Govt. injects Nu 87m for education and civil service reforms

The Finance Minister Namgay Tshering presented the national budget for the fiscal year 2021-22 to the National Assembly on 28 May.

Education and civil service reforms have been accorded Nu 68-million and Nu 19-million respectively

Lhakpa Tshering

Close on the heels of a major restructure, the government has provisioned Nu 68-million into education reforms and Nu 19-million into civil service reforms over the next financial year.

This is what the finance minister Namgay Tshering informed the House while presenting the national budget for the financial year 2021-22 at the ongoing national assembly session.

As part of the education reform, the Ministry of Education (MoE) has piloted the curriculum of The Royal Academy, Wangbama Central School and Dechencholing Higher Secondary School in Thimphu.

Lyonpo said that this initiative of teaching and learning will be replicated in 22 schools in the next financial year for which a budget of Nu 50-million has been provisioned.

He said that the government will continue supporting education reforms to fulfill the Royal Vision. “The Royal Kasho for education reform provides a renewed vision for further strengthening the education system through strategic reform processes,” he said.

Lyonpo also said that the education ministry continues to work towards improving the quality of education besides enhancing access to sustainable education and lifelong learning.

“The Royal Kasho for education reform provides the new vision for the education sector to revisit the curriculum, pedagogy, learning process, and assessment to either transform or rewrite given the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century,” said Lyonpo.

To build education resilience to the pandemic and to continue providing education to all children, Lyonpo said MoE in collaboration with relevant stakeholders has developed and implemented a curriculum for education in emergencies.

In addition, Nu 82-million has been allocated to the Royal Education Council (REC) for curriculum development as a key initiative towards education reform.

The education ministry has the highest budget allocation of Nu 15.288-billion, constituting 19 percent of the total allocation.

Of the total budget, the education flagship program has been allocated Nu 151-million to support Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) laboratory, procurement of computers, and local area network (LAN) equipment to prepare students for a tech-driven and knowledge-based economy.

“The effective use of ICTs has become a prerequisite for increasing productivity and economic competitiveness,” said Lyonpo. “Therefore, to leverage the benefits of ICT, the government has identified Digital Drukyul as one of the flagship programs to be implemented in the 12th FYP.”

And also a budget of Nu 336-million has been provisioned with the respective Dzongkhags and Thromdes for procurement of school stationeries.

Besides the flagship programs and other regular school infrastructure developments, Lyonpo said that the government will continue scholarships to class XI and XII students in private schools, undergraduate scholarships, and capacity development for the universities.

For civil service reforms, Nu 19 million has been allocated to the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) for professional services to realize the Royal vision and the Royal Kasho on the civil service reform.

The new funding will be the condition to transform civil service into a robust organization that is apolitical, meritorious, innovative, resilient, and driven by a culture of research and state-of-the-art technology, enabling legislations and also the highest ethical standards of its leaders and personnel.

Apart from this budget allocation of civil service reforms, Nu 338-million has been allocated to RCSC for the next financial year, of which Nu 283-million is for capital and Nu 54-million is for recurrent.

The capital allocation includes Nu 150-million for professionalizing civil service, Nu 42-million for cost-sharing and other human resource development programs, Nu 13-million for Bhutan Civil Service Examinations.