Bongo school gets filtered water with Sky Hydrant Water Filter sponsored by Ayr State High School of Australia

Bongo Primary School students can now drink the cleanest water with the installation of Sky Hydrant Water Filter on Sunday 19 November 2017. The water filter was sponsored by Ayr State High School Interact Club of Queensland, Australia and it was shipped all the way from Australia to Bhutan.

Mr. Andrew Gunn and Mr. Phil Gribble of Disaster Aid Response Team of Australia went all the way till Bongo to install the water filter.

This project was started over a month ago in October when Ugyen Pem, one of the Administrators of Bongop Tshogpa, made a personal request to the Club Secretary of Rotary Club Thimphu, Yeshey Dorji on the need for a Water Filter for Bongo School students.

Secretary of Rotary Club of Thimphu (RCT), Yeshey Dorji was crucial in materializing this initiative. Dorji Phuntsho of Bhutan Toilet Organisation made two tiring trips to Bongo village to firstly study the site and secondly to install the filter. Two water storage tanks with capacity of 2000 and 1000 liters were supplied by Rotary Club of Thimphu. Mr. Andrew Gunn and Mr. Phil Gribble took the arduous journey all the way from Australia till Bongo.

Most importantly, the people of Bongo and the students of Bongo Primary School are grateful for such a generous gift from Ayre State High School Interact club.We the Bongops hope to keep contact with Ayr State High School of Queensland, Australia so that we can work on other mutually beneficial projects in the future as well.

Bongop Tshogpa, on behalf of all Bongops would like to thank Ayr State High School for the great help they have given to Bongop people.

All the Bongops and Bongop Tshogpa remain grateful to all others who were directly or indirectly involved with the successful realization of this initiative and for providing the children of Bongo with the clean water.

Thank you and Kadrinchey La.

Bongop Tshogpa

Bongop Tshogpa Fund Raising Party on Saturday 11 November

We are glad to announce a Bongop Tshogpa Fund Raising Party on 11 November 2017. The Party will take place at Club Zomsa. It is organised by our Bongop Youths lead by Jigme Kinley. Do join us for the party. This is the first time we are doing a party like this to raise funds for the benefit of Bongops.

We need the support of our youth to pass on the message and also sell tickets so that we can cover the cost of the hall hired for the night. Call Jigme Kinley at 1733-0066 to join.

 

Thank you

Journey of 108 Tanjur scripts from Dorji-Dhen (Bodh Gaya) to Bongo Lhakhang

Bongo Lhakhang now has 108 volumes of Tanjur scripts. Tanjur is the ‘translation of the teachings’ of Buddha and other great Buddhist masters. This important script has reached Bongo with so much effort by the people of Zamsa, Phasuma, Jungley and Bongo villages in the spring of 2011. The 108 Tanjur scripts and another 108 Kanjur volumes were given free by Buddha Dharma propagation group in Dorji-Dhen. Lam Kinley single-handedly brought these two sets of scripts from Dorji-Dhen to Gedu, travelling in Indian buses carrying such huge loads of Buddha texts. He narrates facing many difficulties on the way due to Indian bus breakdowns and even had to change vehicle on some stretch of the journey. We can imagine how troublesome and tiring it must have been for him to do all this alone for the benefit of our community.

Please enjoy Part I of the video below:

From Gedu, a lot of efforts were put in by many people to safely reach the scripts to Bongo. Lyonpo Dawa Gyaltshen (when Lyonpo was serving in THPA), Aum Nob Dem, Lopen Thrinlay Dorjee (Lopen Dagap), Aum Dema, Gelo Phub Tshering (Chato), Tashi Dendup, Tashi Phuntsho and Sherub were actively involved to successfully reach the scripts from Gedu to Diphuna. When Bongo did not have road connection, Diphuna, as we all know was the meeting place for all Bongops before we started the uphill climb to Bongo.

As there were many texts to carry, we needed so many people to reach it. During that time, there was no road to Bongo and all Bongops had to walk from ‘Diphu’ near THPA Power House. We had to climb through Tozhi, Phangseychen, Phokeyna and finally reach Bongo, taking almost three hours. So Lam Kinley and others decided that the Kanjur volumes be offered to Rinchentse Lhakhang. Only the 108 Tanjur volumes were bound for Bongo.

