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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Misfortunes and Milestones of 2018


While some misfortunes and shortfalls in our systems are involuntary, a majority of these wrinkles can still be ironed – after all, the system itself is man-made.
The blame game malady that has plagued our officialdoms strangulated my privilege to receive the medal of the dedicated service bestowed by His Majesty the King this year. While my mates of 2007 were adorned with such recognition from the Golden Throne for their 10th Year service, my name was mislaid from the eligible list.
“The list of the entitled recipients from my institution has not referred to the district office” I was told.
“We have already attached the list of those qualified candidates” the response rebounded.
Instantly, I was roasted with the conflagration of frustrations and choked with a throbbing defeat of this very blame game.
Unless rewards and recognitions are drifting into the tunnel of our direction, cautiously delivering our service – even if we are mandated to – has now become a forgotten story.    
Had it not been the recognition from His Majesty the King, I would not mind slipping other accolades – for I have achieved a lot.
Realizing that the life isn’t a dress rehearsal, I have nonetheless, solaced myself to entomb the memory of this misfortune with some embroidering milestones I conquered this academic year 2018.
Even if the wave of ignorance and negligence appear in any shape and size, I would just get engrossed with what I have done thus far: 
   
1. December 21, 2017 – January 10, 2018 (PISA-D Science Coder)
Following the endorsement of Bhutan’s participation in PISA-D – an international standardized assessment to measure 15-year-old students’ knowledge, skills and competencies in the three domains of reading, mathematics and science during the 18th National Education Conference held at Phuentsholing – I was privileged to be one of the six Science Coders selected amongst hundreds of school PISA-D focal persons. It consumed almost a week to be a qualified science coder after running through a series of evaluating processes based on an international standards. 

In my capacity as the school PISA-D focal person, I conducted a preliminary assessment on PISA-D preparations under Wangdue district. The manuscript, after subjecting to a blind-peer review got published in the Bhutan Journal of Research and Development (BJRD) – an academic journal maintained by the Royal University of Bhutan.  
The manuscript published in BJRD
   
2. January 1 (Publication in an International Journal)
One of the manuscripts supervised by my advisors during the post graduate study in Mahidol University got published in Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching. This same academic paper was rejected twice for publication by the high impact factor bearing journals.
2nd in Asia and 13th in the word in Education by ranking, this journal indexed in Scimago sufficed my thirst for academic publication.  

3. February 12 (The Precious gift)
The most precious gift, not for this year alone but for my entire life is my little princess. More than infusing me a complete happiness and a joy of an unfathomable measure, the birth of my daughter Tshering Choden Wangdi brought me a luck. Nothing in my life gave me a durable happiness of this sort, which is unequivocal and infinite. She has now been the synonym of my life’s purpose and my vision for the future. The love between us knows no distance that we miss each other even if we are separate by a wall. 

4. March 18 – April 14 (6th Young Professionals Leadership Program)
19 days after my little angel was born, I was selected for the prestigious Young Professionals Leadership Program held at Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS) at Phuentsholing.
RIGSS, a premiere leadership training institute is a brainchild of His Majesty the King. YPLP is a course intended for the mid-career professionals based on meritocracy and their potentials to be prospective future leaders.
The birth of my little lucky charm blessed me to be recipient of this prestigious program. Having an audience with His Majesty the King for more than an hour itself was equivalent to this dedication medal.   
     
5. April 2 (Sherig Endowment Fund)
I have been the recipient of the Sherig Endowment Fund – the research grant bestowed by the Ministry of Education to bolster researching enterprise at the school level. While the proposal of some schools could not make through even once, I was lucky to be the recipient of this grant for 2 times. The study conducted last year through this grant was published in RABSEL – the CERD Educational Journal. This year’s manuscript is currently under blind peer review.  

6. June (6 – 9) and (13 – 17) (Facilitator for Action Research)
Erasmus has aptly put in, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”. By the virtue of having few publications and research know-how, I was humbled to facilitate Action Research Workshop for the school 88 Principals of the five districts (Punakha, Wangdue, Gasa, Tsirang and Dagana).
My presentations was grounded to 3Rs: Research, Resources and Reinforcements. I also shared some tips on using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) by the beginner researchers.

The Chief of Teacher Professional Support Division on her visit to assess the program acknowledged my voluntary academic contribution. I am yet to collect to my acknowledgement certificate which I am told to do so.  

7. June 14-16 (Writing Project Work with Research Components)
Writing Project Work with Research Component which has now converted as one of my personal annual academic events since 2016 is a platform where I impart students of grade 9-12 on how to write a research-based project work.

The new science curriculum demand the students to submit the work largely based on investigations, inquiries, experiments and explorations. But the majority of our students are still stagnant with the conventional form of writing project work – i.e. having only introduction, body and conclusion.
No matter who recognizes me, by this year, I have impacted thousands of students. On a move to make it inclusive, I extended my volunteerism to teach grade 12 Arts students on how to undertake qualitative research as well. 

8. July 3 – 12 (BCSE Physics Test Developer)
Never in my wildest dreams that I saw myself developing Board Examination paper for the nation. Thanks to the Bhutan Council for School Examinations and Assessment (BCSEA) for entrusting with this sacred duty. It was an eye-opener for me to learn in developing competency-based questions, the kind which our national level exam papers are made up of.
  
