Bhutan, a small country wedged between China and India, has made great strides over the past 45 years toward transforming itself from an isolated kingdom into a fledgling modern democracy. The country has progressed in terms of economic and political development, but one significant area still lagging behind is the education system.
In his Feature Service article, Kinley Rinchen, Planning Officer in the Office of the Vice Chancellor at the Royal University of Bhutan and an honorable mention winner in CIPE’s youth essay competition, traces the development of Bhutan’s education system and analyzes its current challenges. He emphasizes that more reforms are necessary to make the country’s education system able to better meet the needs of students and employers. As the Bhutanese economy grows, it needs well-educated and skilled labor in order to make this growth sustainable.
“Education Reform in Bhutan: Meeting the Employment Challenge” was entered in the “Educational Reform and Employment” category and notes that due to inadequate education, many of Bhutan’s graduates have only limited skills that are insufficient for finding suitable employment in a modern marketplace. Instead of striving to acquire the necessary private sector skills, many young people prefer to wait for government employment. In practice, however, that translates into prolonged unemployment since the public sector cannot possibly accommodate all job seekers.
Appropriate education system and curriculum reforms could change that. If young people are equipped with critical thinking, creativity, innovation, and leadership skills in the course of their education, they can succeed in the job market.
Article at a Glance
- Bhutan’s current education system does not meet the needs of students and employers, only contributing to growing youth unemployment.
- Most Bhutanese students tend to see education as a way to obtain jobs in the public sector, which cannot accommodate them all.
- School curricula should emphasize more skills-based training as well as critical thinking, creativity, innovation, communication, and leadership skills sought after by private sector employers.