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Introduction

“Education must be guided by a holistic concepts based upon the total development of
the child and the need to ensure that the innate potential of each and every child is
fully realized” (Bhutan 2020, a vision of peace, prosperity and happiness)
Education is the primary agent that leads to the sustainable development to the individual,
family, society and nation as a whole. We cannot imagine the effect of education but it is
always considered glorious path to individual, family, society and nation as a whole to
modify the partial animalism into humanism. From the moment we were born, we were
blessed with the path of education. It is said, “Reality strike harder than expectation”. To
become the novice teacher with the quality education is a challenging job but those
challenges are the way that lead to multi-direction which has the capacity to change the
impossible things into possible. No doubt, we cannot say that the quality of education
has done down or going up. It lies in the mind of individual to decide whether the quality
of education has gone down or going up. People have a tendency to talk about quality
education all the time but they never realized what is the caused behind. It is a debatable
issue in the kingdom today. We cannot say that quality of education has done down or
going up until and unless prove with the clear and concrete evidences. It is never too late
to analyze the main caused behind. As per my perception the quality of education today is
going up.
Brief background of education system
The development of modern Education system in Bhutan dates to the early 1960's with
the implementation of first Five Year socio-economic development plan. Until then, the
only form Education of available was the monastic Education From 400 students in 1960,
the system has expanded in four decades to cover 1,25,000 students at the primary,
secondary and tertiary levels. This is attributed to the policy of free Education provided
from the primary to the tertiary levels, and the commitment of the Government. The
Department of Education has consistently received a large share of the government
resources during the plan periods (about 10-12 percent) and the allocation during the
9th Five Year Plan is expected to constitute 15 percent of the total government budget.
Bhutan, to make rapid progress in its development program, there should be highly
qualified people with full interest in the implementation of the existing curriculum. The

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gross primary enrolment has grown from 55 percent in 1991 to 81% in 2002 with an
enrolment growth rate of 6-7 percent annually. The enrolment of girls has improved
significantly from 39 percent of total enrolment in 1990 to 46 percent in 2002. With these
significant gains and continued priority being accorded to the development of Education
by the government, Bhutan is poised to achieve UPE by 2010 and other MDG targets by
2015.
Analysis of quality education - definition
The quality education in the Bhutanese context is define as, provision of wholesome
education where the emphasis is placed not only on reading, writing and understanding
but on the all round development of the individual. The consideration of the spiritual and
Physical development of the child is of significant importance.
The Royal Government has always strived to balance the expansion of services with
quality of education and ensure that children acquired basic competencies prescribed in
the education policy and the school curricula. This has not been an easy task, the
pressures and demands of communities for schooling have always outstripped the
capacity of the government, ultimately affecting the quality. While infrastructure such as
classrooms are the first requirement and the easiest to provide, subsequent demands on
teachers, materials, training and support system are harder to provide.
Over the years, there has been an increasing criticism about the education and concern
about the quality going down. It is obvious that quality of education connotes different
things even amongst educators. One standard measure of quality is the competencies
attained by children against a given set of educational objectives set in the syllabi. There
should be highly contextualized curriculum with the greatest emphasis on reading and
language skills, but they differ again in how they approach the issue. It should rather have
freedom and flexibility to determine the most appropriate curricula to satisfy the
particular needs of the students. Curriculum should emphasize language reading and
writing for meaning in all disciplines, (Comer, 1980). Teacher and students should
focuses on a few strong academic courses and spend longer period time in the delivery of
the quality of education.
In Bhutan, the National level examination at the end of primary education gives such a
measure. Going strictly by this, it is hard to confirm that quality is in fact going down.

