Wai! We have come a long way from the time when parents tried every means to keep their children out of schools. Today, we have realised that education is the finest pursuit in itself. It is heartening to see the number of high school graduates who qualify for tertiary education increasing every year.
But for those who do not make it to the few government colleges, the story is a little different. The only private college in Bhutan cannot take all who wish to pursue higher education. Many, therefore, go to colleges in India, some of which have a dubious reputation.
Sending children to such colleges have implications in more ways than one. First, they do not get quality education. We have heard that in some colleges in India, attendance is not at all important once the person is admitted. The quality cannot help but be low.
Second, these students become culturally detached and come back with all sorts of nasty behaviours not expected of an educated person.
Third, since they are away from their parents with no one to guide them, they engage in undesirable activities. The money they demand from their parents at a regular interval is spent on what they call ‘having a nice time’.
These problems can be solved if we have more private colleges in Bhutan. If students are educated within the country, they will stay more on track since parents can come anytime and check on their children. They will be more traditionally and culturally aware so that they don’t have to take private DriglamNamzha and Dzongkha classes when they are at the threshold of their career. We can also significantly reduce the outflow of Rupee that happens when educating our children in India.