MoESD to establish SEN at Yonphula

MoESD to establish SEN at Yonphula

The erstwhile Kelki Higher Secondary School in Yonphula, Trashigang, which is now in a desolate state, is set to undergo a transformation into a rehab school as decided by the government. The statement was made by the Minister for Education and Skills Development (MoESD) during the third-meet-the-press held on April 26.

The education minister, Yeezang D Thapa said that they have already commenced work on this project with implementation targeted for July this year. However, there are concerns about meeting this deadline due to the extensive renovation that needs to be carried out at the deserted school.

The minister said that every year, the ministry conducts an annual school health routine to identify any students with drug abuse issues. If students are found to be struggling with substance abuse, they will be referred to a Special Education Needs (SEN) school for rehabilitation.

The minister also said that this year, the annual health routine will not only include students above grade 9 but also students from grades seven and above. “The aim is to identify and support students facing substance abuse issues at an earlier stage.”

About the curriculum, the minister has announced that the curriculum for the SEN school will mirror that of a public school. The minister said, “This move aims to ensure that students undergoing rehabilitation can seamlessly reintegrate into their regular educational environment once they have completed the recovery process.”

Additionally, Prime Minister (PM) Dasho Tshering Tobgay also elaborated on the decision to transform Kelki School into a rehab center, highlighting the need to utilize the center effectively.

The PM said that the center was bought at a huge cost (Nu 160 million), and it is left without care. Therefore, it is necessary that the center is used for some purpose, any purpose, having invested so much.

Lyonchhoen said that the center could not start instantly as the infrastructures are damaged and needed to be repaired. However, the PM assured that efforts are being made to fast-track the repairs and ensure that the center becomes operational as soon as possible. “The primary focus is to avoid any delays that could disrupt the learning process of the students who require support and intervention,” Dasho Thsering Tobgay reiterated.

Meanwhile, in response to the increasing number of drug users, particularly among students, the National Drug Task Force (NDTF) has directed the MoESD to accelerate the establishment of the special school in Yonphula.

The forthcoming rehabilitation services at the SEN school are poised to provide much-needed assistance to students struggling with substance abuse and help them on their path to recovery and academic success.

It is reported that the government spent about Nu 538 million to address drug-related cases among students last year.

By Nidup Lhamo, Thimphu