punakha higher secondary school


“Aha pha ta mey pchilip zam di tsu,” smirked Pema and Ngawang. Suddenly Sir B.K’s cold hands grab their collars, “Two of you meet me after school.” The two boys are to prostrate in front of the school for violating the school’s English Speaking Policy.

Punakha Higher Secondary School adopted the policy of speaking English since 2007 with the arrival of the new principal, Mr. Kinley Gyeltshen. Students are now speaking English from eight in the morning till four in the evening.

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  • Karma Dorji

    making them speak in english as if English was the mother tounge in bhutan. “Rang kha masehy rog kha zaang”.

    What’s bhutan heading to ?

    • Man

      this is a nice school and i appreciate the students

      • decan105

        dear teacher & student,
        I am ex-Punap and proud to be one. Keep up the good show.

  • arunsaxena

    dear students,
    Punakha school has the reputation of being the best school in the country.It has produced many bright students who are holding very high podts in the country.Imeet them whenever I get an opportunity to visit Bhutan. I wiah to come and meet you all one day.Try to to keep the reputation of the school high.
    Ph no +919871777296

  • daneil

    Hey Dude, I think its time for you to come out from your cocoon … if English not important and probably you can convert all the Maths, physics, commerce and all subject in Dzongkha….and By the way Bhutan is heading towards better place…..


      Mr.Daniels Hello,
      Have u worked in Punakha School ifYes I think I have met u in PunakhaSchool. It was the high standard of English teacherswho guided the studentsof Punakha tolearn goodEnglish. I canclearly well imagine how hard it was for the teachersto teach the international language ENGLISH To the simple students of Bhutan. If u get this message please contact me on the FB

      • daneil

        hey i studied there for 4 yrs .. i cant find you in FB hehe…give me either a user name or last name,,,,

        • arunsaxena

          Dear Mr. Daniels,
          I have seen your picture with Fr. Felix in one of the boys hostel in PHSS. Where are you these days. Pl. Send me your contact details

      • Aubrey Daniels

        Dear Mr. Saxena,

        It was nice to talk about the days we spent at what was then known as Punakhs Central School before it became Punakha high School and now metamorphasises into a higher secondary school.

        I am in contact with Fr. felix Pinto and regret to inform you that Fr. William Miranda passed away in Kalimpong.

        Call me at 9840753430 or mail at aubrey@amchamindia.com

  • Bodhi

    This is a weird mentality we have got. It is a just a show off by some people to get the credit for doing something cool for them, which particularly is not appealing at all.

  • punakhahigher sec school is a very best school form the past till date abnd it will be the best school in the histroy of bhutanes education. i love that school…………….

  • It is a very good decision of the Principal there to have such policy. i remember when i was in my high school in Tsenkharla Middle Secondary School such rules were there. The students were supposed to speak English, and any student found speaking other language is punished.
    However there are some harsh realities that we need to realize. While it is the decision in pretext of developing students cognitive development, It alone is very difficult to get adapted. i remember having tough time cleaning toilets not for not speaking English, but for putting a Dzogkha term accidentally in between English statement. so such harsh realities of Bhutanese students born with native language and adapting to speak English is to be considered.
    The descision however is really good especially English being the second mandatory language in our country. I appreciated/ !!!!

  • khorwala…..

    i think it is a wise decision of principle to hav such a rule because through this we can develop our national language

  • khorwala…..

    very thoughtful indeed of principal to have such a rule so that he can improve the national language

  • Dr. Sailen Debnath

    Thanks to the Principal and the students of Punakha High School for their effort in making the school an english-speken one. Dzongkha is a good language; but for higher education and contact round the globe, english is peerless and indispensable also. There is no alternative option to the learning and speaking of english. Hope all the best for all in the future.
    Dr. Sailen Debnath,
    Well-wisher of Punakha High School.
    Email: debnathsailen@gmail.com

    • pankaj

      Thanks to those who did their hardest to make PUNAKHA HIGH SCHOOL as an English spoken school as English is an International language.A lot of students of the school now will be frequent to communicate with persons all over the world.


  • Drolo Dorji

    I have always appreciated Punakha High School as a good performing school and today many people are working in many private and govt. institutions thanks to the knowledge gained from this school.
    I do agree that English is the language that is widely spoken around the world and it is important. But I fail to understand why the principal failed to also understand the importance of other dialects and languages including the national language.

    Carol J. Orwig outlines the following functions of a language:
    1. Survival functions: Meeting your most basic needs
    2. Social functions: Interacting with other people
    a. Functions used when socializing
    b. Functions used in establishing and maintaining relationships
    c. Functions involving barriers
    d. Functions involving influencing people
    e. Functions involving feedback
    f. Functions involved in arguing
    g. Functions involving avoiding trouble
    3. Self-expressive functions
    a. Functions involving expressing opinions
    b. Functions involving expressing emotions
    4. Cognitive functions
    a. Functions for managing conversations


    But Dzongkha has additional purpose to the ones mentioned above i.e. it helps preserve our culture which had a big role to play in our survival and will contunue to do so for centuries to come. Therefore, I do not understand why that “english language rule” was introduced by Mr. Kinley Gyeltshen. Did the standard of English langauge deteriorate over the years that caused the principal to take this decision or was it a short sighted decision ? Only those who understand the importance of another language will understand. To me this rule only takes away the reputation and trust of Punakha High School as a centre of knowledge and excellence.

