My mother grew up alongside the many initiatives of a King who set the nation on the path of modernization . This was the Third King of Bhutan , His Majesty Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuk . At the time , there was minimal formal education in the country , apart from Monastic learning . One of the core initiatives was to send children to schools in India . In 1961, the country started planned socio – economic development in Five – year phases and it was only natural that priority would be given to establish a formal and modern education system . Since that was only the beginning of a long journey , the alternative of sending small groups of students to India every year continued .
More than three decades later in the 1990s, efforts were made to provide functional literacy to people who did not have the opportunity to go to school , or had dropped out for various reasons. In 1992, the National Women’s Association of Bhutan , perhaps the first formally organized non governmental organization in the country , supported the start of a program on non- formal education in five different parts of the country . The ministry of Education has since then taken over the responsibility and has immensely expended and added upon the program.