| Tenzin Lhamo, Thimphu
For the last five days, Dr (PHD) Karma Drukpa, principal of Yangchenphu Higher Secondary School (YHSS) has been meeting parents of students studying in classes X and XII, individually. This is one of the major exercises that he has introduced to strengthen the bond with parents and also share responsibilities.
Class XII at the school has 10 sections and class X six. In total, there are more than 600 students from the two classes.
“The responsibility to bring up our students and make them productive citizens is the responsibility of both the school and home,” Dr. Karma said. He continued that in upbringing, the most important aspect is the channel of communication. If this is not clear, the respondents, especially children and students get a different message, which affects them.
“Earlier, we started such measures for the entire class. But then we realized that students differ from one another, in terms of strengths, weaknesses, family background and other aspect,” the Principal said, adding that he then thought about one to one interaction.
When questioned about the time taken and effort he had to put it, Principal Karma said that it was tiring; but something which gave him a lot of satisfaction. “I got to know each and every parent. It was like a family sitting and discussing about a child. And the students were very happy.”
Though the time slot for every student was about five minutes, there were occasions where more than 15 minutes were taken. A parent, Karma Lham, said that she had never witnessed such a practice. “I initially thought that my child must have done something bad, but when I reached there and knew about the meeting, I was surprised. Lopen Karma was speaking like a true parent; telling my child his problems; providing career guidance and telling my child that he would one day have to take the opportunity to strengthen the country.”
Another parent was all praises for the principal. “YHSS has always had good principles with new ideas. Dr Karma is no exception,” she said.
Similarly, students say that they have learned a lot. “We always need a mirror and what our Principal told us, was like telling us how we looked,” Tenzin, a class X student said.