Currently, I am on tour to the eastern districts of our country along with my colleagues.The centre piece of our tour was to consult with the districts and in particular with the District Education Officers (DEOs) on preparation of draft 11th Five Year Plan. We were also looking at various construction projects in the East. We reached Trashiyangtse district, the eastern most districts which share border with India and China after a day of working in Mongar district on 9th November, 2012.
When we reached in Trashiyangtse, at the outset, the DEO invited us to Langmadung PS as guests for their Annual Sports Day which was scheduled 10th November, 2012. We were looking forward for the opportunity which seldom crossed our path. To make it to the Sports day, we were to complete our purpose of visit. To meet our intended purpose, we worked very late in the night and with great effort we were able to complete all our work and set for the sports day.
In the morning we went to Langmadung PS accompanied by the DEO. Present in the reception were the Principal and teachers with parents who received us very warmly in keeping with our aged old tradition.
Langmadung is a tiny school established in 2008. Today the class ranges from PP through VI which is a primary cycle of education in Bhutan. With 96 students the school is manned by 7 young and inspiring teachers. While the school is small and located in the rural, there are many big initiatives taken recently. We could see a lot of hopes and dreams in the school. Unlike in many schools in the urban area, the school lack many facilities. However, the school has proven that education can take place even under the tree. We were reminded that fabulous infrastructure can reach so far but no further.
Many big wonderful initiatives are taking place in this school. From many initiatives, one such initiative is ‘whole school approach’. They strongly believe that a school is place of learning; therefore, they encourage full participation. Another equally important initiative was ‘designed for change.’ The school is also partnering with a private school in Thimphu. Annually, they have cultural exchange programme between urban schools and remote schools. Such initiative will teach our urban youths, their roots while providing exposure for the children from rural schools.
Another worth noting features and perhaps very rare is the support of the community to the schools. Even though, most of the parents are not so well to do, but they realized the importance of quality education. Parents’ collaboration and community support to the school is very distinct feature. Continuation of such noble participation by the parents will definitely take the quality of education to the other heights. Parents have contributed both in terms of cash and labour for the construction of prayer wheel in the school. They have also constructed classrooms for their children to study apart from provision of alter in each class. These made the school rich spiritually. Such acts are vanishing speedily from our society.
During the sports day, I was amazed. The ground is approximately 30 m square. At the beginning I was silently wondering how to conduct sports events under such circumstances. But with initiatives from the inspiring teachers, various games and sports have been improvise to soot the ground. I was amazed to see that they were able to improvise and showcase varieties of sports in the small ground. It was my first time seeing most of the sports events that were being played. They had organized in such a way that all the children can participate in one or other games. Interesting games were also reserved for parents and guests. The day provided us every reason to rejoice.