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Bhutan's education system
Secondary education
Secondary education in Bhutan is a six-year cycle comprising of two years of lower secondary school, two years of middle secondary school and two years of higher secondary . About 85% of the children who complete primary education move to the lower secondary level, 85% completing the lower level move to middle secondary schools and just over 40% of those completing middle secondary schools move up to higher secondary programmes.

Secondary education has entered a phase of very high growth induced by the expansion and improved internal efficiency at the primary level.

Many of the present-day secondary schools started out as primary schools which grew over time into lower and middle secondary schools and later, into higher secondary schools through a process of upgrading.

While this continues to be a pragmatic approach for a systemthat is expanding rapidly, it has also meant compromising on physical and professional standards as more and more schools are pressured to cater to programmes for which they have little preparation. Therefore, many secondary schools are over-crowded, have inadequate science labs and sport facilities and are short of qualified teachers.

A basic skills component has been introduced in 9 of the secondary schools on a pilot basis since 1999. These programmes operate as vocational clubs for carpentry, house wiring , plumbing and shoe repair.

Students are also encouraged to participate in the maintenance of schools during the winter vacation to practice their skills while earning pocket money. Further development and expansion of the programme will depend upon the experience of theses schools. Computer education has been introduced in five high schools with classes XI and XII as part of the initiative to bring IT into school education system.
Policy and Planning Division
Department of Education
Ministry of Health and Education, Thimphu


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