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First private school celebrates silver jubilee: Kuensel reports

The institute has graduated from primary to higher secondary and established itself as a premier centre of learning.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgay

Kelki Higher Secondary School: Twenty-five years ago, in 1987, when a retired civil servant put up a proposal to the education ministry to start the first private school, he was venturing into uncharted territory.

Kelzang Thinlay, who had retired from his assistant auditor general post, had submitted the proposal in response to a government advertisement inviting private individuals to start a school.

Following the advertisement, 10 applications were submitted, but only Kelzang Thinlay’s proposal was accepted and given the green signal.

“A lot of people were scared to take the risk of establishing a private institution then, especially with the government providing free education,” said Kelzang Thinlay, proprietor of Kelki School.  “But the government promised support, so I thought I’d give it a try.”

The school was founded on July 5, 1987 as a nursery school in a residential building he owned near the pension colony.  In 1993, it was moved to its present location.

“Initially, the school’s goal was to impart nursery and primary education under the guidance of the education department,” Kelzang Thinlay said.

The school, in its first academic session, saw 65 students enrolled.  Next year, the number increased to 107.  Four teachers, excluding the head teacher and temporary teaching assistants, taught the students.  Teachers were paid Nu 1,000 a month.   It was upgraded to primary school, up to Class III, in 1993.

Since its inception, over 6,000 students have graduated from Kelki school.   At present, the school, which was upgraded to higher secondary school in 1999, has 726 students with 34 teachers.  The school offers Arts and Commerce streams.

In 2000, the school was granted affiliation with the Council for Indian School Certificate Examination, Delhi, and in December,the first batch of 48 BB-ICSE candidates graduated from the school.  In 2001, the school phased out primary classes.  The school also initiated a continuing education program in 2006.

Yesterday, at the school ground, chief justice lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, education secretary Sangay Zam, officials from different ministries, the school management executive community members, the alumni of the school, students and teachers joined in the silver jubilee celebrations, despite the downpour.

Lyonpo Sonam Tobgye, in his address to those gathered, said the school’s alumni have in their number high achievers.

“There are members of parliament, a recipient of the sword of honour from the National Defense Academy, India, and many other prestigious award winners,” he said.

An alumni member, Tenzin, who graduated from the school in 2007, was among others who’d come to celebrate the occasion. “I’m here to show my appreciation to the school and teachers from whom I’ve learnt,” he said. “I qualified for Gaeddu Business College.”

A new signboard and the school’s website was also launched to mark the event.

The proprietor, Kelzang Thinlay, said the school has come a long way. “It was a difficult start, but worth it,” he said.

Courtesy: Kuensel  http://www.kuenselonline.com/2011/?p=33449