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Monday, October 6, 2014

Maugaon or Lhayul (new name) No Longer a Safe Heaven.

Maugaon under Doban Gewog (Chhodzom New name) under Sarpang Dzongkhag which was considered a safe haven as far as security, spirituality, and social harmony among the people of the village is concerned. I am 44 years old and  as far as I know  being born and brought up in the village having  constant touch with recent developments  in the village and updating information through my regular visits although staying away from the village for my job . I am still  considering Maugaon to be one of the finest village in the country not because I belong to it but because social harmony among the community, the close ties each family maintains with their neighbour, the peaceful social gatherings like marriage parties, puran, other customary celebrations where whole village is involved throughout day and night with various entertainments like Bhajan and kirtan, dances etc, where no household  remains uninvited. In the gatherings the small talks of the villagers like their cows ,oxen, cardamom  and the laughter and the echoes from the mountains across Maukola adds to the simplicity of the life that has been enjoyed in the village  for decades has not changed at all.

But the recent development that has taken place on the dassai night where a village early man has been beaten mercilessly with planks and bottoms by forming a gang for little misunderstanding that has happened during the day on a marriage party is very hard to digest for everyone who belongs to the village.  I have been receiving numerous calls for people narrating the incident in detail. The victim is undergoing treatment in Gelephu Hospital and his condition still critical. I tried to talk to him in the phone but he could not speak and I talked with his elder brother that was very sad to learn. Everybody knows everybody in the village staring from kids to the elders and there is a relationship with each other like maternal or fraternal or others established relationships like mitdaju, mitbhai, even across the different caste that is cherished whole heartedly.

When we have maintained such close relationships even if not connected by blood, why such heinous act has happened in the village? Is this the outcome of the developments that has taken place in recent years like coming up of the road, electricity, dish TVs, shop etc?  I am afraid the answer lies hidden very deep and many things need to be improved immediately starting from local governance to the state rules on the use of banned substances to alcohol if we want our glory back.  The school drop outs needs good check from their parents and administration should not spare for any crime that is committed. When seven people were hand cuffed and taken by the police for crime committed on that night that the village shook as many of the villagers have not seen handcuffs in their entire life time as these equipments were never required for the Maugaon till date I am told by many elderly people. I just wish this incident is taken very seriously and actions accordingly taken so that Maugaon have its glory back without such crimes in future. This is an introduction chapter for the crime committed and the conclusion must be written here itself if want peace in the village.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Tradition and culture Vs Misinterpretation and practice

What is tradition and culture?

Tradition and culture are certain norms in a society that has been practiced / followed for a long period of time in exactly the same way year after year. Different societies follow their tradition in a unique way that differs from each other. Starting from morning prayers till  going to the bed and ceremonies associated  with particular beliefs  in particular days, months and year  make it a ritual that needs to be conducted year after year what make it a tradition and all ceremonies combined together makes a culture. Close analysis into different society’s way of life, belief systems reveals many unique features that are indigenous to the particular groups or society as a whole making them unique on their own. In this article I would like to analyze the caste system, how it must have evolved and its significance then and now. The opinion expressed is purely that of the author. The article is not to undermine anybody’s belief system but is purely written to generate constructive discussions that might benefit the future generation.

In any society if we observe closely we will find a unique feature that directly or indirectly reveals caste system within that society. The very significant and widely practiced caste system exists in Hindu culture which has become an acceptable norms leading to the different categories of people. This division of people into different levels that has been practiced for hundreds of year was an accepted culture then. But with modernization and awareness among the people with equal human rights have led to much social unrest, ethnical violence around the world in the recent years. Several lives are lost in social unrest leading to community’s disharmony which otherwise could have been avoided.
How caste system must have evolved in very first place? No written literature till date clearly specify the division of people into different caste other than working class at various levels under different kingships so on and so forth.  Among the top Hindu literature like Vedas, Puran, Upanishads as well do not mention of different caste. It is an accepted fact and somewhere history specifies that there four caste Brahmins (those who perform religious ceremonies), Ksatriyas (the rulers), Vashiya (the working class) and Sudras (those who perform various small but highly skilled jobs and are considered untouchables).

Closely analyzing the fact and the type of jobs each caste of people performed then clearly gives an idea that the caste system was established not as the division of people but was the division of labour. The job each caste performed justifies the norms and cultures established that time were to safeguard each profession they belong to. The hierarchy in the caste system also justifies the job each category of the people performed.

The job of the Brahmins was to conduct any type of religious ceremonies that needed to be done in locality. To perform this task Brahmin needed to be in pure form in any aspects of life. The established norms for the Brahmins to remain Brahmin were very tough although they occupy the highest seat in the caste system. The child born only from the legal marriages within the Brahmin family of different Brahmin caste will remain Brahmin. The child born from any other forms of marriage like eloping, married to a widow even if it is with the Brahmin family or any from other caste immediately lost the status of the Brahmins and is pushed one step down, whereby losing the rights to perform religious ceremonies and falls into the working class of Brahmins popularly known as Jaisey . Today those who are at level of pure Brahmins have been able to maintain this tough rule for centuries. The other tough rules like they cannot eat food prepared by other caste, no meat, take bath early in the morning everyday and conduct daily rituals at home, perform any religious ceremonies when called for without eating sometimes even for whole day are certain rules that are preserved  even today. We should definitely salute those who are still pure Brahmins.
The Ksatriyas were the ruling class who governed the country and provided the peace and security of the nation. The people belonging to this caste usually served in the government office including the ministers and comprised the army.

The Vashiyas were considered as the working class people. They worked in the farm land and provided food to the state and all other people.
The sudras were considered the untouchable by other three classes of people but they were highly skilled workers examples like the gold smith, the black smith, cobbler, the tailors etc. The job this class of people did required several years of training and were highly skilled in their own field of work.
About a century ago there were no towns or cities whereby people could make their living by doing jobs. Rather it was agrarian economy where people dependent totally on the agriculture and diary for their survival.  The state collected taxes in the form of agricultural products from the farmers and sustained to feed the army and other official working for the state. Given this type of scenario for the survival the division of labour was necessary. Therefore the division of labour must have been done following certain strict procedures whereby one cannot overtake each other’s profession that must have later on changed into caste system as the skills one acquired has been passed to their off springs becoming expert in their area of work.

I as a boy grown up in the village where caste system was strictly followed after analyzing critically feel that caste system was followed to safe guard one’s profession. My village comprised of hundred plus households. There were two families of tailors and two families of black smiths. Although these two families own little land on their own they hardly worked in their land but rather they made their living from other families in the village for whom they did the tailoring and black smith’s work. The arrangement was settled with different families as per the size of the family the contribution of rice, maize, millet etc that is needed to be paid in year that was collected during the harvest season and stocked for the year. In return they did the all villagers work of tailoring and repair of tools for the whole year free of cost. This symbiotic relationship worked very well for the both parties, the relationship maintain was harmonious as both parties are in win-win situation. This is followed even now in many places.

Further analysis reveal that around forty years earlier even in our country there were no ready garments in the town. Only the unstitched cloths were available. Likewise readymade implements (tools) were not available in the market. Everybody dependent for clothes and working tools to these people that required much skill to make it. That’s why these classes of people started learning the skill while they were very young and mastered the skill.

To be continued……………….

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Do we really need a school to learn?

School is an establishment where young children as young as 5 years start spending their life till they become adult twenty plus years. All of us assume that, they get groomed by their teachers to mould them into better human beings who can shoulder various responsibilities in their life. If we analyze properly, the prime and productive age of our children is spent in the schools. Is it worth spending so many years in the school? As long as someone knows how to read and write is it not possible to get education staying back home.

The argument can be in its favour as well as against the idea of having formally to go to the school to get education something like distance education which is picking up around the world. But can distance education substitute the learning that students get back in the schools.  It is not the question of academics /curriculum that we are taking about, this may be achieved staying home and studying but what about social learning/wholesome education where most of the life is to be spent in the social circus, dealing with different individuals whether one works in a business company or as a politician or in any government organization there are no exceptions one lands up dealing with people. School is the place where our children are taught all these as they get to interact with different individual with their own unique personalities day after day for as long as they are in the school. Can a person studying at home will be able to acquire the skills to handle these situations?

The great people who shook the world in their own field like William Shakespeare, Albert Einstein, and Bill Gates etc did not have smooth schooling. All of them simply hated schools. Going by their biography they were problematic children in schools and had to change many schools .Many others simply had basic education yet they became the most celebrated writers, scholars etc. So where do we strike the balance between formal schooling and informal learning own their own.