  • arunsaxena

    Conversation in English is the basic requirementof Bhutanese students abroad .Fluency in english is an asset. Our youngsters should develop taste for learning and speaking correct english. it is only by speaking fluent and correct english we can present ourself impressively .Punakha students were famous for good quality spoken english during my period of stay in Bhutan.

  • dobji

    Its is good to hear that Punakha HSS has taken such step to nurture the citizens of tomorrow. Congrats Member of PHSS… but i am not happy with other school of same Dzongkhag.especially Tashidingkha Middle Secondary School..Principal of this school is not nurturing the students instead he is nurturing his personal desires.. some of his act are as follows:
    1. At the time of exam students are taken to places for staging cultural programs and not creating conducive studying environment for students. And also conducting veteran football tournament just one day before final examination in the school campus with loud music and strangers in the school.
    2. Principal is always moving out of school for attending his very very personal work.
    3. unprofessional teachers… its just a week for board exam and teachers have not completed the syllabus.. instead of covering the syllabus these days teachers are busy playing archery inside the school during working hours

    This school is shattering the dreams of hundreds of students. Therefore, it will be wise on part of Ministry of Education to act immediately.


  • ex-punab

    keep it up PHS….english is important and you all should comply with such initiative…….but dont forget dzongkha as it’s our national language…many ex-punab like me wish you all a gr8 future ahead….

    • Manisha Sharma

      Hi…I am a ex-punab too as u hav put it. Could u help me out to find some frends if u could. Its very important for me..please. I was there in punakha school in 1996…standard 8. Some frends were tshering choden, Sangay dema, Binoy rana, Norden Lepcha, andmany more. Could u please help me make a link somehow. dnt seem to find it.

  • dorji

    PHS is a good school and has produced a lot of bright students who, as some have mentioned here, holds important portfolios in the country. The english-speaking rule is ofcourse a good rule and can improve the standard of english but i am bit skeptic about the rule. Firstly are the students speaking correct english without slangs and proper grammer, secondly spoken Dzongkha is equally important if you are working in Bhutan and lastly out of 8 subjects taught in schools 7 subjects are in english whereas only 1 subject is in dzongkha because of which even without the rule students will be absorbed in english language atleast 7 hours a day during school time. In conclusion, I would like to point out that, as mentioned earlier, most of the ex-students of PHS are holding important posts in the country and their english are good too even without such rules. My apologies if it hurts the sentiments of the PHS faculty and it is only my personal view. but other than that I heard the faculty is doing commendable job there.

  • wangdugay

    The English-speaking rule is a good decision by the school.
    What is so difficult in speaking English during school days??
    By speaking English, we wil never forget our national language.

    Infact, English has become the medium of communication around the world and for Bhutan to be recognised and respected in the world, English is absolutely essential.
    But we can always speak in Dzongkha at home or after we join office in our country.

    Through such rules, after we get a job, we can speak good English outside our country. And side by side, we speak our national language proudly at home to preserve our culture and identity.
    We can do both things simultaneously, and this discussion isn’t really an issue.
    If someone thinks that by speaking English, we will forget our language, he/she lacks determination to learn both languages effectively. I guess it boils down to one’s commitment and determination to learn both languages so as to be able to read/write and speak fluently.

    Look at the call center business coming to Bhutan. Its because of the Bhutanese speaking good English.

  • keep it up punaps…….but be aware that many more schools are coming up with same english speaking policy. best of luck punaps…………

    • keep it up punaps…go no with same spirit and one day PHSS will be shining brighter than sun during day n moon in night…………..BEST OF LUCK

  • Sapna

    I also studied in PHS then, but English speaking was a fashion and evryone of us used to speak without having to frame rules.

  • almuni

    lov to go back punakha and play a few basketball game there…….as i missed that court……keep it up ..PHS.

  • MAMITH rai

    m also one of the ex-student of PHSS n when i wa there it was best school in bhutan n i think today also it is the best..

  • Punakha always be the best ever as before. Aim for high and Expect high. Missing Punakha High School……………..

  • Dorji Gyelpo

    i m proud of my school phss………….n thanks goes to all my teachers and students of phss……………..

  • Dorji Tenzin

    phss is one of the best school in bhutan n i really miss my past life in phss.i appreciate the principal,teachers and students of phss.i luv phss n i ll never forget phss in my entire life…..


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  • Isaac Rai

    let the God bless Phss and keep all the teachers and students happy. I feel myself proud of being it’s member once.