Inspired By His Majesty The King, The Reading Retreat Aims To Inculcate Reading Habits Among Bhutan’s Youth

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The upcoming reading retreat, which is scheduled from July 21 – 27, is expected to attract 268 students from schools across Bhutan.

(Source: Facebook/The Reading Retreat: Bhutan)

 

By Sonam Norbu Kuensel

“I will always support teachers throughout my reign. I will give you more importance and more recognition than any other sector, because you are going to make the greatest difference to the future of our country.” 

His Majesty the King to trainee teachers at Samtse College of Education, 2012

 

To realise the dream of His Majesty and for the benefit of young minds, a non-profit reading programme, The Reading Retreat, was initiated by a group of teachers from Lobesa Lower Secondary School in the district of Punakha.

Activities lined up for The Reading Retreat

The upcoming reading retreat, which is scheduled from July 21 – 27, is expected to attract 268 students from schools across the country, ranging from classes 4 to 8.

 

 Photo: Facebook/The Reading Retreat: Bhutan

 

The retreat is a testimony of solidarity among the teachers of Lobesa. It is a programme that is born from the heart of teachers - a platform laid for Bhutan’s children.

The retreat flows under the theme - Reading is Fun and aims at making reading an enjoyable endeavour for our children.

This initiative was inspired by His Majesty The King’s noble vision to inculcate reading habit among Bhutan’s young minds.

It aims to build a lifelong reading habit, while also meaningfully engage children during the summer break.

The programme strives towards building a well-read Bhutanese society. The weeklong programme is designed to engage students in reading-related and other useful activities.

The activities will begin with a bedtime reading, four sessions during the day and story time before bed.

Alongside the reading activities, the retreat also provides them with the values of Tha Damtshi and Lay Judrey. It will also instil in them a sense of pride and Bhutanese etiquettes.

In addition, the children can also take part in physical education and recreational activities.

Source: Facebook/The Reading Retreat: Bhutan

 

The retreat encourages children to become independent as they will be required to spend a week on their own, such as taking care of their belongings and themselves.

The 10 objectives of the reading retreat are:

  1. Encourage and develop a love for reading
  2. Perform better in school and life
  3. Use reading skills to improve listening, speaking and writing skills
  4. Use ICT and other mediums to enhance reading skills.
  5. Work as a team and make new friends
  6. Enrich their language and vocabulary
  7. Gain confidence and build self-esteem
  8. Use their summer/winter vacation meaningfully
  9. Become more independent and adventurous
  10. Have Fun and promote happiness through the values of Tha Damtshi Lay Judrey

The Reading Retreat aims to inclusive

Students from as far as Trashigang and Trashiyangtse have registered for the retreat this year. So far, the organisers have successfully completed three retreats in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

 

 Photo: Facebook/The Reading Retreat: Bhutan

 

The programme saw a total of 230 students in 2017 at Lobesa, 235 students in 2018 and 268 students have registered for 2019.

The Reading Retreat is supported through token entry fees of Nu 500 per student for the weeklong programme. Children from economically challenged families are encouraged to participate and they can enjoy waiver of fees.

The Reading Retreat is a non-profit initiative and will remain so. So far, the programme has received donations from a few financial institutions, private companies, business firms and individuals.

The event has a dedicated Facebook page - The Reading Retreat: Bhutan, and the team uses social media as the main platform to share information, seek donations and disseminate updates.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


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