturnal disturbance at Olakha

Poor drainage

With the arrival of monsoon, drains, footpaths and roads are getting flooded.

We have been dealing with the same problems for some time now – blockage of drains, leading to overflow of the drain and sewage water. Sadly, we forget about all these once the monsoon is over.

If the drainage systems are not built well, the problem is likely to continue due to waste accumulation.

Therefore, the people would appreciate if the municipality looked into this and made proper plans to prevent such issues, not only this summer but for the many summers to come.

Karma Lhamo
Changzamtog resident
(Published on July 30, 2018)

Primary education needs a major overhaul

My son woke up quite early today to the harsh realization that he has to go back to school soon. “Why? Don’t you like school?” I asked him. He says, “I hate school.”

School should be a place for fun but not to be dreaded. Kids in primary school should not be burdened with homework. Let them come out of the box rather than confining to the four walls. Learning should be made interesting. They need to explore, they need to run and have fun. In a country like Japan, teaching methods are entirely different. Most of the values they learn are  morality, respect, sincerity, punctuality etc. We must inculcate these values when they are young. No amount of driglam namzha during the orientation will help.

Japanese respect the environment, community and other people. Their streets are immaculate. And look at Finland. Kids don’t have subjects in schools. Yet their schooling system is one of the best in the world.

I m not a professional teacher but I make learning fun for my son. He is in class IV but knows about capital cities, continents, rivers, where once we were taught as geography and examined. He talks about gravity, black hole, Albert Einstein, atoms, elements, scientific names etc. He knows about Buddha’s life, Zhabdrung and Desi Jigme Namgyel. He can’t focus in class obviously because learning is not as interesting. Teachers are second parents. But parents are definitely the first teachers.

There are no examinations in primary schools in those countries with top education standards. Assigning positions to academic results only make matters worse. They grow thinking they are good for nothing. There is too much pressure at a very young age. Giving stress at a very age will only make a child’s life more stressful as they grow up.

Learning, definitely, must change in Bhutan, at least at primary school level. We need to have a fun learning atmosphere.

Do away with subjects. Do away with exams. It’s time we teach them more about values, discipline, creativity, compassion, respect, care for environment etc. Let them shed more calories rather than make them sit long dull hours in classrooms. Our education system needs a major overhaul.

(Published on July 31, 2018)

Boosting agro-ecological and organic production

I was recently invited by your national Ministry of Agriculture to visit Bhutan and to give my opinion about the three big challenges: how to increase overall productivity in farming so as to produce more for the national market and domestic consumption; secondly how to achieve improved long-term food sufficiency for the national population; and thirdly how to do both in a sustainable way using organic farming methods.

I have not been long enough in the country to be able to give any serious recommendations in concrete terms to meet those challenges. However, I believe that the efforts currently being undertaken in the National Organic Program NOP to strengthen the integration between the various governmental knowledge and service centers, regional agencies and international donors would be very helpful to boost long term farming productivity with the spirit that your country has expressed for so many years now: to marry human needs for sufficient food production with the much needed protection of soils, biodiversity, water and your rich natural resources. Your farmers will need guidance and adequate support on that path so that the bridge from subsistence production to a modern agro-ecological system can work.

Bhutan is the only country in the world meeting the essential global Sustainable Development Goals and has the potential using organic, agro-forestry and agro-ecological production methods to reach increased long term productivity and food sufficiency at the same time. Back in 2014 the Millennium Institute published an operational report on system dynamics model designed to support national development planning for organic farming and food sufficiency. Regarding the above mentioned challenges of combining better access to organic farm inputs, more adapted mechanization, improved irrigation and better access to healthy, locally and regionally grown food for all Bhutanese, it could be very useful to work, including support of the international community, towards an integrated national food policy which could boost agro-ecological and organic production in the coming years.

Hannes Lorenzen
Advisor at the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in the European Parliament, Brussels
(Published on August 1, 2018)

Perhaps we need more than skills training

Skills training for Drayang workers organized by RENEW last month must be lauded because it helps empower those working in the sectors.

But empowering only those working in drayangs may not be enough.

Our society needs to be educated, empowered and informed at a broader level to understand the challenges faced by people working in the entertainment hubs.

Changing the mindset of the people is important and that will come about only with wider reach of awareness and education.

(Published on August 2, 2018)

For the elderly

There is a dire need of either a small mani dungkhor or a stupa in Babesa area. I see elderly people making rounds around the cluster of buildings, especially next to the TechPark area. Memorial Choeten is very far for them and their children are too busy to reach them to nearest holy places on a daily basis.

If the authority concerned could see to this basic need of our elderly citizens, it would bring great benefit to the communities and to all parties involved.

Leki Choden
(Published on August 3, 2018)

Party goers causing disturbances at Olakha

We have seen lots of concerns raised by the residents of Olakha on disturbances caused by discotheque located in the residential area. The concerned authorities should listen to the concerns of the citizens and make things better. This shows good leadership! Defending and shrugging the concerns of citizens defeats the purpose of monitoring agencies.

The discotheque located at the basement of Norbu Healing is a nuisance to the residents of Olakha. Most residents were of the opinion that it was closed after repeated offence and stabbing case involved at the Party hall. However, it is still operated on Wednesday – Sunday and kicks off at odd hours. The party starts from 1:30am and goes until 4:30am in the morning. The party hall sigh board still stands tall at Olakha and all drunk people come there after all entertainment centres get closed in the town. Almost everyday, Olakha residents have to go through the ordeal of sleepless night and watch the brawls, arguments and shouting on the roads of Olakha.

As a working and mother of school going children, I request relevant authorities to do something about the discotheque.

We are thankful to police for patrolling the place and request police to do patrolling on Wednesdays- Saturdays between 2am – 4am.

Hoping for a positive intervention from relevant authorities.

Sangay Om
(Published on August 4, 2018)


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