for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built. ~UNESCO

Monday, August 27, 2012


An extraordinary student who is as humble as you can expect.  Sherub Dorji is a tenth standard student who loves learning which has moulded him into a brilliant student. He reads and writes so much that time is a boundary for him. In recognition of his zest and ability, he was awarded with the title of "Golden Youth" during the 2012 Golden Youth Award. A student with typical student morals and virtues. He is a quintessential example of "Learning is an adventure". 
Here he writes on the lack of Internet in the school and he is my FIRST guest author. 


Many a times, I encounter dispirited friends, drooling and musing over Economics theories. I myself did it. It was only this year that I joined IT stream, and  for last year, I too was in the Economics stream. But, is IT better? I often ask myself this question as I have the exquisite touches of both these otherwise-optional subjects. Not here anyway, where majority of practical lessons are drawn short to succinct alien theories.
 Is it then, a curse that I should think so?
 The aforementioned defect is neither a state failure, nor the shortcoming of our IT teachers or maimed mentality of the IT student ourselves. What is it than, that is so un-compromising? In fact, we consider those of us who take IT stream as being luckier than we should be –with no internet connection in the school to supple our learning forward into comprehending and familiarizing ourselves with the internet –related stuffs when the standard syllabus of the subject desires so- you know what I mean. However ridiculous, it may appear we attribute this inadequacy solely to the lack of the vital internet connection in our school.
It is common sense enough to deduce that in the globally shrinking world (in terms of telecommunication and Information technology), the Teaching –learning process has also become simplified and obliviously internet-linked. With most populace taking teaching and learning for granted, and internet as the very boon granting it, it is irksome, and even dismantling, to think of a middle secondary-level school like ours thriving on, with no internet connection in spite of ample state policies, all ostensibly availing for qualitative education for GNH.
It is a trend we have catalyzed: letting internet take over education. Contemporarily, we cannot talk of it at lower levels- primary and lower secondary, but at middle and higher secondary levels, and college and university level, internet, for all it is worth, has become the “essential and standard reference medium”. Hasn’t it?  It grips heavily and potently on the Teaching – learning system whose gap only it can span.
It must be realistic that it is neither our materialism nor the face value of being entertained by such facilities as internet, that we deem it desirable to have internet service in our school. Rather, it is our fervent contrivance to meticulously review and relieve the national polices for providing the best of standardized amenities to all schools to “culture the future leaders of Bhutan – its youth” and hence, for the congenial benefit of the students to come, and the miles to tread. Just covering them – those long miles, as we do just now wouldn’t be enough should Bhutan preserve as per GNH Perspectives. In retrospect, I have seen and experienced for myself, the incongruities of being behind the time in electronic education – education using internet. It is a typical predicament for hill-school pass outs like us to be grossly confronted by the superiorly informed suburban and urban internet-accessed peers when it comes to employment. It is a matter grievously unfathomed on the part of our educators that such should be the case when what should be, is even. Should our teachers, out of philanthropy, waste their economy in using wireless data cards –which are both cost intensive and time extensive for doing researches purely entitled for the students’, then, it is being unethical and irresponsible on someone’s part. I needn’t tell who, for it is obvious whose responsibility speaks in the scene here.
There should not be any misunderstanding that I am clawing filthy dirt over nothing. It may seem like brooding over unnecessary nooks and corners, which say I am not. As far as my experience pertains to the subject, it is justifiable to say that our school lacks internet connection –an inadequacy that widens the inside –outside communication shortcomings, and that, we direly need it for the betterment of ourselves and the future students liable to study here. It is true, as my horizon of exposure allows it, that many a times find my IT stream friends looked dazed with faces as blank as nothing, after our IT teacher has just delivered us a monotone preaching on an internet-related topic, purely deserving to be demonstrated practically to make it simpler and far comprehensible instead of confining it to illegible theoretical explanation. This is no fault of our teachers, after all, dogs practice howling to howl, not that they learn it theoretically at heart. Needless to mention, our teachers waste quite a lot of their resource browsing through internet with cost-hoarding data cards to help us, class ten students, who are at our most critical turning point. This is, doubtlessly, a knife hacking away at their economy and precious time –especially exasperating when it can be helped in greener ways than the existing situation allows.
For my own part, I think the above defects which have remained taciturn for many reticent years are, but acids cording the visionary, sacrosanct precept of our adroit teachers which is to standardize quality education for the benefit of future scholars. The bare truth is that even specks of black can spoil a whole white shirt, and such matters should not be ignored. As aforementioned, class ten is a turning point for us. More appropriately important than junk guidebooks, we need acceptable, ready-to-hand references, and internet is the main component in this regard.
 Moreover, we need to sit for IT practical exams, which amounts to an approximate 63% of our total mark in the subject with all the school computer internet-inaccessible, without virus protection programs otherwise easily available from the internet, there is every chance that the lap computers may break down right in the middle of our exam due to some viral problem. Such are the hurdles and perils posed at readiness by ill circumstances and to save mark, resource and time without ado, Internet connection to our school is highly recommendable- by the extremities of the predicament as well as by liability. None the less, it should be stressed that it is not a demand for recognition. If textbooks dominated education in the past, they still do today, but internet is increasingly taking toll over them. The very process of Teaching –Learning symbiosis has morphed before our very eyes. Tele-facilities and internet continue dwindling our globe to the models we see in schools and offices, and so does our economy. We might be pessimistic enough to say that our Economic soup will worsen in future. It is always better to save than being sorry.
Speaking out this need, it is not the want for idle entertainment and comfort of having internet service at our command speaking out this need, rather it is logics and instincts, and critical necessity for basic amenities crying out this plea -a plea, which, if forgone and ignored, would likeably cause more deterioration to our country’s future economy than would possibly be caused by the cost of addressing the plea promptly. It is neither a threat nor a warning I am expressing here by saying it. Rather I call it an advice to be addressed with unfeigned diligence. The abovementioned views are purely mine, and any offence and ignorance ignited sincerely are pardoned for.