Further if turn to the history of education especially in India where Gurukul system existed and monastic education in Tibet, Bhutan and many other Buddhist countries and Madrasas in Muslim countries the children are literarily separated from their parents and sent to these places for education while they are still very young. They are bound to follow the tough rules and regulations, sometimes very harsh punishment where they will have to bear from their gurus and seniors. They cannot raise their voices because there is no one to listen to; they survive digesting everything whether it is good or bad. This system still continues in many parts of the world. Is this system of education has produced exceptional human beings? I definitely do not think so.

Then what could be the best form of the education.  I definitely feel that we need more research, analysis and synthesizing the hypothesis what may be the best form of the education. It necessarily need not be going to school for the 20 plus year to mould ones character which is as of now universally accepted as the best form of the education.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Bajothang Higher Secondary School- What is unique?

Our school is located in Punatsangchu River basin; did you know that it was previously a paddy field? Yes, that’s why the land is fertile and even we can see the traces now and everything grows well that we plant in our campus.

Did you know that our campus now was once a barren land (paddy field) without a single tree? Yes,  The mini artificial forest we have now along the river below the  school campus and around the campus  that allows us to breath fresh air all the time, was our hard work that converted desert into a green land ( thanks to former students and teachers who did the hard work, we are only maintaining now).

Yes, all of us know now how chilly is planted and where its bears the fruits in the roots or stems or leaves. Thanks to our beautiful agriculture field which allows us to explore all these. This is becoming a difficulty in urban towns. Don’t miss the chance to explore more.

Thanks to our mini fishery pond. Even if we cannot see few fishes we have deep inside the water, the study of tadpoles is not at all a problem that is plenty in the surface along with the toads. If you miss the opportunity to see tadpoles here in our pond, you might land up seeing them only in the television, so take your chances now or never.

In small campus of just over 15 acres, have you realized that we have more than 20 species of birds living with us? If not, go for birds watching now. It is wonderful to see that we have such a pristine environment with all birds of Wangduephodrang seems concentrated in our campus.  Let’s thank ourselves for getting these birds to our campus.

Did you know that there are hundreds of nest of different species of birds and they are breeding here? If no, go around the campus.  Even check the holes in the concrete retention wall at the back of MP Hall. You will find that it is home for the hop-pies family of birds. No place is spared.

Seen a Peepal tree in your life? If not go near our football ground, you will find a big one there and many more small ones all around the campus. This tree is special in our life as Lord Buddha mediated under Peepal tree for 51 days and got enlightenment( in Dzongkaha it is called JangchubSing).

Did you know the oldest living tree in this earth is? If no, then it is the Baniyan tree in the botanical garden in Calcutta, India.  It is 350 years old. We have a younger Baniyan tree in the middle of the park just below basketball court. You might not see in other places as this tree is quite rare. Don’t miss too see it.

Thank you everyone for creating beautiful environment, let’s do more and be the proud owner of this pristine environment and our school.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Self Management of Anxiety Disorder.

Anxiety is the feelings that get developed within us with or without any stress leading to panic attacks, mind racing, unable to control our thoughts, feeling of restlessness, sleep disturbance (insomnia) etc.

Few tips on how to manage anxiety?

