News

Bhutan’s population vaccinated against covid-19

News item posted by the Australian Broadcasting Commission on 27 July 2021:  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-07-27/covid-19-bhutan-vaccinates-much-of-population/100325350

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has inoculated most of its eligible population with second doses of COVID-19 vaccinations in just a week, in a speedy rollout hailed by UNICEF on Monday as a “success story” for international donations.

More than 454,000 shots were administered over the past week — which equates to just over 85 per cent of the eligible adult population of more than 530,000 people — after a recent flood of foreign donations.

The tiny nation had quickly used up most of the 550,000 AstraZeneca vaccines donated by India in late March and early April for people’s first shots, before the neighbouring country halted exports over a massive local surge in infections.

Faced with a growing time gap between first and second doses, Bhutan launched an appeal for donations.

UNICEF’s Bhutan representative, Will Parks, hailed the ambitious vaccination drive as a “great success story for Bhutan”.

Bhutan’s children start to learn to read by phonics

An amazing achievement in Bhutan:
1500 English teachers nationwide have been trained during the month of January to implement Structured Synthetic Phonics for their Pre-Primary classes.

Chair Helen Wildy said “I am so proud that HHfB can contribute to the improvement in literacy of all beginning learners this year.  I’m also impressed by the mighty effort of Sangay Tshering and his team at the Royal Education Council and Tashi Lhamo who leads the Teachers Professional Support Division.  Deep gratitude to HHfB’s Diana Rigg for her generosity and sustained hard work in preparation for the PD and implementation across the country.”

A group of grateful teachers sent us this video after attending two days of Professional Development to learn about the new Structured Synthetic Phonics approach to developing early literacy being implemented across Bhutan this year: an initiative of Hear Hear for Bhutan.

For all enquiries about SSP materials, please contact Sangay Tshering at the Royal Education Council (sangaytshering@rec.gov.bt).