People of Zamsa, Phasuma, Jungley and Bongo villages participated in this event to carry Tanjur texts to Bongo from ‘Diphu’ on their back. Men and women (mostly women) came to participate in this event. A tea and snacks for all the people were offered by Tshering Choden and Nakchu of Phasuma. In those days, Dagap Sonam (who has his house in Jungley now) used to live in Tozhi. He offered tea and snacks as well. Next we had the public of Bongo waiting in Phokeyna with tea and snacks for the Tanjur bearers. Below Ngaruma village, the Chops of Bongo performed the rituals to welcome Tanjur to our village. It was a big and historic event indeed for the Bongops.

Bongo Lhakhang never had a Tanjur text until that day. Most importantly, on that particular day, a new Bongop community event was initiated by present Lyonpo Dawa Gyaltshen and Aum Nob Dem. A sum of Nu. 30,000 (Thirty Thousand) was donated to Bongop community by the family to perform annual Tanjur recitation in Bongo. It is continued till today and the Tanjur recitation fund has doubled from its original amount. The recitation is held every year in January for four days. All people from the four villages of Zamsa, Phasuma, Jungley and Bongo come to attend the Tanjur recitation.

The efforts of all our villagers and the generosity and dedication of few individuals like Lam Kinley and Lyonpo Dawa’s family have contributed a lot to the successful bringing of the 108 Tanjur scriptures to Bongo. It may be worthwhile to document their efforts to set an example for other Bongops to follow or initiate such activities in the future.

By Yeshey Tshewang.

Additional writing by Sangay Thinley

‘Kitchen Utensil Rack’ and ‘Mattress’ initiative – a small proposal to promote Bongop health and hygiene

Small things that matter – ‘Kitchen Utensil Rack’ and ‘Mattress’ for 44 households of Jungley and Phasuma villages of Bongo Gewog in Chukha Bhutan – a proposal

The lack of sanitation and hygiene is one of the  biggest challenges we rural Bongops face. It can be seen inside homes in the way we keep our plates and cups in open and how we manage waste water in the house surroundings.  Bongop Tshogpa did a short survey to assess the kitchen and bedroom hygiene of households in two villages of Jungley and Phasuma from 27-30 April 2017 and thought about how we can contribute in a small way to bring maximum benefit in terms of promoting hygiene and good health practices in our rural Bongop homes.

Photo 1: A Bongop kitchen space were utensils are kept in open

We found that providing ‘kitchen utensil racks’ and ‘mattresses’ to each household would be one quick solution. Kitchen utensil racks which are easily available in the market would be very useful as it has a lid and it can keep away flies and other insects away from the utensils.

Photo 2: A sample kitchen utensil rack (costs about Nu. 1,100 in the market)

Most of the Bongop also households do not have a good mattress to sleep on in the night. This has hampered proper sleeping posture and deprived people off a comfortable sleep after a hard day’s work in the fields. It has also led to medical complications and frequent backpains as one of the major health issues in elderly people of the Bongo, as reported by the Health Assistant (HA) of Bongo BHU. The difficulty to procure a mattress for their household is mainly financial and also hampered by the inconvenience faced during transportation due to big size of mattresses.

Photo 3: A sample mattress (costs about Nu. 1,000 in the market)

Bongop Tshogpa is looking for interested individuals and organizations for support for the ‘kitchen utensil rack’ and ‘mattress’ initiative. We are planning to make it as a sanitation promotion activity in the two villages and would like to educate people on need for proper sanitation and healthy living practices alongside providing this small support. This is to ensure that the support is not counted purely as a handout but as education and learning towards promoting their own good health.

Photo 4: Jungley village with 20 h0useholds

A total of 44 households will be benefited from this support. In Jungley village, 51 farmers from 20 households will be directly benefited. This includes 4 children who are below 5 years old. The figures are from the actual count carried out  by Bongop Tshogpa. In Phasuma village, benefits will extend to 63 farmers, including 8 children who are living with their parents in the villages.

Photo 5: Phasuma village with 24 households

If this support goes through and we get the financial support from any individual or organization, we will promote  them on our website. A Bongop Tshogpa representative will ensure the proper delivery and coordination of the initiative. So please pass the word around of this initiative. For any further queries please feel free to write to Sangay Thinley at email address sthinley@gmail.com or you can call his cell phone number 1745-6660.

