Remembering The Father of Modern Bhutan, His Late Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and Celebrating Teachers Across the Country
On this day, people take out time to pay tribute to His Majesty the Third Druk Gyalpo and to the respective teachers and mentors of Individuals for the selfless contribution in shaping the lives of country’s future generation.
As teacher’s day is celebrated around the world on different dates according to their importance and significance in the history of the country. Likewise, Bhutan has opted for May the 2nd to be marked as the teacher’s day in the country. This was the day in 1951 when the third king of Bhutan, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, was born. He was the driving force behind the modern education system in Bhutan and appropriately credited for its success and also he is known fondly by all Bhutanese as the father of modern Bhutan.
The third king of Bhutan was a farsighted leader beyond his time to understand the future security of Bhutan. He secured Bhutan’s membership with the United Nations by becoming its 125th member in 1971. Furthermore, he made sure Bhutan’s relationship with its neighbouring countries were diversified.
The modern western education system was introduced to provide learning centres to study science, mathematics, modern farming techniques etc. whilst also preserving and promoting the monastic schools along with its culture and tradition. This was a calculated move which really accelerated the literacy and numeracy growth in Bhutan and today almost all of our youths are educated. His vision was to preserve the unique tradition and culture of Bhutan for the outside world to admire, by propagating through schools whilst also modernizing the education system.
King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck abolished slavery and put an end to feudalism, introduced modern inventions to make the work of agricultural workers easier. He also reorganized the country's judicial system, established the High Court and the National Assembly (a unicameral parliament which later transformed into the lower house of the bicameral Parliament), and launched an economic development plan.
2nd May is the pertinent date where Bhutanese across the world pay unconditional gratitude to His late Majesty the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck and in celebrating this great leader’s achievements, Bhutanese pay our utmost respect to all the teachers of Bhutan past and present.
The present government realized the crucial role of teachers in shaping the future of Bhutanese children and the need to retain, attract and professionalize the teaching profession. With the pay revision, teaching has become the highest-paid profession in the civil service in Bhutan. The pay hikes attempt to deliver on election promises to reduce inequality and improve education for the country’s 750,000 population.
Today is an opportunity for all the Bhutanese Teachers and the students to reflect on the role that educators have played in one's life, and to consider ways to continue inspiring one’s own students each and every day in the classroom and beyond.
Some of the excellent educators and inspiring expat teachers are also awarded the National Order of Merit for their exemplary services to the nation in the field of education for excellence in teaching by His Majesty the King of Bhutan.
Dear Teachers, Happy Teachers Day!
P.S Who is a teacher who had a meaningful impact on your life? Let us know on our Facebook page.