Home and cultural affairs minister Dawa Gyeltshen validated the establishment of central schools across the country, during his recent tour to Chhukha, saying that such a system existed even prior to the introduction of democracy in the country.
The central school issue, which was debated and deliberated in the parliament and still continues to be a widely discussed topic, has raised eyebrows of many citizens including the opposition party.
The minister clarified to the people saying that the government has continued with central schools for the benefit of the people, especially for remote villagers in the country.
He added that the system of central schools existed even during pre-democracy era in the country where students received almost all the facilities from the government. In boarding schools, students used to get all the facilities, including fares to return home during holidays those days.
“We are just continuing with it and there is no reason to panic,” Lyonpo Dawa Gyeltshen said.
According to the minister, central schools have benefitted the rural poor without them having to attend schools every morning. The students of most remote villages are now admitted to central schools.
The minister added that other schools in the villages will not be closed.
Meanwhile, the government started turning recognized schools into central schools beginning 2015 by providing all the facilities to the students of central schools, including caregivers to the younger students. There are more than 60 central schools across the country today.
Lyonpo Dawa Gyeltshen also stressed that the establishment of central schools focuses on providing quality education for all, including quality feeding facilities.
“Hence in central schools, the government has assured the parents to provide quality education and quality feeding,” he added, asking the people to refrain from hearing rumors made by people on such issues with the elections approaching.
The minster also said that another 60 central schools would be established during the 12th Five Year Plan period.
“More than 0.12mn students across the country are expected to benefit from central schools by easing on parents’ expenditure,” he added.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader (OL), Dr (Phd) Pema Gyamtsho, during his recent tour to Samtse, said the establishment of central schools has divided the people in the country by benefitting mostly the influential parents.
The opposition still considers the decision unwelcome though it is already implemented.
The OL said their party has voiced against central school undermining the previous education policy of ‘universal education for all’. He said that the establishment of central schools has become biased as students in central schools receive all the facilities unlike the students of other schools.
He added that these students would lose the bond between parents and children and holistic education from home and the community. “There is a chance that they may later think they do not owe anything to their parents,” he reasoned.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing