Thursday, June 2, 2011

A thing of scholarships, further studies and IELTS/TOEFL.

picture courtesy: Google
In the name and the interest of human resource development, so many people, both from government and private sector are leaving abroad for higher studies. Their posts are left vacant and so are their chairs. Some (most spouse) find going abroad very irresistible that they even retire from their job. This has not only created an acute shortage of man power in the organization but has also over burdened the ones left behind.

 For many, the ultimate goal of joining the service is to get oneself certified with higher qualification. Here in Bhutan, if not for our regular office chores, one thing that keeps the office goers busy and preoccupied is the thing called the ‘further studies’ in developed countries. Evidently this is also one thing that keeps the organization like RCSC busy and buzzing all the time. By looking at the sheer number of people leaving for studies, one can very well draw an educated guess that the offices in our country will soon be flooded with highly qualified people.  

Critically speaking, a thing of scholarship and further studies are as complex and as confusing as the procedure itself. The predicaments need no further discussion because a thing of IELTS and TOEFL requirement explains it all. However RGoB and GoI scholarship seem to enjoy the exception to this rule.

By being Bhutanese, we are all English educated people, yet we are granted no exception when it comes to language requirements called IELTS and TOEFL certificates. This makes our higher education a very cumbersome process for it involves lot of preparation time and money.

Some people in the middle surely seem to be profiting from our needs. To cite an example, those language tests are being conducted in our country twice a year. Most of the people who take the tests out of their necessity are charged an exorbitant and non refundable fee of Nu.7000/- per tests. That is a lot of money for the tests which in the first place is needless. Secondly, the test never guarantees one an admission to the university and a scholarship. Thirdly, some even fail and are never granted their deserving second chance. The funniest of all is that the test certificates are validity defined. That certificate apparently tells us that the language is also like technology which is subject to getting obsolete with passing time. This is an act of insanity at its worst!

This is an unfair act of commercializing education and many innocent people have today fallen in the traps of those greedy people. They are indeed robbing our friends in the middle of broad day light, right under the nose of our sleeping / passive authorities. We know very well that those people mean nothing more, nothing less but business. If that is the case then what is the amount that they have contributed to our Government as tax? (For giving them an atmosphere, very conducive for business with readymade customers)

If people going to Australia and India (under the auspices RGoB and GoI scholarships respectively) are able to pursue their studies with ease without the language certificates then why do the other people (form the same background) need those senseless certificates? In fact, we already know that we are already a nation that is too much into English. Official correspondence and business deals in English, poetry lines for lovers and letters neatly written in English to our illiterate parents are some of the authentication to prove the statement here.

The concern authorities have clearly neglected the case for a good number of years and it’s high time that they boot up their initiatives to stop that rampant robbers. This will not only have positive impact for our human resource development but will also positive impact for the lives of those young, energetic and knowledge thirsty people in their quest for knowledge and skills in the long run.

(Note: If I am wrong, please right me)


  1. second para fourth line please replace third world countries with developed countries. TWC di i think are us :-)

  2. I totally agree with you Kuenzang.

  3. I think the purpose of IELTS/TOEFL has to do with where a Bhutanese stands in the global ranking. I wasn't aware RGoB and GOI scholarships were exempted from this rule but IELTS/ TOEFL are recognized globally, so once you do it and score you know whether we are good enough, not to imply that we aren't good enough but coming from a Non-English speaking background, I would want to know where I stand with people who have English as their native language. And for those who don't have to take it, it is a shame they will never know :)

  4. The requirement of IELTS/TOEFL test entirely depends on where one wants to study. If the university lists IELTS/TOEFL test as a non-optional requisite for application to their courses, one has no other choice (Other than choosing another uni that doesnt require such tests). Whether test organizers in Bhutan (govt. or pvt.) contribute anything back in the form of tax "For giving them an atmosphere, very conducive for business with readymade customers" is an entirely different topic worth debating on, there sure looks like not a damn thing our "sleeping authorities" can do when it comes to deciding whether a university in a developed nation wants to applicants to have a IELTS/TOEFL certificate or not (Except that the govt. can decide to pay for the test fees of all higher-studies aspirants. ... my two cents worth .. :)

  5. THanks,
    @ Tshering for correcting me. As I have stated in my column "about my Blog" The main intention of creating this blog was to learn and continue learning. So i have feedbacks and comments are most welcome.

    @Lings, for totally agreeing with me. I may be wrong dude, but nevertheless, thanks for joining me. :)

    @MAid of Astolat for your insightful comments. it rather sounded encouraging to take the test to know where we stand, side by side with those English speaking natives. its shame on me!!! Coz I think i will never be in position to take that test. Not because I might fail but Its Expensive! and the certificates are validity defined!!!!!!. Forget about the scholarship, I am afraid, if it expires before one could even get an admission to a University.

    @Anony for educating me on it being optional depending upon universities one choose. Its also good to know that those things are beyond the reach of our dormant authorities.

    Don't you think its a "two Cent" too much for a test that comes with validity defined certificates???? anyways, I am not saying I am right all the time here but I still cant agree with the test certification (time bound)

  6. I have read a lot of arguments going on in Bhutan regarding the Scholarship students studying in third countries and in India through the Bhutan Observer paper. This article is even more argumentative. The government is indeed formulating and implementing different regulations for the students studying abroad.

    I am one of the scholarship students studying in Australia.Currently, I am doing my undergrad program. I think that it is the hard work of the students from their high school times that they get such opportunity to study abroad.

    From my own experience, I found the selection criteria for Scholarship very competitive with a very limited seat. Higher the mark, easier the chance to get the course we have opted for. Even the IELTS was a heart throbbing experience but I took this test as any students would prepare for their exam with a will to pass and all of us students appearing for IELTS got through it. Howsoever,the procedures after acquiring the scholarship is very lengthy and tiring.

    I think that it's the hard work that yields more opportunity for the students and gets the best treatment from the government.

  7. Hi Yeshi,

    i thank you for leaving me a lengthy comment. I read your comments line by line and its interesting to know your version of everything i have mentioned.

    to be very honest, I am not trying to be very argumentative anywhere. I am just trying to put in words, the things i see and hear about all those stuffs. I am afraid, I may have gone wrong because, afterall this is a very suggestive writeup.

    Nevertheless, I congratulate you for having worked very hard. I think You deserve to study abroad. Have faith in Zhung, you will never go wrong.....

    Cheers ...

  8. Hi,

    Most of the students' reason why they need to study IELTS and TOEFL is to get higher qualifications and or promotions.

    Thank you.


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