From Corporate to Classroom: Kinzang’s Remarkable Journey as a Volunteer Teacher

In a heartwarming display of dedication and community spirit, Kinzang, a former corporate employee, has stepped up to fill the educational void at Yangchenphug Higher Secondary School (YHSS) in Bhutan. Faced with a severe shortage of Accounts teachers, Kinzang selflessly volunteered to teach the subject, despite having no prior teaching experience.

The crisis in Bhutan’s education system, characterized by a teacher shortage, has been exacerbated in recent months. From January to May, over 500 teachers left the profession, with Thimphu Thromde alone reporting 211 teacher departures as of September 15. In the two years leading up to December last year, 173 teachers had resigned, leaving schools grappling with a critical shortage of qualified educators.

Kinzang’s journey into teaching began when he overheard an education official at a school event lamenting, “There are no Accounts teachers in the market.” A former corporate employee who had taken a break to attend to family needs, Kinzang, upon hearing the dire situation, offered his assistance to his old family friend and the school’s principal, Yesh B Ghaley. He said, “If the situation is very dire, I can help.”

Moved by Kinzang’s generosity, Principal Ghaley was initially concerned about compensation, and Kinzang’s wife worried about the family’s financial stability. However, Kinzang reassured them, stating that he could support his family for at least six months using his retirement benefits.

Kinzang’s commitment to teaching extended beyond mere altruism; it was born out of his genuine love for children and a passion for teaching. He finds being around students therapeutic, and his dedication has not gone unnoticed by his pupils. Despite not being aware that Kinzang was volunteering his services, students grew to deeply respect him as they discovered his selfless act.

One student, Dorji Dolma, expressed, “When we came to know he was volunteering for us, a deep and profound respect grew towards him amid many teachers leaving us. He is my favorite teacher.” Dorji praised Kinzang’s patience and the fact that he even paused lessons when a student needed a bathroom break.

Although Kinzang’s teaching methods initially posed a challenge for students, who were unaccustomed to high-level practical applications, they soon realized that his presence and dedication provided a better alternative than combined classes with multiple teachers. Kinzang himself recognized his limitations and sought help from another Accounts teacher, adjusted lesson plans, and incorporated real-life practices into his teaching.

Tandin Om, a student, noted the significant improvement in Kinzang’s teaching over time. “He teaches us concepts which make it easy to solve any related exercises because we understand the concept,” Tandin said. Kinzang’s unconventional teaching style translates textbook knowledge into real-life applications, equipping students with valuable practical skills.

Dorji Dolma revealed that after midterm, Accounts scores improved significantly, and students expressed their desire for Kinzang to continue teaching them in Class XII, even if he receives a salary like other teachers.

Kinzang’s dedication doesn’t end here; he plans to return to his private accountancy firm after completing his teaching assignment. He has even offered students the opportunity to work at his consultancy firm, allowing them to apply their accounting knowledge in real-life scenarios.

Currently, YHSS has five Accounts teachers: three regular teachers, one on a national contract, and Kinzang. However, the looming departure of three Accounts teachers by year-end, including Kinzang, raises concerns of continued shortages in the future.

Kinzang, though, offers a glimmer of hope, promising, “Although I won’t be able to teach full-time, I assure you that I will step in if there is a shortage next year and teach specific lessons.”

Kinzang’s selflessness and dedication serve as an inspiring example of how individuals can make a profound impact on their communities in times of crisis. His willingness to step in and support the education of the next generation is a testament to the resilience and community spirit that defines Bhutan. As the nation faces ongoing challenges in its education system, Kinzang’s story reminds us that there is hope for a brighter future when individuals like him take a stand for what they believe in.

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