Unemployment concerns results in phasing out Arts stream

During the fourth parliament sessionโ€™s question and answer hour on June 28, Education Minister Yeezang De Thapa announced that the primary reason behind the Royal University of Bhutanโ€™s (RUB) decision to phase out the Arts stream is the lack of employment opportunities in the country.
Minister Yeezang De Thapa stated, โ€œThe RUB has established other courses including digital communication and project management, data science and analytics, and economic and political science in place of the Arts stream, which was dismissed due to lack of employment opportunities in Bhutan.โ€
The Minister explained that the decision to phase out the Arts stream was solely taken by RCSC, as the education council had not yet been established. Instead, the reforms were carried out under the education steering committee led by the secretary. She also emphasized that RUB operates autonomously under its Royal Charter and has the authority to make independent decisions.
This statement was in response to Member of Parliament (MP) Tshering Penjor of Dewathang-Gomdar constituency, who questioned whether the Ministry had held adequate consultative meetings and convinced RUB before taking such drastic actions.
The MP stressed the emerging importance of science and technology in driving development but argued that Arts and Commerce are equally important for sustainable development anchored in human values.
When asked about the future of class XII graduates of the Arts and Commerce streams, the Minister assured that the Ministry continues supporting these subjects in schools.
The Minister outlined various pathways for Arts stream students, including Bachelor of Administration and Commerce (BAC), Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Development (BSSD), Bachelor of Law (LLB), Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM), and other diploma courses at Jigme Namgyel Engineering College (JNEC). She also mentioned opportunities for Arts students to study at Paro and Samtse Colleges of Education for teaching, as well as at Royal Thimphu College and Norbu Rigter College.
Additionally, the Minister indicated that the Ministry is ready to support private schools that wish to offer Arts subjects.
MP Naiten Wangchuk of Mongar constituency also emphasized the importance of the Arts stream, pointing out employment opportunities for Arts and Commerce graduates in roles such as development economists, finance economists, and planning economists within various ministries.
Meanwhile, Minister Yeezang De Thapa also informed the House that the Ministry will soon establish an education council aimed at revising the school curriculum and skills development to meet the demands of the 21st century.

By Sherab Dorji, Thimphu