The old topic of education

Any reporter who goes to interview Lyonpo Thakur Singh knows this…….He likes to dictate his statements rather than allow the reporter to record the interview. Here is an example of how he gives his statements.
“The sole purpose of education-comma- sole is spelt s-o-l-e, not s-o-u-l, mo, la?”

The unfortunate reporter was me. Of course, I am not writing this blog “against” him. He has no faith in my writing, and he would like his quotes, at least, to be impeccable. That is understandable.
I am not writing this to say anything against his Excellency; we all admire him, right from his old friends from school and college, to the students that learned from him.
I only use this example to point out the lack of faith the Education Minister has in my grammar.
I am also not implying that his Excellency singles me out for this. He has no faith in many other reporters, according to what they tell me.
My grammar and that of other Bhutanese reporters, poor or not, comes from the Bhutanese Education System. I am not saying that my grammar is good- I don’t know that. And I am not blaming the education system for my bad grammar, either.
My point here is that our education minister expects every one of us reporters to have bad grammar. If one person is a failure, we cannot blame the system. But what if our unconscious belief is that no one knows anything? Can we begin to blame the system then? And then, again, I thought that reporters, having to write everyday, would learn some grammar eventually. If His Excellency thinks that those of us whose job is writing don’t do a good job of it, what does he think of others?
Once again, let me say here that I am not defending reporters. They may have bad grammar. I personally know some who have atrocious grammar. Atrocious here meaning worse than mine.
I am only highlighting the fact that even our education minister thinks that our education system ended up teaching us nothing.
Now if only he would say this out loud, say that our system has serious problems, and work towards a revolution in the system, because that is what it desperately needs.
Oh, here is a quote from His Majesty the King on this issue:
“When the sun sets every evening, we go to sleep in the comfort that it will rise in the morning and things will be the same. Do not however let the light of education ever go out. For if it should become dark, even for a moment, we will find that generations of our children will suffer its effects and the light on a bright future for our nation will take decades to shine again.”
I hope the time I was in school was not that dark period in education. I sincerely hope so, but I can’t say it wasn’t. The education minister, many other people, me included, think that the new generation wasn’t all that well educated (Bhutanese Only). But we can’t afford to let the present be a continuation of that dark period.
The present generation must get the best education, because it is possible for them to do so.

PS- I strongly disagree with those who say that education must be left alone because it already has drawn enough flak. We cannot leave education alone, because it is far too important. When people at the ministry take the criticism personally, and when teachers take criticism personally, then there is a problem. We are not criticising teachers. We are not criticising Lyonpo, who really didnt have much to do with the education of my generation. We are just saying that we havent been learning much, that the purpose of education, which is to educate people, has not been fulfilled here. And that needs to change, as fast as possible. Till then, we will keep criticising.


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