9. September 12 (Presiding Officer)
Without the slimmest hesitancy during the political debates, any candidates sodden with a political temper would opine availability of electricity, mobile connectivity and road linkage in every nook and corner of the Kingdom. Repentantly, this claim of accessibility is largely a definitional morass in the arena of politics. 
This only device that could receive signal exactly at this spot for me to report voter turnout

Declaring the election results

Reporting the election results
Having been a presiding over during the primary election 2018 at Wogyal was a bitter sweet experience. Wogyal is a small hamlet under Wangdue district, situated at the forehead of the nation’s acclaimed Punatshangchhu Hydro-power project but lacks energy accessibility. Mobile connectivity is 99.9% sterile while motor able road is left half way. 

10. August 10 (BCSE Physics Guide and Extension)
1000 copies of a comprehensive Physics guide and extension book jam-packed with 420 competency-based questions was published from the Kuensel Corporation Limited, Thimphu. With this publication, I got the taste to embark into publishing business, right from receiving registration number from Bhutan Info-Com Media Authority (BICMA) to getting ISBN from Centre for Bhutan Studies (CBS) to bargaining the printing cost with the publisher.   


11. October 26 (Oral Presenter at Faculty-Student Research)
I have done an oral presentation on one of my academic paper at the Faculty-Student Research Convention at Samtse College of Education. Presenting in the attendance of professors, college faculties, enthusiast trainee teachers and M.Ed professionals was not only enriching but fulfilling. I travelled the Phuentsholing-Dorokha Highway, the most peaceful, safe and unused highway.  

13. November 14 – 21 (Chief Visiting Examiner)
I was entrusted with the role of a Chief Visiting Examiner for Physics at Nima Higher Secondary School during the Bhutan Higher Secondary Education Certificate (BHSEC) by the BCSEA. As an examiner, I had the opportunity to evaluate science project works and conduct science practical examinations for Physics, Chemistry and Biology along with two Biology and Chemistry professional examiners. 

14. November 28 (Manuscript submitted to an International Journal)
Following the critical reviews and suggestions from the editors, I have submitted another manuscript for the publication at Turkish Journal of Science Education which is also indexed. Since, I have made the required amendments with justifications, I am hopeful that it merits for the publication. 

15. December 6 – 7 (Facilitator for Action Research)
On the request of the Principal of Samtengang Central School, I have facilitated Action Research Workshop for 35 teachers. The elucidation of the action research model (Maxwell’s model) popularly followed in Bhutan, developing research questions and generating their own research proposal was done successfully. At the end of the workshop, the principal gracefully endorsed the action research topics submitted by 5 subject departments. My appreciations to the Principal who assured to render administrative support and financial incentives for the team to complete the action research next year on their proposed topic.   
  
16. December 20 – January 4 (Chief Marker for Physics)
More than 13,000 grade ten students have appeared BCSE this year. 38 physics teachers along with thousands of other subject teachers will assemble at College of Science and Technology for the winter evaluation camp. Thanks to the BCSEA again for giving me this privilege to coordinate the marking of Class ten Physics this year. With the generous guidance from the organization and 37 other markers, I wish things will sail smoothly.
May Kenchog Sum bless me as always!!!
‘The best achievement in life is doing something you think you can’t do” – Anonymous

          

5 comments:

  1. What a way to bring the year to an end!-recounting the year's achievements. A lot of research works, a lot of training and PD, and a big contribution to the country's election process. Great achievements Dumcho. Keep going. I hope all the researches that you do contribute to improving your own teaching and student learning and that of the colleagues. Given my interest in the subject of 'Teacher Research' I hope to work with you one day. And yeah!! Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. What does it feel to be a father? Lol. Convey my warm greetings and regards to your wife and daughter. If I may share my opinion on your publishing a guidebook for physics, (I hope you will not mind me BTW)...For some reasons, I have always stood against guidebooks. As a teacher I never recommended students to use them. Its a debatable subject though with both advantages and disadvantages. A lot of similar guidebooks are available in the market and I, for one, believe that the books are doing little good....I will keep it short. Consider giving a thought. I hope my opinion does not sting you sharp but engender professional thinking on the subject as you always do.

    By and large, you have achieved a lot this year. I hope it will be more next year. Kind regards..Tshewang.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anon,
      Thank you for your invaluable comments. I am humbled to accept most of your words.
      With regards to the Physics Guide and Extension, this book is way different from the ones available in the market. 420 questions included in the book are never found in the textbook. Taking almost a year and half, the questions are highly competency-based.
      Say it fortunately or unfortunately, few of the schools have adapted my questions for the Trial examinations. And late recently, some of the teachers involved in the so-called winter coaching team contacted mefor the book but I politely declined. They are going to generate income on my ideas of testing students competencies. Haha. People never realize the hardwork of other people.
      Anyways, kadrinche for the comments.

      Delete
    2. Ha ha Dumcho!! It's me! Tshewang Rabgay! I forgot to login to my account. By the time I submitted the comment, it was late. That is why I appear anonymous. I thought you recognized me from my name at the end. Lol...What are competency based questions? This seems to differentiate your book from others. I have no idea...

      Delete
  2. I am sorry about your misfortune - but your achievements and your milestones outweigh them. Which is a lovely balance to achieve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting my blog. As said, I am trying to cover it with the contributions that I have done so far.

      Delete

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