Educational Reforms in Bhutan

The purpose of the article is to discuss the weaknesses of Bhutan’s educational reforms focusing on how the educational system is not able prepare the youth for the world of work. The author implicitly discusses two questions. The first question pertains to how the education reforms fail to provide the youth with better knowledge, skills and values to match employers’ needs. The second question relate to how the educational system should be reformed to address the employment challenge. The author has used descriptive method designed to provide rich descriptive details of education reforms in Bhutan between 1961 and 2008.
This article is targeted at policy makers, educationalists and public. While the research design involved in-depth narrative analysis, it did not use scientific inquiry into the subject, especially the empirical analysis and hypothesis testing. Rather than making some sweeping statement, the author could have supported those statements with some empirical analysis. However, the article can serve as the first step towards more rigorous research, as it identifies important factors leading to mismatch of education and employment in the country.
The author begins by discussing the overall context of the education-employment mismatch in the country. The historical development of education system was discussed explaining the low enrolment rate in the beginning (1960s), positive change in the Bhutanese people’s attitude towards western education, and now the problem of enrolment pressure. He discusses (with figures) a growing difference in the quantitative expansion of educational facilities and the sharp rise in enrolment rate.

The author also discussed about the growing number of school dropouts, entering the job markets unprepared to meet the needs and expectations of the public and private employers. He contrasts the unemployment problem in general with the shortage of workforce in the agriculture sector. The author does not mention about field research, interviews or literature reviews based on which he tried to answer his research questions. The analysis identifies six main factors of the high youth unemployment scenario in the country.
These factors are inadequate education quality, limited diversity of educational tracks, mismatch between demand and supply of the youth, youth’s preference for civil service, reluctance to enter the private sector and negative attitude towards blue collar jobs. These factors are valid, but they are not consistent with the topic and research questions, that is, education reforms in Bhutan. By discussing these factors, the article is concerned more about the overall youth unemployment rather than focusing on the aspects of education system such as curriculum, pedagogy, infrastructure, quality, etc (the title seem to point out).

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