l Usha Drukpa, Thimphu
Speaking about the Sikkim Manipal University (SMU) graduates’ issue, Education Minister, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said political parties are using the SMU students by giving them false hopes, especially by saying that the government can solve their issue.
Replying to a question on the issue during Meet the Press on October 13, 2017, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said political parties had asked the SMU graduates to seek help from the government and that it is possible. He underlined that rule of law is one of the most important principles of democracy and that the government cannot do anything. He added that the Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB) and Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) are totally different and independent institutions and not under the government.
“The government cannot do anything since RCSC has its own rules and regulation, “he said. The Education minister also informed that the coordinator of SMU has said that he has understood that the government did its best and that there were miscommunications.
He added that the RCSC’s rules and regulation, has clearly reflected that formal education is needed. As SMU has not given a formal degree, the problem arose.
According to the Education Minister, political parties had even said that if the government does not take action due to the fact that it would be a breach of law, the political parties will give the students in writing that they will not stop the government from breaking that rules.
“So the young graduates are agitated and these boys were given false hope. That is why they were consistently going and meeting the Prime Minister (PM) in groups. This is dangerous; especially when issues are politicized by political parties,” said Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk.
On August 21, 2017, 48 graduates from SMU met the Prime Minister (PM), Dasho Tshering Tobgay, to “seek assistance and help the graduates.”
Meanwhile, the graduates claim that the PM had said a meeting between the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), Election Commission of Bhutan (ECB), Department of Adult and Higher Education (DAHE) and the Bhutan Accreditation Council (BAC), to discuss the issue will be held.
A civil servant said that on the government’s part, letters were written to the ECB and the RCSC to help the graduates. “A local paper had covered this news, where the education minister in one of the meet the press said that though the government had sent letters to the ECB and the RCSC to sort the issue help the graduates, the two agencies were not convinced.”