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E-Newsletter- 3rd Issue, Dec 2020 - Feb 2021

Commemorating the 41st Birth Anniversary of
His Majesty the Fifth Druk Gyalpo

Sherubtse College offered butterlamps and moenlam to mark the 41st Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the King
The Colleges of the Royal University of Bhutan joined the nation to celebrate the 41st Birth Anniversary of His Majesty the Fifth Druk Gyalpo on February 21st 2021. The Colleges offered butter lamps, Zabten and a series of Monlams for the happiness, good health and long life of the Compassionate King and the Royal Family members. In addition, the Colleges held various activities to mark the day. 

1. Gedu College of Business Studies (GCBS) honoured the day by planting trees in and around the College vicinity. Further, the student body also initiated the following programmes to commemorate His Majesty’s birthday in the College:
  • Class Designer Competition
  • Short Video Competition (Dedication to His Majesty and Frontliners)
  • Art display – Art Club
  • Blood Donation Initiative by the Health Club
  • Zumba and Yoga by the Happiness and well-being centre
  • Cleaning Campaign by the Community Partnership Centre (CPC)
  • Installation of Dustbin in Hostel and Highway
2. Samtse College of Education (SCE) gathered at 6:30 am to offer a Soelkha to the pantheon of protecting deities of Bhutan for the protection of the Dharma King. The President of the College while thanking for the support and cooperation in observing the special occasion shared that such prayers and good wishes for our King should be unconditional and be part of our everyday lives. He highlighted how selfless His Majesty has been in his leadership and the sacrifices His Majesty makes daily for the Country and wellbeing of people.
3. Sherubtse College launched the 14th Sherub Doenme Journal to commemorate the day. The Journal is a peer-reviewed research publication that is published both in print and online annually. According to Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages, Dr Dendup Tshering, the Journal provides a platform for the faculties and students to disseminate their research findings and at the same time develop publishing skills. The result for the digital storytelling competition on the theme “Tribute to the King” was also declared. Arts and Humanities Forum bagged the first price with 77.4% and was awarded a cash prize of Nu. 7,000. The forum also won the best content creator award.

4. The three clubs of College of Natural Resources: Waste Warriors, Earth Guardians and the Wellbeing Club collaborated for a cleaning campaign in and around the college campus. The main aim of the campaign was to maintain cleanliness and to be responsible for one’s own waste. Moreover, it also marked the success of one year of the project "CNR- WASTE WARRIORS" which was launched on February 21st 2020.

5. The students and staff of College of Science and Technology too organised a cleaning campaign with the Phuentsholing Thromde. A total of 741 students and staff participated in the cleaning campaign.

ASI@Connect Project: Implementation of e-learning and associated capacity building 

On January 20th 2020, College of Science and Technology (CST) secured the 4th Call for Proposal for the ASI@Connect project released by TEIN Corporation Center (TEIN*CC). CST was one of the 35 selected out of 157 applicants from 19 nations who participated in the Concept Note submission. The project focuses on the implementation of e-Learning and associated Capacity Building in identified schools in Bhutan.

The objectives of the project are to equip schools with the necessary facilities for e-Learning by connecting the schools to DrukREN and building the capacity for relevant staff, teachers, and students.

The importance of e-Learning is felt now more than ever due to the Pandemic. This project will assist the Ministry of Education and the Department of IT & Telecom to partly fulfil the mandate of the “Digital School” project under the Digital Drukgyul Flagship programme of the government and iSherig 2 education ICT masterplan.

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, the project got pushed to October 2020 and the contract between CST and TEIN*CC could be signed only in the first week of November 2020.

The project started with a kick-off meeting among the members from the Ministry of Education, Department of Information Technology, and CST in October 2020 and recently completed a consultation meeting with stakeholders from MoE, DrukREN, and schools on 12th December 2020.

A feasibility study was also carried out to develop the specifications of equipment, and supplies required for the project and the tender was announced on the TEIN*CC website.

International Volunteer Day at CNR

Students of CNR volunteer for a mass cleaning
Every year, December 5th  is celebrated as "International Volunteer's Day". It was a proud moment for the CNR Waste Warriors Club as they marked the day by volunteering to clean their community. Members from BSc Environment and Climate Studies programme actively took part in the event.

