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Bhutan's History to be taught in Dzongkha
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Bhutan's History to be taught in Dzongkha
Dzongkha will be introduced as a separate discipline at the pre-university level and Bhutan history will be taught in Dzongkha in middle secondary schools according to the curriculum and professional support division (CAPSD) of the education ministry. "A pilot Dzongkha stream like that of commerce and humanities will be started in 2004 at the plus two level," said Dorji Wangchuk of CAPSD. "Existing history text books will be translated into Dzongkha to be taught in classes VII to iX from the 2006 academic session and for class VIII and X the next year."

These are some of the steps being taken to promote and standardise the national language to the English level which were finallised during the fourth Dzongkha annual conference which ended yesterday. "Additional Dzongkha teachers, even monks with masters qualification will be recruited to teach the subject in the schools," Dorji Wangchuk said.

The annual Dzongkha conference also decided to re-introduce the traditional method of teaching Dzongkha through Bjo Lha (learning words by spelling out) and Tsi du (rote learning), in the teachers teaching manual. The Dzongkha development authority secretary, Dasho Sangay Wangchuk, said the education sector was the best place to work towards the national policy of improving the standard of dzongkha. "To improve the standard of Dzongkha, a better foundation has to be laid early in the learning stage," he said. He added that Bhutan history could also be best taught in Dzongkha. "Many important information were lost and pronunciations distorted during the course of translation.

A history in Dzongkha would be the best to know our own history." World and Indian history will continued to be taught in English. On Dzongkha being introduced as a separate stream at the plus two level, Dorji Wangchuk reasons that it will give students a choice to pursue higher edcuation either in Sherubtse College or the Institute for Language and Cultural studies in Semtokha. "This would ease the shortage of dzongkha lopens in the future," he said.

The conference also decided to make "fluency in both spoken and written" Dzongkha as another criteria for promotion, job recruitment, and admission to educational institutes of higher learning. Prime minister, Lyonpo Jigmi Thinley, who attended the conference closing said that the usage of Dzongkha should be made easier according to the changing times. "Dzongkha is an important national identity and should be preserved and promoted as much as we can," he said.

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