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

What are the types of traditional dances and music in Bhutan?

In general, there are three classifications of Bhutanese classical and contemporary performance - Zhungdra, Boedra and...

Jan 17, 2021 20:27

Splendid Bhutanese architecture inspired the design of the entire...

The architectures of the Kingdom of Bhutan are undisputedly world-class.

Jan 14, 2021 15:24

A Gen Z's Experience Visiting the Kingdom of Bhutan

As we start to see the world around us speed up, we need to slow down and look around.

Jan 11, 2021 12:07

Bhutan’s postage stamps remain world-renowned in the philatelic...

The first post office landed at the border town of Phuentsholing on 10th October 1962. Bhutanese postage stamps play an...

Jan 07, 2021 10:22

Bhutan - The Kingdom with Many New Year Celebrations

If you are a Bhutanese or residence living in Bhutan, you will be fascinated to witness several traditions of...

Dec 26, 2020 01:30



Bhutan is expected to receive the first consignment of the vaccines today

According to Indian media, the consignment of 150,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Covishield for Bhutan was airlifted...

Jan 20, 2021 15:04

What are the different local governments in Bhutan?

Bhutan’s development planning is guided by the development philosophy of Gross National Happiness (GNH), which encompasses four pillars that...

Jan 19, 2021 11:03


What are the types of traditional dances and music in Bhutan?

In general, there are three classifications of Bhutanese classical and contemporary performance - Zhungdra, Boedra and Rigsar.

Jan 17, 2021 20:27

Splendid Bhutanese architecture inspired the design of the entire university campus in Texas

The architectures of the Kingdom of Bhutan are undisputedly world-class.

Jan 14, 2021 15:24


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

Football clubs in Bhutan gearing up for Bhutan Premier League (BPL) 2020

Bhutan Premier League (BPL), the top national football tournament in Bhutan is set to commence on August 1.

Jul 24, 2020 14:33


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- The Kingdom of Peppers

Bhutan is a country with the highest per-capita consumption of chilli.

Sep 26, 2020 09:15


Bhutan Strives to Keep Up With 4th Industrial Revolution through Digitalization in Tourism Sector

The pandemic has affected the tourism industry globally including Bhutan. The stakeholders involved in the tourism industry is taking the...

Jan 12, 2021 00:38

Dakpa princess entombed inside popular stupa in Trashi Yangtse

Every year, the stupa is a holy site for two major festivals - the Dakpa Kora held on the 15th of the first lunar month and the Drukpa Kora...

Dec 23, 2020 00:44


Food on Wheels- First of its kind in Bhutan

The World's Largest Fast Food Restaurant Chains doesn't exist in Bhutan.

Mar 04, 2020 09:39

Amazing Stories from the Eastern Part of Bhutan

You can't say you have visited the eastern part of Bhutan unless you have experienced the following bizarre things.

Mar 02, 2020 19:02

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!