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Opposition describes Rigney College closure as fiasco of ill-conceived plan

The opposition party has called the closure of the College of Rigney in Trashiyangtse that was operational for just around five months as a clear case of the failure of the government to fulfill the pledge of establishing three colleges in the east.

“It is a fiasco of ill-conceived plan and populist pledge; PDP is a trial and error government,” states the press release issued by the Druk Phuensum Tshogpa (DPT) yesterday.

The College of Rigney in Trashiyangtse was, meanwhile, inaugurated on August 26, 2017. However, after around five months, the college had to close down following directives from the Ministry of Labour and Human resources (MoLHR).

MoLHR reportedly wrote to the principal of the Zorig Chusum Institute on February 14, stating that the ministry would no longer pursue the operationalization of the College of Rigney at the Institute of Zorig Chusum in Trashiyangtse.

It was also stated in the letter, signed by the Department of Technical Education Director, that the ministry would instead work towards establishing the institute as a College of Zorig Chusum in the 12th Plan.

The opposition stated that the issue of the Rigney College is a matter of total dismay and bitter disappointment to the nation.

“However, this is not the only case. We understand that the other two colleges initiated by the government in Yonphula and Gyalposhing are also faring no better. The colleges are understood to be mired in a host of confusions and problems from policy clarity issues to curriculum, human resource, finance, infrastructure, administrative and management problems,” the press release stated.

The opposition party also goes on to describe the current government’s tenure as a period of ‘Trial and Error Governance’.

“Right from the very beginning, the government never had clear vision, goals, aspirations or strategies for national governance,” it stated. “It is deeply worrying and sad that huge public resources have been wasted without any tangible long-term benefits to the nation.Can we afford to have a government that experiments with governance and waste precious public resources in experimenting on ill-conceived ideas?.”

However, talking to Business Bhutan, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay refuted that it’s not a closure of Rigney College as mentioned by the opposition.

“The idea is to establish a college of zorig chusum. Since there is more focus on Rigney there is confusion. Those students who are interested in Rigney have been transferred to Taktse,” Lyonchhen added.

Meanwhile, the first batch of 12 students, six males and six females who were already enrolled, have been asked by MoLHR to be transferred to Taktse College of Language and Cultural Studies in Trongsa to pursue Rigney courses beginning August this year.

The Rigney College was as a part of the government’s pledge to establish three new colleges in the east.

Chencho Dema from Thimphu