Sherub Dorji,
Golden Youth Award Winner, 2012
Class X
Samtengang MSS

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reading Writing Listening Speaking- The Four Necessities in Language

This short essay was written as an article for my students' English Corner and it is not at all considered as an in-depth analysis of the four language skills.

ny language is difficult and easy. Language serves many purposes. Absence of language is mere dearth of communication. The role that language plays is immense, since time embarked. 
Identified as the need of the hour, the four necessities in language or commonly known as the four skills- Reading, writing, listening and speaking plays a vital role in any language learning quest… The four skills are the pinnacles of language. They are separate yet bound together with an inseparable bond. The four skills as explained…(from what I feel and know…generalized too)

                                                       I've traveled the world twice over, 
Met the famous; saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens,
Old stars and hopeful beginners,
I've been where no-one's been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with reading
~ Anonymous ~

Reading is fun-way to knowledge hunt. We read or see innumerable   quotes based on reading. How far is it true? It is true indeed- reading brings wisdom. Through reading, we learn a lot and it is the most prominent language skill.  But the fact of making a reading habit or being good at it is the question here. For now, students, adults and even educators read very less. It is a well-known fact that when there were no televisions or computers or other forms of entertainment, reading was a primary leisure activity among the educated lot. People would spend hours reading books and travel to lands far away or enjoy love, cherish victorious moments and live history-in their minds. The tragedy is that, with time, people have lost their skill and passion to read. Reading has declined among every group of people in today’s world of technology and entertainment. There are many other exciting and thrilling options available, aside from books. And that is a shame because reading offers a productive approach to improving language- vocabulary and word power for example. When you possess rich vocabulary, you listen better as you understand more; then you can write better with more words to choose from; obviously you can speak better because of your intense word power. It is advisable to indulge in at least half an hour of reading a day to keep abreast of the various styles of writing, update ones knowledge and learn new vocabulary. Thus, the need to develop a habit to read is very important. Well, the skills will hopefully jump in automatically once the strong genuine habit has been established. The best and easiest approach is however, to make a small effort to read a piece a day… you will surely succeed.

