Student extra-curricular activities, social media use, political party manifesto suggestions, bad roads and youth issues

More than academic excellence

On August 18, Bhutan U15 girls’ team made us proud. The kind of interest and potential shown by the players showed that Bhutan could do more.

National player Chencho Gyeltshen made stunning statements with his skills. Two Bhutanese breakers also took part in the Youth Olympic Games last year.

Music, sports, and other co-curricular activities are a small part of the education system in Bhutan. Unlike Bhutan, classes in ballet, playing musical instruments, and sports are some of the basic lessons available in the education system of other countries.

The education system in the country is criticized as one of the reasons for increasing unemployment in the county.

While the teachers engage to improve the class’s performance for better academic results, attention to other co-curricular activities diminishes.

Although academic performance play an important role in one’s life, an education system should not fail to accept the fact that equal success can be achieved through other activities.

(Published on August 20, 2018)

Responsible use of social media

It is understandable that political parties, their candidates and supporters will frantically try to sway voters to their sides with the country stepping into the election period. There are various platforms like common forums and public debates to sell their party and manifesto to the electorate.

Social media is one of the effective tools and platforms for political parties to reach out to the electorate. In most societies, it is sometimes felt that social media have weakened the mainstream media. Bhutan is no different.

However, the emergence of social media has reinforced the role of mainstream media. Anonymous accounts and posts could misuse social media to create social disharmony through hate speeches and fake news.

The onus fall on the mainstream media to disseminate factual information. This is one of the ways to strengthen the relevance of the mainstream media. The benefits of social media, including Facebook and WeChat, are numerous, but there as many drawbacks.

Social media is misused most during the election period. The election commission has endorsed a social media policy to curb misuse of social media platforms but there are limitations on the implementation part.

The political parties could maximize the use of social media for electoral gains, but they must use them use responsibly.

(Published on August 21, 2018)

Need to remove heavy vehicles from residential areas

Car parking problem in Thimphu is not a new issue and in fact, every day a new dimension to this problem can be seen with little or no solution.

It has been noticed that big commercial vehicles like buses, trucks, and fuel tankers are parked almost regularly in the residential area around Changedaphu. This makes the already congested area even worse. Moreover, there is a high chance of children, who are seen playing in the neighborhood, meeting with an accident due to the parking of heavy vehicles. The bigger vehicles have to be properly parked. For instance, the trucks have to be parked in the designated parking space.

A concerned citizen
(Published on August 22, 2018)

Political parties and their priorities

As the country gears up for the third parliamentary elections in a month time, Bhutanese from all walks of life would be analyzing as to which party and candidate to support or vouch for. Each party would have worked hard to come up with a manifesto that the party would expect to sway the vote-banks in their favour. Each party would be strategizing their manifestos that would appeal to as many strata of the society. Party supporters or so-called coordinators at different levels of the hierarchy would be demonstrating their leadership skills to influence fellow mates, villagers, friends, and family members to vote for the party he/she patronizes using conventional and unconventional strategies.

Some of the issues the parties could consider are

• Make Bhutan self-sufficient in at least food products such as rice, vegetables and livestock products by 2023. By the end of 12th FYP, there should be zero-import of the above products into Bhutan.

• Not take loan that is not self-servicing in nature.

• Not allow conversion of prime rice-growing areas into human settlements.

• Ensure supply of safe, affordable, clean, potable, and piped water 24×7 in all homes

• Ensure provision of pot- hole free roads

• Ensure that all districts and thromdes are provided with enough garbage trucks and manpower for efficient collection and disposal of wastes.

• Ensure adoption and implementation of strategies to engage our youth productively for nation building.

• Implement strategies to reduce at least 50% of the expatriate workforce with national workforce by 2023 in the construction sector.

All the best to the four parties for the elections. Please come up with a manifesto that is doable, sustainable, and of benefit to all Bhutanese.

(Published on August 23, 2018)

Mend the bad roads

If you walk or drive along the Ziri Lam just above the hospital, you will be enveloped in a cloud of dust. It’s all because a perfectly good road has been dug up and the entire stretch from Druk School to the Pension Board is now bare earth and gravel.

It all began last winter when all builders know the cold season is no time to do any good, lasting cement work, as concrete will not set properly. This strip of road has a pretty pavement made of local “dolep” (flat stones) laid in concrete. One day, a construction company came by and poured concrete on top of the existing one. They added another level to the existing pavement. People who regularly walk this way couldn’t believe their eyes. Money was being spent to create an ugly concrete pavement on top of a perfectly functional and beautiful stone footpath. Then, in spring, there was more activity –the government again raised the height by putting yet another layer of concrete. Each time they disturbed the pavement, pedestrians were put through a rough time tough, especially students, because traffic is heavy on this ring road.

Some weeks ago, things got worse. Heavy machinery came by to actually rip up and remove the upper crust or blacktop on the road. And now there is no road surface, only rubble and dust all the way.

All of us seeing and discussing this cannot see any sense in what is happening. It is frustrating.

(Published on August 24, 2018)

Youth issues should be received well

At the recently concluded national graduate’s orientation programme, graduates questioned labour ministry and RCSC on field of studies for the scholarship abroad.

The graduate said there were no employment opportunities after returning to the country. The issue of job- skills mismatch was also raised.

The youth had been raising this issue for a long time. However, they were given the same response from the stakeholders that the studies were offered after projection based on country’s economic situation.

Is it not time for us to rethink our projection and change the system of letting youth study the courses that would lend them jobless?

There should be similar orientation programme for the class XII graduates and guide them to pursue right tertiary studies or encourage them to take up technical studies required in the country.

This might help reduce huge expenses for scholarships and bring in skilled graduates who will be willfully employed in the technical and entrepreneurship.

The concerns raised by the youth should be acknowledged to bring out the best from them.

(Published on August 25, 2018)

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