NA Endorses Motion to Table Education Bill

NGAWANG JAMPHEL
Thimphu

In a landmark move aimed at depoliticizing the education sector and elevating the standards of education, the National Assembly unanimously endorsed a motion submitted by the MP from the South-Thimphu to table the Education Bill.   

The motion, initially presented on June 17, 2024, emphasizes the need for a comprehensive and non-partisan approach to education policy, aligning with the visionary goals set by His Majesty the King.

The member, in his initial submission on June 17, highlighted the critical necessity of a robust and non-partisan education framework.

The motion encapsulated the potential risks of politicization in education, which could undermine the quality and equitable access to education across the country. Following rigorous deliberations, the House directed the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) to submit a draft of the National Education Policy to the Members, ensuring that the decision-making process is well-informed and comprehensive.

On June 28, the MP from South Thimphu reiterated his concerns, stating that the motion to table the Education Bill is essential to safeguard the education sector from political influences and to enhance its quality and standards. He further elaborated that after a thorough review of the draft education policy and conducting extensive research, a revised motion was submitted.

This revised motion directed the MoESD to implement the policy as envisioned by His Majesty the King and to introduce measures that would keep education out of political dynamics.

The Minister for Education and Skills Development Yeezang De Thapa addressed the issue, detailing the extensive research and consultations that went into developing the draft education policy.

The minister explained that the first Education Act Bill was proposed in 1971, with the first revision in 1984 and another in 2019. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry couldn’t implement the Act. After a Royal Katsho from His Majesty the King in 2020, the Ministry proposed the bill again in the current session.

“The Ministry plans to further engage with teachers and schools across the country to gather their inputs and address any issues that might arise. The policy, as it stands, will be implemented immediately, ensuring that it aligns with the aspirations of the national leadership and the needs of the students,” said the Minister.

The education minister also highlighted that while the current focus is on the implementation of the policy, the possibility of drafting an Education Bill in the future remains open. This would be considered if there are significant issues that require legislative intervention to ensure the continued improvement and depoliticization of the education sector.

The House, reflecting a strong consensus on the importance of the issue, endorsed the motion with all 45 members present and voting in favor. This unanimous support emphasizes the collective commitment of the National Assembly to safeguard and enhance the education sector, ensuring it remains a cornerstone of Bhutan’s development without falling prey to political influences.

This move is expected to set a precedent for future policy-making processes, emphasizing the importance of non-partisan approaches in critical sectors like education.

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