Bhutan’s education system has served the country well thus far by laying strong foundations for socio-economic progress and democracy. However, the fast pace of social, economic and political changes both domestically and globally have given rise to new and increasingly complex challenges to and opportunities for Bhutan’s development. In view of ever-changing global and domestic realities, our education system needs to prepare our children to succeed in a world where globalization is a reality, global competitiveness an imperative and global excellence the necessary standard.
Educating our people is the first step to fulfilling our aspirations as a nation. But it is not enough to provide free education—we must provide education of such quality that it will guarantee a distinguished place for our youth anywhere in the world. Our window of opportunity is small—today the largest section (about 60% below the age of 25) of our population is youth. How we address quality of education now will determine whether we will build strong young citizens who will ensure a long bright future for the nation or fail and confine such a large number of our young children and their children to generations of hardship and struggle.
The Kidu Foundation works in partnership with the Youth Welfare and Education Office (YWEO) of His Majesty’s Secretariat for all scholarships. For more information please visit their website at: http://www.yweo.bt
The King’s Scholarship is the flagship program of the Kidu Foundation to catalyze and achieve the goal of fostering a dynamic education system that builds Bhutan’s social, economic, political, legal and scientific capabilities necessary to address new challenges and opportunities. It is the most prestigious scholarship in Bhutan and King’s Scholars represent leaders amongst the youth of Bhutan.
The program offers educational options for students who have demonstrated exceptional academic and leadership potential in the best universities from around the world in disciplines that will contribute towards finding creative and innovative solutions to pressing challenges facing Bhutan. His Majesty the King will be personally involved in the selection of scholar candidates.
Over the years, the goal of the King’s Scholarships program is to award scholarships annually to scholar candidates at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels who have demonstrated academic excellence and a strong commitment to public service and providing leadership in the fields of Education, Law, Journalism, Economics, Management, Public Policy, International Relations, Political Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Science, Environmental Studies, Public Health and Medicine.
Trongsa Penlop Scholarship
The Trongsa Penlop Scholarship provides an opportunity for students from disadvantaged families or communities to continue their tertiary education with need-based scholarships. However, considering the high costs of college education both in and out of the country, the scholarships granted each year are limited and subject to contributions received by the Kidu Foundation – both in the form of cash and scholarships from external sources. As of date most of the Trongsa Penlop Scholars are studying in Bhutan, India, and Thailand.
Financial Aid for Underprivileged Students
In addition to the various scholarships granted through the Kidu Foundation, His Majesty also grants partial financial assistance to students from disadvantaged families. These scholarships are different from the Trongsa Penlop Scholarships in that these are partial scholarships for students studying in tertiary institutions in the country – mainly under the Royal University of Bhutan and the Royal Thimphu College. The scholarship helps the students by granting additional expenses or pocket money to reduce the burden of expenses on their guardians and thereby reduces the risk of dropping out of college.
Allowance for Academic Excellence
The Allowance for Academic Excellence is a program that rewards outstanding students in colleges around the country regardless of economic background. Each year, at the beginning of the academic year, colleges in Bhutan submit a list of academic toppers (along with their mark sheet & bio-data) to the Office of the Gyalpoi Zimpon. Rewarding high achievers will motivate them to consistently perform well and also encourage other students to perform better.
Royal Initiative for Innovative Learning
The Royal Initiative for Innovative Learning (RIIL) aims to assist the students with their education and instill the passion for life-long learning and knowledge. Using new media technologies, the initiative aims to make learning meaningful and fun. The tutorial programs will feature teachers and presenters with the skills to arouse interest among students while introducing and explaining important fundamental concepts in different subjects. The tutorial will be broadcast on TV, distributed as DVDs and uploaded on websites as video-on-demand and published as easy to read books.
While students may have their personal challenges with certain subjects, one of the main shortcomings with the education system and parenting is that children and youth are not encouraged to be inquisitive, enjoy learning or nurture a passion for life-long learning. The Lifelong-learning Program will focus on making learning fun, meaningful and practical. This could include among others – acquiring and applying skills, promoting creativity and personal fulfillment, mentorship and learning to adapt and succeed in the changing demands of the socio-economic environment.
Camp RAVEN is an educational winter camp for school going children of the armed forces personnel in Thimphu. The Overall Goal of the camp is to conduct values; responsibility and fun based personal development, character building and life skills experiential learning program.
The acronym RAVEN stands for:
N: Never Give up!