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However the point of this study is not to substantiate whether quality is going down or
not. The mere fact that there is a rising criticisms about quality of education confirms that
expectations are not being met and that we need to address them.
Since the first discussions in the National Assembly in June 2006, there have been many
researches, reviews and debates on the quality of our education. Based on these exercises,
we conclude that the quality of our education after all is not too bad. Apart from the
English language skills, which are indeed a concern, there is no noticeable decline in the
standards of learning in other subjects. In fact, there is appreciable improvement in
subjects like Dzongkha, Economics, History, Geography and the wholesome education. It
must be noted, quality of education is a subjective issue and other than the examinations
and result-based procedures, there is no internationally accepted formula to measure it.
The result of our examinations, particularly the Board Examinations of Class VI, VIII, X
and XII, indicate that our education of education is improving slowly but steadily.
Besides, both our Class X and XII examinations are now recognized and accredited
internationally. In addition, thousands of Bhutanese students who study abroad do very
well in whichever country they study and return successfully.
Both these facts reflect positively on the quality of our education. Moreover, quality of
Bhutanese education is already better than most of the government schools in the
neighboring countries. However, we agree that our education may not be up to the mark
of some of the more renowned private missionary schools in Kalimpong and Darjeeling
with whom our schools are often compared with. In addition, our education is far below
those of some of the developed countries with whom we have many educational linkages
such as, Switzerland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
Singapore, etc. Therefore, in our quest for providing the best quality education to our
children, our goals are to achieve in the immediate future the quality of education
comparable at least to those of the renowned private missionary schools in the
neighboring region and eventually to those of the developed countries.

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Parental involvement in quality education
Parent involvement in the delivery of quality education is most. Parent should play a
equal role to that of teacher in their children’s educational experiences but differ in term
of how parent participate and what roles they are responsible for. Parents are expected to
take an active role by setting high educational expectations, encouraging reading and
supporting the success of their children. Further more school should provide
opportunities for parents to interact with the educational programmes and actively assist
their children, (Levis, 1987). The primary goal of the family support team is to involve
parents in supporting the success of their children in the school. The key to academic
achievement is to promote psychological development in students, which encourages
bonding to the students. In order to do this, it requires fostering positive interaction
between parents and school staff, to a task for which most staff people are not trained,
(Comer, 1988). Therefore teachers and administrators should be taught how to work with
parents and use them as allies in promoting the growth and development of the student on
quality Education in Bhutan.

Conceptual framework (curriculum)


What is “centralized curriculum control” and what are its effects on teacher?
To answer these questions, it is necessary to begin with the model of centralized
curriculum control. The model used by most system with central curriculum control
policies is based primarily on textbook adaptation policies, curriculum guidelines and
testing the performance of the students. It gives the clear evidences to prove that quality
of education is going up or not. These curriculum control policies in Bhutan are intended
to guide teachers in their decision-making about course content and hold teachers and
schools accountable for prescribed content and achieve the standard of education,
(Temple 1992). The idea is to concentrate resources at lower level of education so that
less will be needed on the student’s progress through school. In this way at-risk students
can be brought to higher-grade level during their elementary school years and thereafter
benefit from mainstream education, (Comer, 1980). As a result, today we are following a
curriculum which is more middle path, neither too modern like the NAPE system nor too
orthodox involving rote learning. However, one positive result of the NAPE was that it

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helped our primary curriculum to break away from the old traditional Education system
involving rote learning. The new curriculum, which can now be consider truly Bhutanese,
is evolving and improving all the time making our Education system more relevant to our
national policies and needs. In order to meet the effective and quality education there
should be practice of promoting successful professional people to the management of
total services to get rid away of the disadvantages in planning process and in quality
control input.

The goals of school education


The Department of Education has made some important goals initiatives and
strengthened existing programs to help to address the issue on quality education. Some of
these include;
(i) Improving the relevance of education through curriculum development and
reviews.
(ii) expansion of the teacher training colleges and enhancing the quality of
teacher educators;
(iii) Improving teacher deployment policies.
(iv) Development of a comprehensive human resource development master plan
for the education Sector.
(v) Enhancing capacity of the schools and districts in decentralizing the
management of education.
(vi) Improving the quality and focus of in service training.
(vii) Improving the monitoring and supervision of education quality at the school
and the districts levels through the establishment of network of focal persons
and use of monitoring instruments and;
(viii) Improving the teaching learning resources at the school levels.

