Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Announcing Our Partners

We could not be more pleased with our final set of six working partners. Each of these organizations will send between 2 and 12 teachers to our July Curriculum Development Workshop at which we will help them create GNH-infused units for their students. Through this initiative, we would like to see more connected, actively-involved, life-long learners grounded in Bhutan’s ancient wisdom traditions, principles, values, and practices. To that end, we have developed the framework for a comprehensive curriculum that can be adapted and delivered in units individually or sequentially. The units within this framework help students develop the values, knowledge, competencies, and practical life skills that will enable them to live full and satisfying lives and to become contributing members of society. Khyentse Rinpoche said that true freedom only comes when one is no longer enslaved on an inner level by the emotion and desire and on an external level by ignorance. LME would like to help guide students to this level of freedom.

The partners are, in brief: 
· Bhutan Association of Women Entrepreneurs, an organization that empowers Bhutanese women through the promotion of knowledge and business skills, is revamping their domestic helpers program curriculum using the LME Framework for implementation in 2012.

The Bhutan Nuns Foundation is committed to using the LME framework and trainings to develop a secular education program for nuns in East Bhutan. Many girls and women in Bhutan enter nunneries to gain an education and escape poverty and abuse. These women dedicate their lives to serving society. They are very involved in local communities, often helping needy families and serving as role models for other girls and women.

Chokyi Gyatso Institute (CGI), a monastery in Dewathang, Samdrup Jongkhar, East Bhutan is scheduling implementation of a secular curriculum for monks based on the LME framework in January, 2013 to help the monks become more integrated members of society, active in supporting the health and wellbeing of surrounding communities.

The Non-Formal Education Programme, a basic functional literacy programme supported by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, will develop units to extend their existing curricula into areas of math, science, technology, social sciences and mindfulness.

The Royal Education Council, an education think tank of Bhutan, will work with LME to develop a sample of integrated curriculum as part of the innovative research and experimentation they are conducting in a select group government run public schools.

 The Tarayana Foundation was established in 2003 by Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, to help bridge local needs of disadvantaged remote communities with larger national initiatives. The Foundation will send one Field Officer and one Programme Officer to LME's Curriculum Design Workshop to develop units for their work in rural communities.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Show Us Your Money Maker

Washington D.C. has a new teacher evaluation system that gives master teachers merit-based pay increases. It's the logical thing to do, but because of protests from powerful teachers unions, most districts are unable to make the leap. “We want to make great teachers rich,” says Jason Kamras, the district’s chief of human capital. Music to our ears! Read the New York Times article about this great breakthrough.

'Under the system, known as Impact Plus, teachers rated “highly effective” earn bonuses ranging from $2,400 to $25,000. Teachers who get that rating two years in a row are eligible for a large permanent pay increase to make their salary equivalent to that of a colleague with five more years of experience and a more advanced degree.'

Most teachers in Bhutan have a starting pay of about 12,000 nu per month (equivalent to about $240 US) with a cap of about 17,000 ($320). More on Bhutanese salaries here, but suffice to say when civil servants received their last pay raise, the increase for teachers was the most slight. It's the most noble of professions and yet the systems seems designed to discouraging the noble form applying.