Education minister receives prestigious Gusi Prize
The minister of education, Lyonpo Thakur SPowdyel, was awarded the Gusi Peace Prize yesterday at the Philippine International Convention Centre in Manila, the Philippines, for his contribution in education and academe in Bhutan.
Lyonpo was one of the 20 laureates of the 10th Gusi Peace Prize, who include three former presidents and luminaries from across the world.
Lyonpo Thakur is the first Bhutanese and,as the founder and chairman of the foundation Barry Gusi put it, ‘the first Himalayan’ to receive the award.
Lyonpo says it is the cumulative consequence of so many people’s hard work over many years.“As I have maintained, I am just a little spark of the light that has always shone from the golden throne, and followed the path that has been laid out by my wise mentors and worthy predecessors,” Lyonpo wrote from Manila.
Lyonpo said he is grateful to his parents who sent him to school, his teachers who made him who he is today, many batches of his students who have been his constant fount of inspiration, and his colleagues who have been an unending source of strength as has been his family. “I owe this award to all of them,” he wrote.
Lyonpo Thakur S Powdyel became a teacher in 1984. In Sherubtse College, where he was a lecturer and vice principal for most part of his career, he played a critically instrumental role in shaping the identity, character and vision of the institution and in moulding the lives of hundreds of young Bhutanese.
The Gusi Prize website says Lyonpo is charged with a deeply-held conviction that a nation is only as good as its education system and its teachers. He has persevered throughout his career to reclaim the nobility of the teaching profession by building and enhancing the image of teachers and by encouraging and motivating them to discover the soul behind their role.
As the education minister, Lyonpo has strived hard to enhance, promote and advance GNH through the education system primarily by spearheading the concept of ‘Green Schools’ encompassing the natural, intellectual, academic, social, cultural, spiritual, aesthetic and moral dimensions.
Lyonpo said that it was deeply humbling as well as uplifting to be part of the grand circle. “The award means a lot to me but it means a lot more to our country and to education. It certainly means that the noble sector does matter,” he said.
“Far in this pearl-studded archipelago of the wonderful Philippinos, but always at home, I beg to say that this award belongs to all of you, my fellow-citizens, most of all to my fellow-educators,” Lyonpo wrote. “I can never thank you enough – for life and for living.”
The Gusi Peace Prize, Asia’s foremost awarding body and among the leading in the world, brings out the best of human achievements, ideals and values. Supported by a proclamation by former president, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, it is an annual event organized by nonprofit Gusi Peace Prize Foundation based in Manila.