January 19: In order to ensure that the Values and Principles of Gross National Happiness (GNH) are brought into the Bhutanese school system from this academic year, a workshop for first batch of principals, teachers and district education officials is underway in Paro. Around 200 participants including Principals, lecturers, DEOs and ADEOs, are attending the workshop in the first batch.
The Education Minister, Lyonpo Thakhur Singh Powdyel, in his opening remarks said teachers hold the key to the success of children.
The Minister said there are no immediate plans to develop a new GNH curriculum or to bring about a revolution in education.
He said the education system already has the basic material in the curriculum sufficient to support a GNH way of thinking and living, what is required is a creative reorientation of attitude and approach.
“Educating for Gross National Happiness is essentially an invitation to Education, to all of us educators, to look for and to discover the soul behind our role. We are returning to the original and the authentic purpose of education-a process that gently draws the human mind to look for and to love what is true and good and beautiful and useful-values inherent in the goal of education. We are, in effect, returning to the root of education-educare- meaning to draw out,” said the Minister.
During the course, participants are expected to produce concrete action plans to initiate GNH practices in all the schools and to prepare teachers for this transition.
During the workshop the Director from the Centre for Bhutanese Studies, Dasho Karma Ura, and the Vice-Chancellor from the Royal University of Bhutan, Dasho Pema Thinley, made a presentation on the values and principals of GNH.
The workshop is organized by Ministry of Education with financial support from the UNICEF.
The workshop was planned during the Educating for GNH workshop held in December last year.