Yet another literary masterpiece

The book was launched by the National Assembly Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel in the presence of Opposition Leader Dorji Wangdi on 2 July

Sangay Rabten

A book titled ‘Sherubtse College: An Epitome of Higher Education’ by Dasho Zangley Dukpa, former health minister and Sherubtse College’s first Bhutanese principal, was launched on 2 July at the Centre for Bhutan and GNH Studies, Thimphu.

The book broadly and briefly describes the evolution and the growth of the ideas of the university in Europe and America during the medieval age with their influence on universities development in the third countries. It further delves and explains the broader meaning of shey-rab-tse from Buddhist perspectives.

As named by a great King, the book describes the meaning of Sherubtse as that transcends the mundane literary translation-‘the peak of learning’ from the perspective of Buddhism. It also mean the very purpose of the education to describe the wisdom or intelligence that grasps complexity of others and the world with empathy and sympathy as per the explanation of the author. 

Sherubtse, a college set up for Bhutanese students to study within their own cultural setting or milieu became the epitome of higher education system in the country after upgradation from the public school to full fledge college in 1983 affiliated to Delhi University.

The author tries to project the contribution of Sherubtse graduates in nation building. It says the immediate benefit of modern education is tangibly visible where young dynamic Sherubtse graduates have replaced rare university graduates of 1960s and 1970s from India and western countries.

“Majority of the current policy decision-makers including politicians, who are young and dynamic, are graduates of Sherubtse College,” the author writes.

The book also reflects the transition educational system in the country with influence of western education.

Dasho Zangley writes that with the launch of the first five-year plan in 1961, the government was propelled to accelerate the numerous western schools and institutes across the country.

“Until no modern educational institute was established in the country, it was basically monastic education system, Bhutanese children were admitted in missionary schools in Kalimpong at the expense of government. Hence, there was pressure to create pre-university and university in the country where then Sherubtse came into existence as first university college in the country,” he opines.

The author attributes that the growth of Sherubtse College from public school to University College signifies the developmental services in the Kingdom at a lightning speed of under the farsighted leadership of Bodhisattva Kings.

The author Dasho Zangley started his career as a teacher. He was the first national principal of Sherubtse College. He served as deputy director of education, dzongdag and as first vice chancellor of Royal University of Bhutan. In 2008, he joined politics and became the first democratically elected health minister.

He has authored the books ‘School Leadership and Development; The Role of Head teacher,’ ‘Education in Bhutan: Culture, Schooling, Gross National Happiness’ and ‘Along the Health Trails.

The book was launched by the National Assembly Speaker Wangchuk Namgyel in the presence of Opposition Leader Dorji Wangdi and other dignitaries.