Parents feel that private schools offer better quality education

MoE expects to introduce coding as uniform subject in all schools only by 2022

However, few schools have even started teaching coding this year 

The introduction of coding as a compulsory subject for Classes PP to XII in all schools, scheduled to begin from the academic session this year, may have to wait for another year.

With the examination for Classes X and XII ongoing, according to an official from the Ministry of Education (MoE), introducing the new coding curriculum will be hard this year, but with the start of 2022, the ministry expects to deliver coding as a uniform subject in all the schools in the country.

Meanwhile, while presenting the ‘State of the Nation’ report, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering announced the introduction of the Education ICT Flagship Program to introduce coding as a compulsory subject from Classes PP to XII from the 2021 academic session. Towards this, a new ICT Curriculum Framework had also been developed.

However, according the education ministry, to initiate, first and foremost thing, is that all the schools need to be equipped with at least one computer lab that was announced to be provided in March. So those schools without computers are to be provided a computer lab, those schools already having a computer lab, have started implementing coding subject, and few schools have even started teaching coding.

“The focus of the curriculum is coding and the ICT literacy through technology operation, information, media literacy, and cyber wellness aspect,” said an MoE official.

Further, primary classes will not be able to start with the coding subject at the moment given that children need to learn the basic operation and functioning of a computer, which is ongoing in some of the schools.

“With confidence in the skills of operating computer, the teachers will introduce coding after three to four months for primary classes,” said the official.

A total of 850 teachers has been trained so far, which is an addition to 271 ICT teachers and 118 general teachers trained to teach ICT in all the classes.

According to the MoE official, there are no tentative dates to operate the coding curriculum, but schools that have started academic session 2021 and those schools having computer lab can start to teach coding as a subject.

“Though the academic session for 2021 has started, the teachers are revisiting the academic losses caused with online education,” the official said.

Meanwhile, some parents are oblivious and without knowledge of the new curriculum.

Pema, a mother of two daughters, said they have not got any information from the school on the new curriculum and they are not briefed anything about it.

“I do not have any idea about what is coding and my daughters are also not aware of learning this new subject,” she said.

It has been reported that the development of a Learning Management System (LMS), an e-Learning platform, is underway. It will provide access to quality online courses for students and teachers, and host customized materials aligned with the curriculum. Teachers will be trained for online pedagogy through the Digital Drukyul Flagship Project.

Further, a modality to provide digital devices for students and teachers is also being explored.

Tenzin Lhamo from Thimphu