Fostering Green Minds through Green Schools in Bhutan


Bhutan has been trialing a new approach to education since 2009. It's 'Green Schools for Green Bhutan' program is part of the country's attempt to integrate principles of its revolutionary Gross National Happiness (GNH) model into all areas of public policy. The concept aims to inculcate respect for the earth by conserving natural resources and learning from the earth by bringing nature into the classroom and the classroom into nature.

Modern Education in Bhutan

Education has been in the world for centuries. However, the first modern school in Bhutan was only established in 1913 in Haa district. Decades later, Sherubtse College became Bhutan’s first college in 1983 with a bachelor's degree program. Back in 1927, the medium of instruction in Bhutanese schools for students taking the Indian Certificate of Secondary Examination (ICSE) was actually in Hindi.

The access to modern education has changed Bhutanese lives. It provided youths the best chance to lead successful lives. Every citizen who went to school had a high chance of getting a job. In the olden days, teachers had to go around the villages to enroll children into school.

Bhutan has evolved by leaps and bounds since the birth of modern education. There are currently hundreds of schools and colleges (both government and private ones) throughout the country.

Education is often known as the noble sector of public service because the primary mission for seats of learning have been the cultivation of the nobility of mind, heart, and hands. 

Primary level students  

The nation-wide program called “Educating for Gross National Happiness” was launched in 2009 to nurture Green Schools as a means of building a Green Bhutan.

Over the past couple of years, we have seen gratifying results from across the country. There have been reports by schools of enhanced academic performance, improved student behaviors, reduction in disciplinary issues, and positive changes in the overall aspects of our institutions.

Tree plantation observed in school 

Why Green School?

Green is the primary color of nature but it is also a metaphor of life. Green represents everything that supports and sustains life in all its varied forms - human, animal, plant, and all other living beings.

In today's context, when the sustainability of life has become a global concern, green as a metaphor assumes critical significance. In the context of education, green signifies the necessary orientation of our mind, our hearts, and our hands.

The concept of a green school is not just about the environment but also about instilling a sense of green minds. At the forefront of the concept is the conservation of the natural environment. It is a values-based holistic approach beyond academic achievements to expand children's minds. It is a philosophy to teach children about what it means to be human.

The green schools aim to foster students holistically and creates the necessary space for students to bloom into their full potential in Bhutan.

Each discipline in Bhutan's schools and institutions is a treasure trove of great ideas. Green schools are a medium through which teachers and students engage in those ideas and bring them alive. They are a mean to return to the heart of teaching and learning.

In an attempt to achieve those lofty ideals, various green school initiatives and practices are in place across Bhutan.  

                             In some schools, students take up agriculture club  

Green schools play a vital role in nurturing the next generation of leaders to be well-rounded individuals who are at peace with themselves and the world around them.

While some good materials have been developed to help implement the elements of a Green School, there is a pressing need for more resources to support educators and students. A more profound understanding of the concepts with a clear succinct explanation of each element is required to enrich the learning process.

Students engaged in social work in school  


Related Posts

The history and evolution of money in Bhutan

The legal currency of Bhutan, Ngultrum (symbol: Nu., code: BTN) was launched in 1974.

Apr 13, 2021 11:11

9 important life lessons from Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom tells the story of the journey of an unmotivated teacher, Ugyen Dorji, hailing from the...

Apr 12, 2021 10:38

The most prominent Buddhist deities in Bhutan

Buddhist statues and religious figures can be seen in most of the landmarks and historical sites in Bhutan.

Mar 19, 2021 15:31

COVID-19 has dealt a huge blow for the cordyceps collectors in...

Prior to 2004, harvesting of cordyceps was considered illegal in Bhutan. Only in 2004, harvesting of cordyceps was...

Mar 05, 2021 09:35

Launch of the Textile Museum Website and the Virtual Exhibitions

Her Majesty the Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck, Royal Patron of the Textile Museum, Department of Culture,...

Feb 21, 2021 16:53

The extraordinary People's King of Bhutan

It is a rare occasion to have a leader who shoulders responsibility like a father with a will to make immediate...

Feb 20, 2021 08:15



Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden Wangchuck delivered keynote address at 54th session of the Commission on Population and Development

Queen Mother Gyalyum Sangay Choden delivered a keynote address at the 54th session of the Commission on Population and Development at the UN...

Apr 21, 2021 14:53

Bhutan Prime Minister, Dr Lotay Tshering attended Bangladesh's Golden Jubilee celebrations

Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering was in Bangladesh from 23 March to 25 March 2021 on official visit as the Special Representative of His...

Apr 14, 2021 16:30


The history and evolution of money in Bhutan

The legal currency of Bhutan, Ngultrum (symbol: Nu., code: BTN) was launched in 1974.

Apr 13, 2021 11:11

9 important life lessons from Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom

Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom tells the story of the journey of an unmotivated teacher, Ugyen Dorji, hailing from the capital city of...

Apr 12, 2021 10:38


What's with the unique archery culture in Bhutan?

In Bhutan, archery is more than just a sport. It is a way of life. The dancing, the singing, the drinking—it is a manifestation of the...

Apr 19, 2021 10:40

Contributing to the country through the love for football

It's been a month since the conclusion of Bhutan Premier League 2020. Daily Bhutan interviews Paro FC to find out more about the club. Below...

Dec 21, 2020 17:05


Support authentic Bhutanese handicrafts by local artisans

Whether you are interested in artisanal Bhutanese handicrafts or boutique sourced products with contemporary touch, the incredible...

Mar 25, 2021 12:09

Authentic Bhutanese Souvenirs from Eastern Bhutan

Every district and village produce distinct products in Bhutan. To encourage rural communities to produce more authentic souvenirs and...

Dec 25, 2020 22:13


Bhutan champions Waddling Tour, an activity that's completely new in tourism

Bhutan is in the midst of developing new tourism products. The country is gearing up to make the tourism industry in the Kingdom to be more...

Mar 29, 2021 10:06

One of the fun things you can do in Bhutan is whitewater rafting

Whitewater rafting is one of the most popular outdoor activities for travellers to Bhutan as it's a family-friendly activity suitable for...

Mar 24, 2021 13:20


Traditional costumes of Bhutan and the evolution of kira

The Kingdom of Bhutan is unique for many reasons, but one peculiarity that sets them apart is their dress code.

Apr 21, 2021 11:25

In the Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan, are Bhutanese mostly vegetarians?

Many foreigners perceive Bhutanese to be mostly vegetarians owing to its status as a Buddhist kingdom.

Apr 14, 2021 14:30

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!