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Council formed to promote Bhutan's national language

A newly-formed council will develop policies, take decisions and approve plans to promote Bhutan's national language Dzongkha.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2006 11:30 IST

A newly-formed council in Bhutan will develop policies, advice authorities concerned, take decisions and approve plans to promote the national language Dzongkha.

With ministers, secretaries and educationists as its members, the 11-member Dzongkha Development Council would serve as the highest decision making body of the Dzongkha Development Authority (DDA).

The establishment of the council comes six years after an expert committee was formed to review the progress of the development and promotion of Dzongkha and to make recommendations.

The council members would meet once every four months to take decisions.

"So far, the authority and the expert committee could only propose ways to promote the national language but could not make prompt decisions," the state-run newspaper Kuensel quoted DDA director general Dasho Sangay Dorji as saying.

"The Dzongkha expert committee will recommend and provide ways to improve the language which the council will discuss and approve for DDA to implement."

He said developing the national language would also be made more effective with a wider representation from the three arms of the government as well as the education sector on the council.

"Nowadays, leave aside school students, even graduates and most civil servants are unable not just to read and write but even communicate properly in Dzongkha."

Some of the expert committee members were, however, quite skeptical whether the council would make any difference in promoting the national language.

One of the members said there was a need to develop and promote Dzongkha, but it should be done keeping in mind the changes and development taking place in the country.

"Instead of having numerous commissions and councils to frame and develop policies, it is important that we know what the students and civil servants need to know," the member said.

Dorji said the school syllabus have been revised to make the contents simpler, interesting and relevant.

Likewise, civil servants would be trained to at least speak, read and write basic Dzongkha.

First Published: Nov 23, 2006 11:28 IST