Volume 11 Issue 1 (2022)

Inculcating Civilizational Ethics through Education: Efficacy of Educating for Gross National Happiness

pp. 52-69  |  Published Online: October 2022  |  DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2022.111.4

Rinchen Dorji


Background/purpose – In the trajectory of the Bhutanese education system, imparting traditional and cultural values to children has always been at the core. With the growth and transition of the education system from monastic to modern, various ways have been explored and applied to inculcate values among Bhutanese children. In 2010, a concept called “Educating for Gross National Happiness” was introduced into the Bhutanese education system. At that point it was believed that Educating for Gross National Happiness was the answer to addressing falling values, shifts in attitudes, and beliefs among our children brought about by the forces of globalization. This paper is an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of Educating for Gross National Happiness in instilling proper human and cultural values among our children. In total, 108 teachers working in schools across the country participated through responding to a survey questionnaire. Findings demonstrate that while there are indications of some positive impacts of the Educating for Gross National Happiness program, certain factors need to be taken into consideration to bring about a more profound impact in the overall development of Bhutanese children as initially envisioned. n this study, I examined the efficacy of Educating for Gross National Happiness in terms of inculcating moral values among children in Bhutanese schools.

Materials/methods – I applied both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods in this research. Quantitative data were collected through a structured questionnaire from 108 teachers located across Bhutan, and qualitative data were collected through interviews, observation, and lesson plan analysis. Triangulation of the quantitative and qualitative data was conducted in order to validate the findings.

Results – The findings revealed that while there are some indications of success from the Educating for Gross National Happiness program, it has yet to deliver any profound impact in the overall development of Bhutanese children as initially envisioned.

Conclusion – The Educating for Gross National Happiness program could become much more effective if certain factors such as providing adequate training to teachers on the revised curriculum, and introducing standardized testing of values-based education as a separate subject area.

Keywords: GNH, Education, Values, Morals, tha-dham-tsig, ley gju-drey


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