Saturday, September 1, 2012

Vocational Skills and the Economists?

So we concluded the monsoon football tournament with loads of fun. Sonamkuenphen HSS took away the Rolling Trophy while Aman Kora were the Runners Up. We could hardly get few days for serious teaching since it was time for the Dzongkhag Sports Meet. More than 130+ students left to Ura MSS and are yet to return to the school probably with lots of medals.
There were other important issues which i would abstain from revealing for the interest my School. However, we also had a visit by a personnel from BCSEA which i thought was worth writing down. He had come to find out how the Vocational students were faring in their course since you know we have Vocational Skills as another optional subject other than IT and economics for classes 9 and 10.
 Personally, i have felt that this optional subject is of great use to our students in the sense that they learn skills which could stand in good stead later in their future. Nevertheless, it looks like we are erring here to simply conclude that the students are doing fairly good. The other day i have asked few of those students whether or not they have learnt some skills by that time. They have blushed with sarcastic smiles. It is rumored that they got their syllabus only in the month of august!
Well, the sad story is about the economics students. While other peers play with their chisel or wrench or heck-saw, the eco-students flirt with the old economics textbooks that is devoid of any practicals. They memorize terms and graphs that they barely understand. On the third side they have their IT classmates who go to their posh IT labs fully equipped with computers. If you see the marks scored in IT and Vocational papers, it is shameful for comparisons. Most of the IT and Vocational students got more than 80 in
mid-term exams while hardly few students could get 50 in economics. For one thing, we assume that globally IT is one of the most difficult subjects to deal with but as you see most of them scoring above 80, it looks like it aint simply IT. We have IT toppers who could hardly understand the language of computers! He he he. We have Vocational skills toppers who could hardly fix some broken taps in the school campus! For teachers like you and i, it is fine so long they score good marks but for what purpose?
And two days ago the person who visited from BCSEA had asked me if i had anything to tell about vocational paper since i am the exam-secretary in the school. I had gone blank. What to tell?
In carpentry, students were asked to name few tools used in carpentry for 20 marks! Ditto with Plumbing.
Some papers had 40 as their full-mark while some had 60, some had 80 and one of them had 100. The
 on-going marks given were too prodigious to be true.
"We do not prepare any questions for the vocational students. The VTI does that", i had answered him.
Later it was found out that the VTI had complained to him about the lesser number of teaching hours allotted to them.
At one time, i had sarcastically joked to some eco-students that they should also go to their labs! In the beginning of the session i had the conspiracy theory- i urged most of the students to either join vocational skills or the IT students. "Do away with economics. You wont fetch good marks in the exam!"
I haven't regretted it thus far.:)
It is a sorry state that we treat our students so unfairly. The ministry is too busy to handle this since they are too occupied with the thoughts of our next elections. And now, the BCSEA sends their personnel to
 case-study as if our students were some guinea-pigs!
That is all for today, good day readers!


  1. Sonam sir,

    it was nice going through your post once again.

    Students doing not so good in economics is a case of big concern for us. (at least i think that way) and I think it has been that way since my time......Economics subject was given step-motherly treatment. Recollecting my past, I vividly remember what kind of text book i used in my 12th grade. Although I topped in my home exam, I nearly failed in my ISC exams.

    Now that I am doing my masters in Economics, I am thinking that some day I really want to make a difference in Economics subject in Bhutan. I also dream to become a teacher one day. may sound strange....but I am seriously thinking .....

    by the way, I hope concern authorities do something about and least we have a RMA govoner with good economics knowledge in our near future.....

    have a good day.

    Kuenzang (PSN)

  2. Thank you PSN. It was a pleasure to hear from you since you are pursuing masters in the very subject that i treated in this post. By the way, i am following your latest post and have abstained from commenting on it since it is still "To Be Contd..". I Hope you will finish it sooner.GG and regards:)