Bhutan’s schools are of a high standard for a country in which, despite the happiness formula, many things are not going as well as one would like. Many families only have enough to survive in some way. Every second pupil in the country depends on the school meals of the United Nations, which they give to the children. Even if living conditions have improved in recent years, it cannot be done without outside support.
The school system in Bhutan
Schooling is compulsory in Bhutan. Children can go to school for free and the state is also committed to education. Only in this way can the country be successful in the long term and maintain good administration. The language of instruction is English, but all children have to learn the national language Dzongkha. This is also part of the tradition of the small South Asian state.
In the early 1960s, just 500 children in Bhutan went to school, almost no girls. Today there are more than 600 schools in the country and 89 out of 100 children attend school. This is not very easy in the country. There, the children often have to travel long distances to school, often several hours, to get to school at all.
Often times the teachers are not well trained. There is a lack of school books and there is no furniture or toilets. The situation should improve through the work of aid organizations such as UNICEF. Above all, they ensure clean water, better material, larger classrooms and improved teacher training.
Bhutanese keep to themselves
Contact with the inhabitants of the country who do not work in tourism is strictly forbidden. Not too many hotels meet our standard. So there are fewer tourists and less traffic and since the country’s environmental protection regulations are very strict, many visitors to the country believe that they are staying in paradise. The inhabitants of the country are much more relaxed than elsewhere and the country has less to contend with than its large neighboring countries with environmental degradation and the consequential problems of tourism.
Can Bhutan seal itself off further?
While the old traditions live on in Bhutan, religious festivals are celebrated and many old rites are important, modernity invades the country and awakens needs. The internet and television are doing their part. Many children in Bhutan know the music that children hear in Berlin, London, Tokyo or New Delhi. And not only in the cities do people sit in front of the TV sets, also in the country, if there are connections there, they sit there and marvel at what is going on in the world. A few years ago she wasn’t even interested in this.
Even in Bhutan the world is not “whole”!
As a country located in Asia according to threergroup, Bhutan is a country that is tossed back and forth between modernity and tradition. On the one hand, one does not want to deny young people the chance to cope with all of its technical challenges in our world of globalization.
At the same time one tries to keep the “ideal world”, which however – on closer inspection – was not so healthy everywhere either. Bhutan is also struggling with problems that did not exist in the past, such as high unemployment, the increasing drug problem and much more.
Traffic lights? No!
The capital of a country without traffic lights? In Bhutan’s capital, Thimpu, it works. You won’t come across any traffic lights in the whole city. There are many traffic policemen in the city of 100,000 for this. But there was already a traffic light in Thimpu. And what happened? City residents took to the streets to dismantle the traffic lights. Nobody wanted that blinking something. Nor did anyone stick to red. You only stopped when you thought it was necessary. What should a traffic light do?
The official bodies also saw this and removed the superfluous device. But traffic cops are now regulating the traffic again. By the way, there are now some traffic lights in the city again, but they can still be counted on one hand or at most on two hands.
One of the safest countries in the world
Incidentally, there is no railroad in Bhutan and no air traffic in the country that has only one airport. People get around by bus, taxi or car, which only a few can afford. Driving fast is impossible because the roads mostly lead through the mountains. Incidentally, Bhutan is one of the safest countries in the world. There is almost no crime, especially in rural areas.
The ancient customs and traditions are preserved in Bhutan. Buddhism plays a very important role. The king sees himself personally as the guardian of these ancient traditions. But since the Internet and television found their way into the remote state, people have also encountered the modern there.
That’s just how it is in Bhutan
For a long time, men in Bhutan had to dress traditionally. There was a car-free day and the taxes on cars were so high that no one could afford this polluting vehicle and even in the larger cities the air remained clean compared to other cities. Tobacco is still banned across the country today, and plastic bags are also banned.