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Professors from Denmark visits Bongo

Professors of Via University of Denmark and Mr. Tsewang have traveled almost seven thousand Kilometers to meet the people of Bongo on 25 June 2017. We were hounoured to receive them as our guests. The visit by the four Professors was faciliated by Mr. Tsewang who lives in Denmark himself.

They visited Bongo to listen to the people about the possibilities for doing drinking water projects in Bongo. We held meeting in the evening of 25 June and many of our villagers attended the meeting. But the most fruitful part of this meeting was that we were able to showcase our Bongop culture to our guests from Denmark.

We served Tongpa to the Professors and it seemed they enjoyed it.

We hope we have forged a good relationship with Via University through the visit by the Professors to Bongo. In future, we hope to see them visit frequently whenever time permits for them. Indeed, they must be only few outsiders who come to see a remote place like ours, forget about doing any sort of projects in our remote villages.

Bongop Tshogpa will work closely with Mr. Tsewang to carry forward the results of the discussion we had in Bongo and hope our Professors have enjoyed their short stay in Bongo. We thank them again.

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Recommendations and Way Forward for Bongop students

A brief analysis of class 10 marks of 15 Bongop students who have studied their primary schools in Ketokha, Baikuenza and Bongo reveals many interesting points to discuss. Many constructive comments have been received from concerning Bongpos who have felt the need to intervene in the education of our Bongop students. The comments saw our past teachers coming in defense of the teachers and some blaming the school and some blaming students. Unfortunately, the whole exercise was carried out not to generate such discussions or to start pointing fingers at each other. The first purpose of the analysis was to get a rough idea of how our Bongop students are doing in the class 10 board exams. The second purpose was to make all Bongops think about what we all can do to improve our student’s performances in exams and come out with any steps to take forward.

The first purpose was fulfilled partially. We have been able to collect marks of the students by phoning them individually because Pakshikha School could not give us directly. Bongo extends to many villages and there are many schools in Bongo Gewog. Why did we do analysis of marks of only students who have studied in Bongo, Baikuenza and Ketokha? It is because we could contact and ask marks of only the students from these villages. We could not even contact one student from Meritsemo, so we had to forego including marks of students who studied their primary schools in Meritsemo school.

The second purpose is the one which we will continue to discuss. What all of us can do to improve the performance of our children. In trying to generate discussion for that, we would like to bring your attention to some statistics from the part II of the post. None of the students who studied in Bongo Primary School opted to study Economics or EVS. Agriculture seems to be favourite subject of our students. Comparing English and Agriculture marks tell some hidden stories about the marking system in Agriculture subject. This ‘mis match’ in marks scored in a subject may be extrapolated to whole of our examination marking system and subject curriculum in Bhutan.

Way Forward:

What we plan to do from now to improve academic performance of our Bongop students?

1.     Know our students:

One first step is to know our students. We have to know our students from all different villages of Bongo and closely monitor them. For this we need our student database and everyone of us can help Bongop Tshogpa to get the data of our students.

2.     Bongop student Summer and Winter Village Workshop `

Secondly, we found that our students are not peforming well in English and Math subjects. We need to gather our students in the villages and find ways to improve them while they are on vacation in the villages. We need to teach them study methods, encourage reading, promote vocabulary learning and make them accessible to audio visual materials to broaden their knowledge. It may also include making our students watch documentaries and educational shows on PC or TV.

3.     Appoint Bongop Student Focal Persons

We need continued contact with our students and be able to meet the students and keep constant contact with them. For this, we need Bongop student focal persons in various schools to keep Tshogpa Admins informed of the progress of our students.

Overall, this small research exercise gave me more questions than answers. It has left me more concerned and with a heavy feeling for having to carry a  huge responsibility of educating our Bongop students properly. All Bongops can play your part by suggesting ideas and if possible even coming up with innovative solutions to educate our students. My email address is sthinley@gmail.com Please feel free to share your ideas. Let us all work together to improve education of our Bongop students.

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Part 2 – Class 10 results data of Bongop students studying in Pakshikha Central School

In the Second part presentaton of the class 10 results of 15 Bongop students studying in Pakshikha Central School, Chukha, we bring to you the marks obtained by Bongo students in the subjects of Mathematicss, Science, Economics, Agriculture, Information Technology (IT), Environmental Science (EVS) and History Civics  Geography (HCG).

