This post is a shoutout to all teachers, as we celebrate another Teachers Day in Bhutan.

But why is May 2nd celebrated as Teachers Day in Bhutan?


May 2nd was initially celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of the third King of Bhutan, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. Born to yab Drukgyal Nyipa Jigme Wangchuck and yum Ashi Phuntsho Choden at Thruepang Palace in Trongsa, he ruled Bhutan from 27th October 1952 to 21st July 1972.

Among others, he is known mostly for opening Bhutan's door to the outside world. He is fondly referred to as the Father of Modern Bhutan. He is responsible for the fundamental reorientation of the Bhutanese society, with consolidation of Bhutan's sovereignty and security. 

He is also responsible for establishing the first modern education on a widespread basis. During the First Development Plan (First Five Year Plan) from 1961 to 1966, 108 schools were operating with 15,000 students enrolled. A central education authority was also established to consolidate and organize education in Bhutan. The first Education Director was appointed in 1961, and the Department of Education was established. The All-Bhutan Examinations were conducted at levels five and eight, while the Indian School Certificate Council conducted the year ten examinations.

So keeping in mind His Majesty's immense contribution to modern education, it was seen fit that May 2nd which celebrates his birthday be honoured as the Teachers Day in Bhutan. The first time this day was celebrated was in 2003 at Kelki high school in Thimphu. Since then, it has gained momentum across the country.


His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, the Third King of Bhutan.


Teachers Day and me


The first teacher's day I remember celebrating was in the year 1999 in Kelki school. I was in class 11, and we celebrated on September 5, which was India's Teacher's day. The day was filled with tea-parties and gifts for our teachers. Classes were called off, and we students were exalted.

The next time I remembered celebrating was in my college in Samtse. We were the teachers-in-making and we celebrated wildly with our lecturers, with tea and lunch events, and games activities.

I was at the receiving end of the celebrations during my years as a teacher in various schools of Nganglam, Orong, Gaselo and Jakar. The senior students and the captains would arrange a cultural show, meals, small presents, and sometimes games activities for the teachers including other school staff. We ourselves would arrange evening get together among colleagues in the evenings, to drink beer and whisky, and swap stories of our episodes in the classrooms.


But now I am not a teacher ... officially


Yet I will always remain so in my heart. And I know how much it means to receive that one sms, one message, one phone call, one small note from your students. That one well-meaning connection with that word 'thanks' which brims your eyes with tears and makes your heart go soo mushy. 

Dear teacher-friends, this is a shoutout to recognize your role in the student's life. No sacrifice is less enough, no efforts are ever lost, and no love is ever left unrecognized by your students. 


And all the extra efforts you put these past months has proved beyond doubt that it is the love of teaching that holds you back to continue the hard work. Parents certainly know it now. The world knows it.

They... we will always be thankful.

So I beg to differ from Pink Floyd. You are NOT just another brick in the wall. You are the wall that supports the students.