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The Bhutan Higher Secondary Examination Certificate (BHSEC-class XII) results are declared, and online application for admission into tertiary education programmes will start soon. For our youth, it is the crucial turning point in their life – the first step towards their career.
But, have our students got sufficient career counselling at the schools or in any other place? For young students, the transition is often too confusing to pursue beautiful dreams, let alone accomplish them. There is every possibility that they will go in the wrong direction either on their own or under the influence of their friends.
Students, particularly those from disadvantaged family background, seem to want to get themselves employed immediately instead of continuing their studies. For instance, some students want to get employed despite excellent marks. It will surely be a matter of regret in the near future. Their lives could be spoilt by a single mistaken step.
Irrespective of their family, social or cultural background, all students ought to have the best of best in their life. So, it is vital for the authorities concerned to explain to them advantages of one course over another or distinct features of a particular course ahead of time. When they fulfill the required criteria for most of the courses offered by the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), most students are left in a dilemma.
RUB deserves a round of applause for launching online application system from 2008 whose benefits are immeasurable. Before, all high school graduates had to set off to Thimphu for the orientation programme, which would last for at least a week. Lucky students, who secured good marks, would find admission soon, but those with low marks had to wait in the chilly winter wind of Thimphu indefinitely only to be disappointed in the end. Today, with the online application system, students can apply from anywhere within a short period of time.
However, online application system seems to be rather complicated, at least for Arts and Commerce students, who lack even basic computer knowledge. And access to internet is another challenge for many students who live away from the towns.
A more serious problem will be for students who have passed Bhutan Certificate of Secondary Examination (BCSE-class X). They are immature both mentally and physically, so it is difficult for them to make the right decisions for their future. Choosing the right discipline of study in class XI is important for one’s career. This is the time when they need extra support and guidance. Parents, teachers and, of course student themselves, should know their ability in each subject and ambitions before choosing a stream.
By and large, ones who have secured good marks are mostly on a safer side, but unlucky ones are those whose marks do not measure up to requirements for higher studies. Mental and physical support is very important for the unhappy and lost lot. However, in our society, everyone points finger at them and scold them for being unsuccessful, which does not help anyone. Everybody needs to pay much more attention to the lost youth who could fall victim to social ills like robbery and suicide.
I hope that the authorities concerned will provide sufficient career counselling to our future citizens at the right time in the right place. I am optimistic that with the development in technology, soon there will be an online application system to apply for every study fields so that pursuing higher education becomes easier for our youth.