Technology-based Business Idea Competition

The team Druk Diary pitch their technology-based business idea
The first technology-based business idea competition was held in College of Science and Technology (CST) from December 18th to 20th 2020. The event was the first of its kind organized by the College on its own. The competition was designed to discover business opportunities in the area of science and technology for aspiring entrepreneurs in the College. The ideas were centred around action, innovation, and education, and community building.

The event was funded by the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources. Due to the Pandemic, some students were sent home, hence to accommodate mass participation, the event was held both in-person and online. A total of 69 students registered to participate in the event; 35 students participated offline (in person) and 34 participated online. There were 44 idea pitches from 69 participants and the top 13 were selected by a panel of judges.
The 3-day event kicked off with a workshop on the entrepreneurial ecosystem resourced by Mr Vijay Gurung, CEO, iDruk solutions on the first day. The next two days included the pitching session and teamwork. The final presentation was made on the 3rd day. The winners of the event were:
1st – Eco- friendly Plastic
2nd – BT 3D production
3rd - Druk Zhamui Zhabtog and Yu Learning
4th – e-Health Book
5th – House Search Application

Webinar on 'Being Resilient'
A special session with His Eminence Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

Being Resilient with Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
The faculty, staff and students of Samtse College of Education (SCE) had a special opportunity to attend an online session on “Being Resilient” by His Eminence Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche on January 14th 2021.

The webinar was timely and the substance of the talk deep and profound. The new learning and insight acquired through this webinar could be put into use immediately in dealing with the current anxieties, worries and difficulties people seem to be experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
The webinar was also attended by the executives of the Royal University of Bhutan, faculty and students from Sherubtse College, Gedu College of Business, Royal Thimphu College, College of Science and Technology, Jigme Namgyal Engineering College, teachers from Samtse Lower Secondary School and Samtse Higher Secondary School.

To watch the recording of the webinar, please click on the play button above. 

Declamation Competition

The participants along with the Judges at the Declamation Competition

As a part of student engagement activity for students retained in the College during the 2020-2021 winter break, the Literary Club of Samtse College of Education (SCE) organised the ‘Declamation Speech Competition’ on January 25, 2021.

Besides the meaningful engagement of the students, this competition was aimed to provide a platform for students to display and hone their communication and public speaking skills and also introduce the audience to great speeches of iconic personalities of the past and the present.

It was exciting for the audience to witness the participants enacting the great personalities as they delivered historic and influential speeches. The participants showed enthusiasm in being part of the programme and displayed great control of the moment on the stage as they declaimed the speeches.

Ms Kezang Choden of B.Ed IV year Arts A, who declaimed Muniba Mazari Baloch, a Pakistani activist, anchor artist, model, singer and motivational speaker took away the first prize of the event followed by Ms Nagwang Dema of II year BA in Social Work in the second place, who declaimed Namgay Zam, a Bhutanese freelance journalist’s TEDx Talk on “The Value of No” in the Bhutanese society.

Ms Indra K. Vishwa, a teacher from Samtse Lower Secondary School, one of the three judges the Literary Club had been invited to judge the programme donated three copies each of the two children’s storybooks she had written “A Little Thing Called Love” and “Deyzhang” to the College Library.

IEEE Bhutan Subsection

In its first three years since its launch, the Institue for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Bhutan Subsection organized talks, seminars and one international conference on February 5th and 6th of 2021 according to Kamal K Chapagai (CST), Chair, IEEE Bhutan Subsection. The IEEE Bhutan Subsection was founded in 2018 along with the IEEE student’s branch by the Dean of Academic Affairs of the College. The Subsection, as informed by Mr Kamal, is the first of its kind in Bhutan and has a membership consisting of faculties from Electrical Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, and Information Technology departments.                                                                                       
The subsection aims to provide a platform for faculty and students to be members of the international organization, learn from experts in the fields and contribute to the advancement of science and technology. It creates an avenue for faculty and students professional development through participating in invited talks, training, seminars, and conferences.

Some of the recent accomplishments of the IEEE Bhutan subsection are:
  • Invited for IEEE SA and Bhutan Standard Bureau MOU meeting
  • Invited talk by Dr Tshewang Lhendup in SA2020.
  • Best presenter honourable award to Mr Namgay Tenzin at SA2020
The IEEE subsection in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Research and Industrial Linkages organizes webinars and conferences for faculty and students to showcase their research findings while learning from researchers outside Bhutan. Additionally, under the student development activities, series of talks by industrial experts and other dignitaries and hands-on workshops and training is organized by IEEE volunteers and members on various topics. This provides opportunities for the students to understand and think of solutions to real-world problems thereby enhancing their analytical and technical skills.

