CHIPHEN RIGPEL Enabling a Society Empowering a Nation
Chiphen Rigpel is an ambitious human capacity building project designed to help Bhutan to successfully transition to a modern Knowledge Society. The RS 2050 million Govt. Of India assisted project was launched by the Prime Minister’s of India and Bhutan on April 30, 2010 on the sidelines of the SAARC summit in Bhutan. The project in its entirety is expected to provide ICT skills to over a quarter of the population of Bhutan to help them to become skilled and empowered citizens of a connected and ICT enabled world.
The project aims to reach out to all strata of Bhutanese society including:
Ministers, Administrators and Civil Servants
Teachers who are the backbone of the education system and play a key role in building the knowledge capability of Bhutan
Youth and tertiary students at the brink of entering the job market and professionals in the labor market who wish to improve their skills
School students and
Children beyond the digital divide who do not have access to IT knowledge or infrastructure
The Private Sector
The Monastic Body
The Chiphen Rigpel project comprises six major components
Enabling eGovernance: This component is designed to address policy makers, leaders and civil servants to enable them to drive the policy and E Governance framework required for developing a knowledge society. The component is designed to support the Government’s E-Governance initiatives by providing Civil Servants the ICT skills and the conceptual framework required to successfully implement the Government’s E-Governance initiatives.. The project will train over 200 National Leaders and 7000 Civil Servants from Cabinet Ministers to Mid and Junior level Civil Servants as a part of the program.
Empowering Teachers: Teachers are the foundation of any society. The success of any knowledge based society depends largely on the quality of its teachers. The Chiphen Rigpel project aims to significantly improve the quality of Education in Bhutan by providing focused training to its teachers. The training program for teachers aims to ensure that all teachers in Bhutan have the required IT skills to successfully integrate ICT into the Teaching and Learning process. Approximately 5000 teachers in Bhutan will be covered by the program.
Education for Employability: A knowledge society requires a trained, skilled, and highly capable workforce to create, deploy and use the technology and infrastructure inherent in a knowledge society. This requires a huge investment in tertiary education to develop the necessary capability and skills among the youth. NIIT will setup a network of training centers in Vocational Training Institutes and in tertiary educational institutions to deliver world class IT training to the youth. These centers will not only help build technological capability but will also help the youth to compete in national and international labor markets. In addition, three centers will be setup to rehabilitate vulnerable youth recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. A total of 16 training centers will be set up to train approximately 10,000 youth under this program.
Taking ICT to Schools: For truly sustainable development any effort to improve the education standards must begin at the school level. The schools component of the Chiphen Rigpel project aims to ensure universal and comprehensive IT literacy among all Secondary Schoolchildren in Bhutan. The project also aims at integrating ICT in the teaching and Learning process by providing Computer Aided Learning software, tools, and educational materials to children and teachers. NIIT will establish fully equipped computer labs at 168 schools under this project. In addition to providing the hardware, software and educational materials, NIIT will also provide a trained teacher at each of the 168 schools for a period of 5 Years to provide training to students and teachers. It is expected that more than a 100,000 students will receive IT skills training under this component of the project.
Reaching the Unreached: Access to ICT knowledge and infrastructure is often the prerogative of a privileged few. A digital divide separates the Haves from the Have Nots. This is unfortunately often especially true for children. The Chiphen Rigpel project aims to universalize access to ICT knowledge and infrastructure in Bhutan by reaching across the digital divide through its Hiwel Playground Learning Stations. The HIWEL Learning Stations are a much acclaimed approach that helps underprivileged children to acquire computer literacy without the need of a formal education system. To bring the light of learning to all sections of society NIIT will setup 131 HIWEL Learning Stations in across the length and breadth of Bhutan as a part of this project.
e-Waste Management: Around the world, there is an increasing awareness of the problem of E-Waste and its impact on soil toxicity and the environment. An effective and thoughtful e waste management strategy is key prerequisite for a successful transition to a knowledge society. The rapid proliferation of computers and the large number of planned ICT initiatives have brought the problem into sharp focus in Bhutan. E-Waste Management is a key component of the Chiphen Rigpel project. The Chiphen Rigpel project will facilitate the development of an effective E-Waste policy in Bhutan, and will also deliver training programs to concerned stakeholders to facilitate the implementation of the policy. The Chiphen Rigpel project will also conduct awareness programs for the Private sector to acquaint them with the dangers of E-Waste and also with the business opportunities afforded through Scientific management of E-waste.
The Chiphen Rigpel has been a tremendous success with the project receiving widespread acclaim and appreciation. The project has significantly met the project goals for all components of the project. The achievements of each component of the project are given below:
Enabling E Governance
Under the Enabling E Governance Component the project has established 7 Training Centers and has provided E Governance training to key leaders including members of the Cabinet, The Members of the National Assembly and National Council, Senior Civil Servants and Members of the Armed Forces. The project has also trained more than 6000 Civil Servants on Program Management, Project Management and Operations. To reach out to all sections of society trained more than 400 members of the monastic body have also been trained under this component of the project.
The project has set up fully equipped computer labs and provided training faculty at 168 schools across Bhutan which provide training to more than 50,000 students each year using a curriculum developed in collaboration with MOE. In addition to providing IT Training to children in Classes 7 to 12, the ICT @ Schools component also provides Computer Aided Learning and Tools such as Smart Science Stations and Math Software to enhance teaching and Learning.
The project as set up 7 Teacher Training Labs across Bhutan and has provided training to 4817 teachers across Bhutan, The Teachers were trained on ICT Skills and also on methods for Integrating ICT in the Teaching and Learning process.
Education for Employability
This component of the project has developed IT infrastructure at a variety of institutions catering to the youth of Bhutan. These include Technical Training Institutes under the Ministry of Labour, The Royal University of Bhutan, The Youth Development Fund and The Royal Institute of Management. In all 16 training centers have been established to provide ICT training to the youth of Bhutan. A variety of Modular and Professional training programs have been provided at these institutes resulting in over 12000 ICT certifications for youth..
Reaching the Unreached
Under this component 100 Playground Learning Stations have been set up across Bhutan at community centers to help provide ICT skills to underprivileged sections of the society.
Managing E Waste
The Managing E Waste component surveyed more than 3000 household in Bhutan and developed the E Waste Regulations which were adopted the Government of Bhutan. In addition, the Project has also provided training on E waste to a variety of stakeholders including Municipalities, Thromde’s Private Sector, and Government agencies. The Project has also developed the National E-Waste Guidance Manual for the Royal Government of Bhutan to help implement the E-Waste Strategy.