Writing is a gem to pick. A person with good writing skills is always victorious at expressing oneself. Writing skill is the ‘evidence’' of your intellectual level or the level of your expression. Writing process is taught in schools and colleges but, do you practice it in reality? Or Do you start to write as soon as the question is read. Pre Writing opens the doors to effective writing where you brainstorm almost anything under the topic or theme. You find a topic, narrow it, and consider the purpose, audience as well as the form of writing.  You are not concerned with creating whole sentences or paragraphs at this point rather you should aim at defining an idea and getting it rolling.  Then we write our first draft which is a compilation of our random thoughts. This is where our words form sentences and paragraphs. The third step is revision. Revision means “Seeing again.” Here you refine the ideas in their compositions. Revising consists of three activities: rereading the rough draft, sharing the rough draft in a writing group/with anyone, and revising on basis of feedback. You can add or substitute thoughts and words. The same can be done with deleting and moving your words in the draft. Editing is the next big thing. The cleaning up process where the clutter is cleared and ideas are allowed to shine happens here. We tend to putting the piece of writing into its final form and you fine-tune your work by focusing on correct punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and paragraphing. The goal here is to make the writing ‘optimally readable.” The last is publishing you final piece. Each step is interchangeable and can be done as many as you dare or till your writing perfects. I always tell my students to work out at least three drafts. So this is it with writing…easy? It would turn out simply simple if you make it a habit and practice like you practice your favourite song or dance. Tip: Avoid electronic English (u for you)

Listening is yet another necessitate in language. The more efficient a listener you are… the more successful and satisfied you will be. In the words of Janis we find that Listening…is not merely hearing: it is a state of receptivity that permits understanding of what is heard and grants the listener full partnership in the communication process. We need to develop a keen interest in making ourselves better ears. The fact that we listen more than our ears and we listen far more than the sound is very true. As a member in a society, listening is one important skill to possess as good listening is an integral part of communication process. A good listener shows readiness and possesses an ability to manipulate the sound into words and their contextual meaning. Then the good listener relates given meanings to other experiences and he shares responsibility with the speaker.  Academically, listening skills plays a vital role in the teaching-learning cycle. A student learns better when he can listen better. A teacher is also in need of a good listening skill. All the way, listening should be enhanced in your life as to be a greater speaker. The attitude of the listener is another stepping stone to achieve this skill.

Speaking is all special. This skill is as important as the others. When you have words read, ideas written and thoughts heard, all you need is to express- your speaking skill. What you speak will determine the expressiveness in you. Speaking has many masks- public, friendly or academic contexts are few from the lot. Each context has the same need for the skill. Statistics reveal that when you talk, you use about five syllables per second and there are more than forty different speech sounds. Thus, every time you talk, your audience must catch all the five syllables per second out of the air, must recognize the forty sounds in them, must translate the syllables into words and finally they must translate the words into thoughts- you got to help them succeed in doing so.  If you slur or muffle sounds, or project the sounds weakly, the listener will miss a lot, failing you as a good speaker. Therefore, proper pronunciation, diction and building a good vocabulary should be on your prioritized list.  Tip: Avoid one word answers or queries.

As a student, the skills of language will make you academically sound and the miracle it will have when you enter the world as an adult is magical is always a guarantee   Mind you, the four skills never stand out as individual areas but they form a chain , where you break one ring of the chain and the whole chain would collapse. In today's competitive world, your command over a language and even more, the level of your English can determine your life.
Thus, it is  important for you to understand the four skills and give it a consistent effort... the result will be rewarding!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paper Mache Project

Samtengang Middle Secondary School

Paper Mache Project

Since papers contribute a huge percentage to waste in school, the Paper Mache Project has taken its form in order to help the school make a cleaner place. Thus, as projected, we have decided to carry on with this interesting project. Through the project, we aspire to collect waste paper and convert the same into beautiful craft. The club would collect waste paper and prepare different face masks using the Paper Mache art. Moreover for the sake of perfecting, we will use the masks to perform a musical show.

