“My friends never believed that I’d become a teacher. I had a bad temper in school and was not into teaching, but it became my destiny. After class 12, I wanted to go to Sherubtse & so I thought of re-appearing for class 12 exams. However, my purpose wasn’t there, so I dropped out. I remembered that my name was still enlisted in Paro College of Education, so I went forward with it.

Initially, I worked as an apprentice teacher in a remote school. I found that none had as much opportunity in the world as the teacher when it came to transforming the lives of students. Connecting with students is the first thing a teacher needs to do. They should have 101 ways to make a child love learning, instead of being rigid and having only one. Syllabi were just references for me, and I would try to go beyond its contents. I also tried to instill the spirit of volunteerism in my students; one should also give for free, not just receive for free.

I was a part of many initiatives addressing varying topics. When schools closed down in March 2020, I initiated a television programme with over 1,200 teachers. I was summoned to Thimphu to work on tele-education for around 170,000 students. We also created radio lessons and self-instructional materials for those without access to television. We had the fortune to receive a Royal audience in May 2020. I submitted my resignation in February 2021 to do something different. I tell my close friends that I left teaching to become an educator.

I started V-TOB as a community based organisation, now known as Volunteer Tob (meaning strength). Through V-TOB and its social enterprise, we aim for non-profit organisations to be self-sustainable. We also try to supplement and complement mainstream education. Education should not be telling a child that success only means becoming a doctor, engineer or civil servant. There is no space right now for inspiring students to pursue different career paths. Schools and career counselling should stop limiting how students define success.”

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