Mr Norbu Gyaltshen, Principal of Ugyen Academy from Bhutan, was invited to talk about educating for Gross National Happiness (GNH) and his experience as a leader in implementing GNH education in the country on 13 December 2017.
Being the Principal of the top high school in Bhutan, Mr Norbu Gyaltshen has been an educator for 30 years and was a tutor to His Majesty the Fifth King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan. He became the first recipient of a white kabney (scarf) without fringes and a patang (sword) from His Majesty in recognition of the important role and epitome of teachers in nation.
“Educating for GNH” is an unprecedented initiative in the world where Bhutan has taken up bold decision to set education as a platform for realising GNH. The aim of the programme “Educating for GNH” is to create GNH-minded teachers and students, GNH-infused learning environment and GNH-inspired school system of which focus is to equip children with skills for wellbeing and positive emotions rather than purely academic skills.
Mr Norbu Gyaltshen first introduced the philosophy and components of GNH in the seminar. He then engaged the audience with exercises for understanding strength and weakness of oneself and used the concepts of Bloom’s taxonomy in explaining the importance of coordinating cognitive, affective and psychomotor in pursuit of happiness. In the Q&A session, Mr Norbu Gyaltshen shared his experience as a teacher in infusing the values of GNH in the classrooms and offered advice in introducing the concepts of GNH in global classrooms at large.
All in all, this inspiring lecturer allowed the audience to gain an insight into educating for Gross National Happiness in the Kingdom of Bhutan, and practise basis skills in self-reflection and understanding one’s emotions through interactive exercise.