Maths MarksBakuenza PSBongo PSKetokha PS
291
3211
331
381
401
431
441
451
531
581
631
651
741

In Mathematics subject, students from Ketokha have done well with minimum marks being 43 out of 100 and maximum obtained by one student at 74/100. Students from Bongo have done the worst with highest being only 43 out of 100 and lowest being 29/100. Same fate with the students who have studied their primary school in Baikuenza. The highest mark a student from Baikuenza obtained was 53 out of 100 and lowest being 32/100.

Science MarksBakuenza PSBongo PSKetokha PS
261
291
321
3311
351
361
372
432
461
501
751

Science subject. Again students from Bongo have performed badly. The highest mark obtained by one student among the five is only 36 out of 100. The Science marks of other four Bongop students are 33,32,29 and 26 respectively. One student from Ketokha obtained 75 out of 100 and lowest marks in Science for a student from Ketokha is 35. The highest mark obtained by a student from Baikuenza in Science subject was 50/100.

Economics MarksBakuenza PSBongo PSKetokha PS
521
671
921

Economics: None of the students from Bongo have opted to study Economics in 2016 in Pakshikha Central School. One student from Baikuenza only studied Economics and his/her exam marks is 52 out of 100. Two students from Ketokha studied Economics and one obtained 67 out of 100 in Economics and another scored 92/100.

Agriculture MarksBakuenza PSBongo PSKetokha PS
91132
931

Agriculture seems to be favourite subject of our students. 7 out of 15 students who opted to study Agriculture have obtained 91 out of 100. The lowest marks for every student is 91 and highest was obtained by a student from Baikuenza at 93/100.

English MarksAgriculture Marks 
9193
381
392
461
481
501
521

Agriculture vs English subject: It was interesting to compare Agriculture and English subject marks of our students because it is surprising to see someone score extremely low in one subject and  then obtain extremely high marks in another. Agriculture and English subjects is one. A student who scored the lowest in English i.e. 38 out of 100 scored 91 in Agriculture subject. A student who managed only 50 in English scored the highest mark in Agriculture subject, which is 93/100.

Information Technology (IT): Out of 15 students, one only student studied IT as the optional subject. He/she has obtained 69 out of 100 and the student is from Bongo village.

EVS MarksBaikuenza PSKetokha PS
451
471
611

Environmental Science (EVS): Out of 15 Bongop students, only 3 have studied Environmental Science (EVS). None of the students who studied in Bongo primary school opted to study EVS. Two students from Baikuenza and one from Ketokha studied EVS and highest mark was obtained by a Ketop student scoring 61/100.

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List of villages in Bongo

This post is specifically to list down the number of villages under Bongo Gewog. As per the Election Commission of Bhutan delimitation, Bongo Gewog has 15 villages. The villages and the eligible voters population as of December 2010 are:

  1. Toktokha – 265
  2. Chungkha – 330
  3. Chasilakha – 133
  4. Gedu – 394
  5. Jumja – 166
  6. Boeri – 108
  7. Miritsemo – 312
  8. Pakshikha – 184
  9. Damji – 94
  10. Ketokha – 345
  11. Bongo – 373
  12. Jungley – 96
  13. Phasuma – 138
  14. Zamsa – 114
  15. Baikuenza – 355

Total Bongo population as of 31st December 2010 – 3407

 

Class ten results data of Bongop students studying in Pakshikha Central School

Class ten results of 15 Bongop students studying in Pakshikha Central School, Chukha was analyzed to get a rough idea of how our Bongop students are doing in their board exams. At the very outset, we would like to clarify that this results analysis was done entirely out of personal interest to find out how our Bongop students are performing in board exams to enter Higher Secondary Schools and how it links to the origin of the Primary School in which they studied. The marks were obtained by making personal phone calls to the students themselves. The 15 students have studied their primary schools either in Baikuenza, Bongo or Ketokha Primary schools.

The cutoff percentage for class 10 students to qualify for government colleges in 2016 was 61% in English and four best subjects. As per the government criteria, out of 15 Bongop students, only three Bongop students (20 %), qualified for government high schools. The rest, 80% of Bongop students could not qualify to study in government high schools.

Table 1: Frequency of students from different primary schools and the average (English+best four subjects) marks.