Project Details
Start date: 1/08/2012 Musical Show: 18/08/’12
1.      Instill values of waste management in students
2.      learn simple craft.
1.      Waste paper
2.      Scissors
3.      Flour
4.      Water
5.      Water colour
6.      Twine thread
7.      Salt
Cost Estimate:
1.      Water colour: 5 x Nu. 80=Nu. 400
2.      Twine thread: Nu. 50
3.      Flour: Nu. 40 x 5=Nu. 200
4.      Salt: Nu.10 x 2= Nu. 20
The fund will be used from the club fund that has been generated through One Day Raffle

1.      Club period will be used to carry out the project
2.      Coordinators will help students understand the way of the art
3.      Steps will be made available for the members
4.      After the masks get ready, the club will prepare a short musical show which will be exhibited to all the students
How to Paper Mache
ü  Tear waste papers into small strips
ü  Pour a cup of flour into a bucket of water
ü  Put the paper strips into the water
ü  Make the ratio appropriate
ü  Add a couple tablespoons of salt to your paper mache (to prevent molding).
ü  Stir vigorously 
ü  Keep the mixture for 24 hours or until the pulp is ready to be used
ü  Use the pulp to make the shapes
ü  Use at least 5 layers or make the object 1cm thick
ü  All shapes and holes must be made when the pulp is wet
ü  Use balloons or other round materials to create the shape
ü  Dry your model for as long as it gets hard and rigid
ü  Paint according to your design
ü  Your paper mache is ready!

Information: Thus far, we have finished casting/moulding the masks. And the masks are being dried which will be painted later.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Thus, we ventured into the wilderness,
of Samtengang and beyond.
Deeper and higher into the colorful woods,
where nature is at her best vocation,
intricate…elaborate and natural.
We enthralled ourselves,
sauntering into the thick mist,
with untainted beauty at all corners.

Even more-we walked and strolled,
enjoying every bit of the freshest air.
Near and yonder,
we were enchanted,
with varied orchids and flowers,
greenest trees and grasses too.

In the lap of nature- we hiked,
within the sweet and diverse calls,
of the tree pies, of partridges,
of pigeons, minivets and others too.
indulged scrupulously and mindfully,
vivacious and flamboyant butterflies,
hovering and enchanting the enterprise.

And with the richest spirit,
reached soenathang-our destined destiny,
The vast meadow,
As beautiful as her vastness,
Spotted and dotted with potentillas,
of wild iris in our keen eyes,
some weak and strong bulls too,
gulped the splendor presented,
as the ardent spectators.

So and satisfied- turned back,
Lower and down back,
delicacy alike along the way,
with the rain pranking,
stopping and pouring-
stopping and pouring,
our umbrellas- up and down,
up and down.
mistletoes painting the summer autumn,
Lichens and ferns adorns the painting,
Making the art artistic,
purest mediums and means,
such rare abundant beauty.

Alas! looked up and marveled,
we conquered the mountain,
liberated -thoroughly and through
the beauty to cherish too,
All were but mind-boggling!

  Samtengang: A beautiful village under Nyisho gewog in Wangduephodrang. It is a 18 Km drive  from Wangdue town. The place is a small table land of great beauty with a moderate weather and a lake in the heart of the village. Samtengang has a Middle Secondary and Primary school in her.
2.         Soenathang: This is the meadow where Pemi Tshewang Tashi, chamberlain to Wangdue dzongpon Angdruk Nim who wrote the greatest ballad of Bhutan-The ballad of Zimpoen Tshewang Tashi,  is greeted by the people of sha with tea and wine ceremony. He leaves for war after being blessed with his last well wishes at this place. The meadow is quite majestic stretch of natural form with thick forest surrounding it.