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ERIC Number: ED568679
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
A Study on the Type of School during the Dawn of Modern Education in Bhutan
Hirayama, Takehiro
Bulgarian Comparative Education Society, Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Bulgarian Comparative Education Society  (13th, Sofia, Bulgaria, Jun 10-13, 2015)
This study aims to clarify the state of school education in the Bhutan during the 1940-50s, a period of dawn of the modern education in Bhutan, by classifying schools and identifying their contrasting characteristics. The origins of modern education in Bhutan can be traced back approximately 100 years. Bhutan's modern period began in 1907 when Ugyen Wangchuck (reign: 1907-1926) became the first hereditary King and uniting the country. Then, 1914 saw the inception of modern education when 46 boys travelled oversees to study at mission school in Kalimpong, India (Tandin Wangmo & Kinga Choden,1 2011, p. 445). In the same year, Ugyen Dorji established Bhutan's first modern school in Haa District where teachers from the Church of Scotland Mission taught alongside a Bhutanese teacher by the name of Karp ("Ibid"). Then in the following year, another school was established in Bumthang District for educating the Crown Prince and children of the people serving in the King's court. Reportedly, by 1919-1920, 28 students were attending the school in Haa and 21 students were attending the school in Bumthang ("Ibid"). The two schools described above can be regarded as elite education institutions for the select few rather than regular schools for the general public. Although many years passed before any further schools were established in Bhutan, several schools were constructed toward the end of the reign of the Second King, Jigme Wangchuck (rein: 1926-1952) (C. T. Dorji, 1995, p. 50). According to the Jesuit priest William Joseph Mackey, the language of instruction at these schools was Hindi and a total of between 7 and 10 primary schools were established throughout Bhutan (Mackey, 2002, p. 6). Although schools opened throughout the country during the reign of the third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (reign: 1952-1972), to my knowledge, no research to date has closely examined the state of school education in the period addressed in this study. Then, an education system was established under the First Five Year Plan from 1961 as the government began to plan the expansion of school education in Bhutan. Subsequent educational developments materialised as a result of successive educational policy submissions and introductions under the Five Year Plans. So what kind of schools existed in Bhutan during the 1940-50s prior to the introduction of the First Five Year Plan as schools for the general public began to emerge? Arguably, the answer to this question is crucial for understanding Bhutan's educational policy since the 1960s as well as its socio-economic development. This study focuses on classifying schools established in the 1940-50s into "schools for Nepali immigrants" and "schools for Bhutanese" and clarifying the characteristics of the state of each kind of schools at the time of its establishment and its language of instruction. [For the complete Volume 13, Number 1 proceedings, see ED568595.]
Bulgarian Comparative Education Society. Blvd Shipchenski prohod 69 A, 1574 Sofia, Bulgaria. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bhutan