Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finally a visit to Bajo School

I have been reading everything Passu (www.passudiary.com) writes, and knowing from his blog about the interesting initiatives that he took at his school (Bajo Higher Secondary School in Wangduephodrang), I have been eager to pay a visit. And today was the day!

In the last minute, because of the manpower shortage, I was assigned by my office to take care of the guests from School of Wellbeing (based in Thailand). And it is because of this work that I got to go to Bajo school today. There are seven of them: one from Mynmar, one from France, and five from Thailand. I have been with them since 24th of this month and I am increasingly feeling privileged to be with the group. I learn a lot, not just from them, but from the different people I am getting to meet, in coordinating their itinerary in Bhutan. For example, I got a chance to meet the Ex-prime Minister of Bhutan, about whom I have only heard what people were talking about and did not really know where he was after the election. And another worth noting is the meeting we had with Madam Kesang from National Organic Programme. She is a woman filled with energy.

And today, meeting Passang Tshering (popularly known as Passu among bloggers) brought a lot of positive energy to the whole purpose of our visit. We not only saw what he has done in his school, like making a Wifi Park, but we also got an insight into what the school does in incorporating GNH – by which I mean, how the whole idea of ‘educating for GNH’ is implemented. He shared that, for example, words such as ‘killing’ and ‘stealing’ are taken out from the textbooks, so that students are taught only positive values. Another interesting example he shared was that, in mathematic problem solving, if there was a question like, ‘if a farmer had five cows and one was killed, how many cows are left?’, it is now reframed as, ‘if a kind farmer had five cows and he gave one away, how many cows are left?’ It is truly interesting that teachers like him use such creative methods to incorporate humane values in the curriculum.

He introduces himself as a ‘happy teacher’ and says he wants to change the perception of people about teachers in Bhutan. He wants to make teaching a coveted profession, and he seems to be on his way to it. In the meeting this evening where we share the day’s reflection, all the members of the group shared that meeting him and going through the campus, showing us what the school does in a short span of time was a huge insight for them and how education in Bhutan works. (Thank you Passu. Salutes to you).

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