33 new central schools proposed

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The education ministry proposed for 33 additional central schools in the country during the 12th Five Year Plan.

Keeping the present central schools as they are, the ministry also proposed to do a research on the facilities that are and that will be provided to these schools.

The ministry decided to continue with central schools and explore measures to relook at the existing facilities during the 19th National Education Conference in Phuentsholing last week.

The central schools have been receiving mixed responses from various quarters after it was first started during the tenure of the previous government.

The ministry has now plans to enhance facilities in the existing central schools by constructing additional hostels, classrooms and staff quarters, based on the need.

 As proposed in the draft 12th Five Year Plan, the ministry has also plans to establish large boarding primary schools with the provision of central schools. 

According to the ministry, it now plans to streamline the facilities being provided. The government now will provide beddings, stationeries and meals. So far, the government has provided uniform including footwear, track suits, plates and mugs for the students of central schools, which some feel are unnecessary. Also, these central schools have caregivers for Class PP to Class III.

According to education officials, the ministry will now assess the needs for the provision of such facilities and provide only the needed ones. Now, the government has decided to provide benefits to other boarding schools like the benefits of central schools like beddings. The ministry has decided to scrap the unnecessary facilities at the central schools and provide the needed facilities to other non-central schools.

“There was issue of equity as there are facilities in central schools and non central schools. So we have decided to divert to other schools,” Education Secretary Karma Yeshey said.

With many disadvantaged students across the schools in the country, the ministry will now also set criteria to identify those students and provide uniforms in all the boarding schools. The measure is expected to resolve the inequality issues which some students have been facing till now.

 Further, the ministry will have separate school campuses in the central schools for primary and secondary with separate managements and principals.

“However, those primary central schools won’t get the central school’s name despite receiving all the facilities,” the Secretary said.

 Meanwhile, there are 66 central schools across the country till now. The previous government started turning recognized schools into central schools beginning 2015.

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Krishna Ghalley from Thimphu