The IEEE subsection has also collaborated with Bhutan standard Bureau to develop Bhutanese standards based on the IEEE standards.

Business Prospects in the New Normal

The Speakers for the webinar: Business Prospects in the New Normal
A Webinar on 'Business prospects in the New Normal' was conducted on February 9, 2021. It was aimed at dispensing innovative methods befitting the new normal.  It was resourced by four external speakers and saw participation from faculty, students, and individuals from the RUB Colleges and beyond. The speakers shared their insights on the four sub-themes:
  • Private Sector Perspectives: Opportunities and Challenges
  • Work from Home Culture
  • Economic Snapshot of Bhutan (Policy Intervention and Way Forward)
  • E-business: Experiences and Opportunities
The attendees participated enthusiastically and stated that the contents were aptly framed. Besides the business prospects in the new normal, the speakers touched on the importance of a positive mindset for a successful life ahead. The webinar was indeed a good platform for the participants to understand the current pandemic and its impact on the socio-economic lives of Bhutanese people.
Professional Development Workshop on 'Academic Professionalism, Leadership and Ethics'
The young faculty from the Department of Arts and Humanities nd Department of Social Sciences

As a part of the Winter Engagement Programme (WEP), Sherubtse College organized 4-day professional development workshops on “Academic Professionalism, Leadership and Ethics” for young faculty members from the Department of Arts and Humanities (DoAH) and Department of Social Science (DoSS). 

The workshop aimed to inculcate a sense of belongingness, ownership, competency and commitment towards their profession and the workplace.
Some of the participants shared that they were made well aware of the Research Methodologies, Research Ethics, Basics of Counseling and Research Linkages and Professional Development in the College.

They also discussed the move towards ‘Mixed-mode Teaching’ and the possibilities of incorporating STEM in the tertiary education curriculum.

A total of 14 young faculty members participated in the workshop organized from February 8 till 11 2021 at Lingkhar, Trashigang.

Introduction to basic report writing

The Literary and Media club members participated in a report writing workshop resourced by Ms Karma Yangdon, lecturer, CST On February 20th 2021. 

The club members were trained to write reports for periodicals such as newspapers, magazines, and news articles.

The workshop was mainly designed for the reporters, publication, and editorial group members to maintain uniformity across any articles and reports written for the College website or print media such as the College magazines.

Besides the presentation and the writing tasks, the workshop also included interviewing, photography, inverted pyramid writing structure, and reporting skills.

Training by Electronics and Communication Engineering Department

Training on the usage of Arduino Uno, a microcontroller board was held in CST for 3 days starting March 1st. The training designed around project-based learning, this Arduino engineering Kit is a practical, hands-on learning experience that helps learners develop key engineering skills, and learn core aspects of mechatronics and Matlab and Simulink programming.

This Engineering Kit gives basic engineering concepts through projects that create a fun and collaborative learning environment. The programming and usage of the kit were also introduced to the staff as a tool for research because the kit connects what we learn with real-world industries and deepens knowledge through experimentation.

The training was coordinated by the Electronics and Communication Engineering Department, (ECED), resourced by Dr Kazuhiro Muramatsu, a faculty in ECED. Twenty-five staff from various programmes participated in the training.

Education Minister visits GCIT

The President of GCIT receives the Minister for Education, Lyonpo JB Rai
On February 27th 2021, His Excellency, the Education Minister JB Rai met with the faculty, staff and students of Gyalpozhing College of Information Technology (GCIT) as part of his eastern tour of the Country.

During the visit, Lyonpo informed about how the education system was affected by the Pandemic. However, Lyonpo declared that the situation has now become almost favourable for students to go back to learning without much disturbances. This included the ongoing BCSEA and BHSEA examinations for students studying in 10th and 12th grade respectively.
His Excellency also touched on the significance of the establishment of the College and the role of information technology in our Country. He highlighted His Majesty's vision of making our country into a digital nation provided that the students themselves show enthusiasm in taking necessary steps to achieve this goal.

He expressed his vision of providing students with adequate learning tools to develop creativity and a sense of community responsibility that can further improve the education system in the next few years.
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