Friday, February 27, 2009

the two different kinds of 50%

The Education ministry has adopted a cut off of 50% for graduate teachers to ensure 'quality' in the education system. Perhaps a right step forward, I don't know.

What perplexes me is the different standards of 50%. Graduates interested to join the teaching cadre could not achieve 50% and therefore, despite the vacancies, the teaching posts were left empty. Through the "light the nation" project, interviews for temporary teachers were conducted. Here too a bench mark of 50% was set. The difference here was that the same graduates who could not achieve 50% in the RCSC exams had percentages as high as 85% in the Ministry of Education ( MoE) interviews. Most of the graduates selected for the temporary teaching posts were graduates who could not achieve 50% in the RCSC exams. Does this mean that there is a different methodology and standard of the MoE conducted interviews? if yes, why offer only temporary posts, the graduates should be offered permanent posts. if no, why is there so much discrepancy in the percentages conducted by two different institutions.

In a time where our country is facing problems of employment generation I think it is questionable why employment by the education ministry is being curtailed. Instead of a drastic approach, I think it would be wiser to send the higher scoring graduates for high schools and the lower scoring students to primary schools. I am sure a lot of people involved in framing this 50% policy had scored less than 50% during their RCSC exams. Do they consider themselves below the required quality?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Civil society!

I am appalled by what i read in the the opposition leaders blog. MP's to get salary revision from April 2008, while civil servants get it only with effect from January 2009. I am more appalled by the fact that no official hue and cry seems to be there about it. Why is the media not reporting about it? Even if the Finance minister approved of such a note ( probably for political interests), why did the finance secretary not react to it? Just before democratically elected ministers were sworn in, capable secretaries were put in place in all the ministries to ensure that the there were proper checks.

Although huge changes in system and procedures have taken place in the way our society is supposed to function, we still seem to live in our past. Ministers still seem to have king like security. The empowered and capable secretaries don't seem to be in the picture at all. Fundamental rights of citizens have been defined in the constitution but no one seem to be exercising it. Media has been empowered, but still has a lot to do in informing the mass. Our present civil society definitely requires more civility. We need to take more control and responsibility. We are now faced with a government who will think a 5 year term and look at selfish interests. We do not have a Magnanimous King looking after the daily affairs of the kingdom and peoples welfare.

DPT government seem to be faltering a lot. I am sure there would have been similar issues if it was PDP at the helm. Both these parties are led by humans after all. What I think we lack, is a opposition who has the weight to make some noise. Most of voted for leadership this time. Perhaps, this is where we have faltered. We need to vote for capable constituency representatives to ensure balanced representation in the National Assembly. As important as it is to get the party we believe into power, it is important proper debates happen. Debates, check and balance mechanisms seem to be important for a vibrant democracy. We should not be swayed by pep talks like ' not to vote for the wrong/evil party'.

Lessons are being learnt, society is maturing, things seem to be moving....perhaps not fast enough!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Domestic flights by october!

A population of less that seven hundred thousand with probably less than 5% of the population able to afford flight tickets and, of this 5%, 80% will probably never have the urgency for a immediate flight into the East. And for the 20% requiring urgent travel to the east sometimes, they will probably not be able to wait for the schedule of flights which I am guessing might be twice a week at the most.

The plan is to rehabilitate the existing Yonphula airport. Any airport will require minimum infrastructure to ensure safety. What we will have is another full group of people almost as many as in the Paro airport idling away their office time. This is probably in line with the employment generation policy of the government, but the big question is AT WHAT COST? Huge number of airport staff, fire safety personnel, fire vehicles, revenue and customs personnel, aircraft monitoring and safety staff etc etc.

Considering our small population and smaller number of people who can afford air travel, limited area available for runway, weather conditions, people traveling at the end of the day on domestic flights would probably be Director level ( and above) on government budget,/ probably MP's too etc. etc, which is added burden to our limited treasury funds.
I think the way forward should be with helicopters. Easier and less complicated to maintain, for its agility given our weather conditions and terrain, lesser capacity in line with projected few number of people traveling by air, lesser landing and taking off space requirement etc etc.
More than the domestic flight services whether airplane /helicopter services which would benefit the few elite in our society, I would like to see road expansions, proper maintenance of existing roads and better public transportation facilities instead to benefit the society at large.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Before me is a system of courts, laws and procedures which i find difficult to call as the system of justice, although the intent is perhaps so.

I am not a brilliant man but i am not stupid either. I don't understand how a rocket can be sent to the moon but i understand simple english sentences and phrases in laws and acts. I know there are law jargons which are not daily english, but with "google" how difficult can it be to understand the jargons too. law-reason with out passion, a simple yet powerful defination. We don't need a law degree to understand simple and stated laws, we perhaps need law degrees to frame laws.

A small country and a smaller judicial community, how easy is it to obtain justice from the such a system? Best to keep away from it as far as possible, if my experience with it is anything to go by. They have the discretionary power to ignore incriminating facts and figures citing laws and procedures and other times they choose to accept facts and figures even though the same procedures and laws dont allow it. I wonder, if they realise at the end of the day all procedures and laws were framed to deliver justice. JUSTICE! JUSTICE! JUSTICE!

To get justice or get decisions in our favour, thorough my experience with the law, i have realised that, beyond logic, reasoning, evidence and law, there is a more powerful tool. It is called influence. It is a good idea to have a family member working in the judicial system or at least a relative, or at the least a very good friend.