Measures to improve quality education

We must remember that our modern system of education began only in 1960 with 11
Schools and 440 students. We have since then achieved much in the sector in terms of
both number and quality. Forty-six years may be very long in the life of a person but is

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very short in the life of an education system. In fact, we can boast of achieving in mere
46 years what some other countries have taken hundreds of years. Our education system
is evolving and improving all the time and in doing so, there would be shortcomings,
hopefully not too many. Our children are the real wealth of this country and we set
ourselves very high goals in trying to provide to them the best quality education.
To this, the recent government directives issued in form of an Executive Order from the
Prime Minister consist of some 88 strategies and measures towards improving the quality
of education. They along with the other educational policies are grouped under five broad
categories namely:
(i) adequate and quality facilities,
(ii) quality curriculum,
(iii) wholesome education
(iv) Quality teachers and
(v) Quality administrative support and then further broken up into short term
(2006-08), medium term (2008-12) and long term (2013- 20) goals. They also
include several strategies to improve the English language skill which
presently seems to be our weakest link. Armed properly with these strategies
and measures and with some more efforts from our teachers, students and
their parents, we are determined to take the quality of our education to new
heights. The government has also set up an Inter Agency Commission to do a
comprehensive sector review as well as monitor the effectiveness of these
strategies and measures in improving the quality of our education.

Personal view on quality education

The government has been spending a huge amount in meeting the standard of education
as per the requirement of the time. The curriculum that was followed a decade ago has
been completely replaced by a new curriculum that is designed to meet the meet the
needs of modern Education in Bhutan.
The fundamental tenets of the new curriculum were that it consists of syllabi relevant to
the needs of Bhutan, stressing the history and culture of the kingdom, aiming to turn out

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mature students ready and willing to play an adult role in the growth and developments of
the country (Dorji.J, 2005).
Many teachers have been trained in foreign countries in teaching in new ways and
management courses. In turn, these teachers have been conducting nationwide in-service
programmes like seminars, workshops for other teachers. In general all the primary
teachers in the field are exposed to the new system of education that is being
implemented (Dorji.J, 2005). It is never too late to think the quality of education is going
down but the solution lies in the hand of individual teacher either to bring to the
expectation to meet the at-risk students from the grass-root level. It is the service that one
gets satisfied and willing to serve from the inner trust to fulfill the needs of the students.
The concerns stem from the fact that our people expect the best education for their
children. However, education is not neat as we often want it to be. There are several
factors that affect the level of quality education including provision, programme and
people, (kuensel, April 2008). In a world ever more dependent innovation in science and
technology, young people are giving more interest in science subjects. Role models and
teaching method are updated and student finds science too interesting, (news letter of
UNESCO,2004). In the similar way our Bhutanese students have got enough potential to
show the fact things into reality. A good example, in 2007, a student of Domphu Higher
Secondary has invented one compass that can give the exact reading of height through
mathematical operation and again by the same student in 2008, he has invented an
electric tube, which can be used for lighting purposes. From this fact, we cannot say that
Bhutanese student were backward in science and modern technology but their work is not
easily recognized, adding to the quality of education. It is above all about ensuring
sustainable development. Think that science and technology education is a universal
requirement, not an empty slogan. Today students need to master a minimum amount of
scientific and technological knowledge to understand the world around them.

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Reference

1. L.M. McDonnell & etal, (1993). Education evaluation and policy Analysis. American
Journal of Education.

2. F.C.Bobb & etal, (1975). Educational Studies. American Journal of Education.

3. (Dorji.J. (2005). Quality of Education in Bhutan. The story of growth in the Bhutanese
Education System. KMT Publisher: Phuntsholing. (2nd Edition).

4. News letter of UNESCO, 2004). Improvement in Science and Technology. UNO.

5. Kuensel, April 2008). Interview on present Educational Minister. KMT publisher:


Thimphu.

6. http://www.efa.gov.pk/mmeeting/Studies/QualityStudy_Bhutan.pdf. Retrieve on
14/4/2008.