StudentPercentageBaikuenza Primary School Bongo Primary SchoolKetokha Primary School
std129.21
std247.61
std3511
std4&551.62
std5&6522
std6541
std755.61
std858.21
std958.81
std1060.41
std1165.21
std1265.81
std1376.21

The highest percentage obtained in class 10 exam by a Bongop student studying in Pakshikha Central School was 76.2% and the lowest was 29.2% based on the English and the best four subjects marks.

Among the three students who qualified to study in government high schools, one student was a product of Baikuenza Primary School and the other two studied their primary schools in Ketokha Primary School. None of the students who studied their primary schools in Bongo Primary Schools have managed to qualify for the government high school.

Further, all the five students who studied their primary school in Ketokha have obtained more than 58% in the exam. The student who obtained the highest percentage also came from Ketokha Primary School scoring 76.2%.

The lowest percentage obtained by a Bongop student in the class 10 exam was 29.2% and he/she was a product of Bongo Primary School. The highest percentage obtained by a Bongo Primary School student was only 55.6%.

The marks of students in different subjects were also tabulated against the primary school where they attended before they joined Pakshikha Central School.

Table 2: English marks of students and their origin Primary School

English MarksBaikuenza PSBongo PSKetokha PS
381
3911
411
441
4611
471
4812
5011
521
611

The highest English mark obtained by a Bongop student was 61 and the lowest was 38. All students who have studied their primary school in Ketokha Primary School scored more than 48 out of 100 in English while the highest English mark of a Bongo Primary School alumni was only 48.

Table 2: Dzongkha marks of students and their origin Primary School

Dzongkha MarksBaikuenza PSBongo PSKetokha PS
491
571
591
611
621
652
661
6811
691
701
711
721
811

The highest Dzongkha mark obtained by Bongop student was 81 and lowest was 49. The student who scored 81 out of 100 studied primary school in Baikuenza and the student who scored 49 out of 100 studied primary in Bongo Primary School. …..To be Continued

By Sangay Thinley

Email address: sthinley@gmail.com

Bongo Gewog Population and other Information from PHCB 2005

The second Population and Housing Census  (PHCB) will take place from 30 May to 1st June 2017. It is one important data collection by the government to make plans and programmes for our villages and for the whole country. This is the second PHCB and it will be very important and interesting as we can get data which we can compare with that of the 1st PHCB. Let us look at some data of Bongo Gewog from the first PHCB that was conducted in 2005.

The Population of Bongo Gewog was 6,870 people according to the PHCB 2005. This excludes Bongops and other people living in Gedu town. Bongo Gewog population is the 4th highest among the 11 Gewogs in Chukha. Chukha Dzongkhag as a whole had  74,287 people.

Chart 1: Population of Chukha Dzongkhag and the top four populous Gewogs in the Chukha.

From  the 2005 PHCB, we also find some other interesting statistics. They have shown the drinking water source for the households of Bongo (Chart 2). It shows that 721 households in Bongo depend on piped water outside their house.

Chart 2: Drinking water source of Bongo Gewog households

Interestingly there is one household who depend on rain water as the drinking water source.

Chart 3: Bongo Gewog Main Source of Lighting of the Houesholds

Next is the main source of lighting for the Bongop households. It is interesting to see that in 2005, there were 513 households who used Kerosene oil to light their homes. Further, we can see that there was only 1 household which used Solar to light their house. Have a look at the number of households using Candle, 19 times more than those who used Solar. Interesting when we recollect how much effort government wastes to promote Solar lighting in rural homes.

Chart 4: Bongop Households distance from motor road.

Finally we see the distance of Bongop households from the motor road. It is good to see that 798 of Bongop households live less than 30 minutes walk to the motor road. But we also see 117 households who have to walk more than 6 hours to reach a motor road.

Those were the statistics from the first PHCB conducted in 2005. From the second PHCB which will start in four days, we will have more data and most importantly we will have data which we can compare. Let us see how our Bongops and Bongo Gewog as a whole have improved ( or become worse) in the last 11 years.

As a responsible Bongop, let us tell our parents back in the village to give good information to the enumerators who will visit every home in three days to collection information. We will need good data of our Bongo Gewog and also Bongop villages to make informed decisions and also make appropriate plans and programmes.

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