ü  With or without any stress mind start racing. Allow your thoughts to flow freely and notice it. It comes and goes. Do not try to control it, controlling leads to more stress.
ü  Allow your mind to relax when some thoughts start coming to your head. Do deep breathing exercise right from the belly for at least ten times allowing muscles to relax from the head to the toes.
ü  Follow either a soothing music or the direction given by friend or from recorders for relaxation whenever you feel uncomfortable. This will allow your mind to relax completely.
ü  Every thought that comes to your mind is created by yourself. Therefore you can control it. This is developed within you; no external force can change it. You have to change it by yourself.
ü  If you cannot go to sleep just relax. Close your eyes and let things happen on its own. Do not try to force your brain to go to sleep or read or watch television. This will force your brain to be more awake. Allowing your brain to calm down completely by not forcing any thoughts will allow it to relax on its own. This happens for number of times but with practice you can do it.
ü  Do regular exercise to make your body tired so that you get proper sleep.
ü  Do regular meditation and relaxation to completely relax your mind and to be free from stress. Whenever you feel stressed immediately go for short meditation or relaxation exercise.
ü  Do not bother about small pain, body ache etc that happens in our body. Once we put our focus there we feel more stressed. These are especially the stressors which lead panic attacks and anxiety. Just think these are nothing serious that is going to harm you. They will come and go. Some are the side effects of the medicines that you take which will go with time.
ü  Our mind is a complicated organ which controls the whole body functions including our thinking, behavior etc. Unless we can control it allowing the free flow of ideas for thoughts to come and go, we will be forcing the ideas into the brain leading to the stress that leads to various anxiety disorders.
ü  Therefore proper relaxation and mindfulness training is very important to calm our mind. Also engaging in other activities like games, watching television, movies, gardening, walk, going to gym allows our mind to deviate from dragging with unwanted thoughts leading to constructive things making you feel relaxed and calm.
                 (Peer counseling with Dr Joy).

How is a Rupee crisis affecting Bhutan?

As of today we do not have a balance economy. There is more import than the export leading to the rupee crises although ngultrum is pegged at par with the Indian rupee, we cannot use ngultrum in Indian market for buying goods. Bhutanese economy is too much dependent on Indian market for the goods starting from basic necessity items to the industrial raw materials. More than 50000 expatriate working in Bhutan draining out money out of Bhutan in terms of rupee.
Import of Indian vehicles has risen sharply in the recent years. Easy loans by the banks allowed everyone to buy vehicles draining huge amount of money to India in terms of Indian rupee in past. That is why for sometime vehicle import ban was put in by the previous government which is through again. Rise in the crude petroleum prices in the international market has affected Bhutan as well, as we import all petroleum products from India. Import of many construction materials with the coming up of the mega power products is draining out money from of Bhutan. Many businessmen in bordering town having accounts with Bhutanese banks drain out billions from Bhutanese coffers year after year, for which all the account holders from outside were asked by banks to close their accounts last year.
How to over these problems?
Enhance Bhutanese economy especially in growing vegetables and grains towards self sufficiency. Allow import of only those items that cannot be grown in Bhutan. Government should open ware houses /sales counters/ packing places for Bhutanese goods to put it into the market properly. Support farmers as per the need of the farming requirements like irrigation channel, seeds market, and expertise and help convert fallow land into agricultural land. Import of vehicles must be channelized properly may be one family one car policy and heavier interest on vehicle loans and subsided the agricultural loans to help enhance economy. Increase taxes on the items that are available in Bhutan if imported from outside like poultry products which we are almost become self sufficient to discourage import.
(The opinion expressed is purely that of the author)

Monday, August 25, 2014


Gender differences in the learning of mathematics have been a widely discussed topic among mathematicians, through professional publications, the popular press and various other media. It is very important for teachers of mathematics to ask if there is any gender difference in the learning of mathematics.  If the answer is 'Yes' then we have ask ourselves more questions like, “Are females born with lesser mathematical genes than males? Do females have lesser ability to perform mathematics than males?” Is there a way to teach so that female students learn more effectively?
 In the Bhutanese context, Bhutan is regarded as a relatively "gender balanced" country in the region. In the social context Bhutanese women are regarded favourably. Women also enjoy a dominant role in family, and equality in inheritance law and the legal system. While women are involved and engaged in all spheres of economic, social and political life, certain disparities do exist, especially in the positions that require mathematical background, like Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics teaching, Accountancy, etc. This disparity leads us to question ourselves. Are Bhutanese females weaker in mathematics than Bhutanese males? To answer the above question I will try to reason out what might be the causes for the weaker test results of mathematics by Bhutanese females.

Enrollment of girls in the schools:
When it comes to the education of the children, Bhutanese parents traditionally give preference to the boys rather than the girls. This is evident in the lower enrollment of girls in schools, which might lead to fewer opportunities for girls to take jobs which are challenging and need mathematical background. Historically and still today, there are fewer girls in the entire education system, and the competition they feel for jobs is negligible. The jobs available for girls are plenty, and these jobs don’t required strong mathematical backing, like typing, office assistants, personal assistant, nursing etc. Enrollment of fewer girls in school and easily available plenty of jobs might have discouraged girls from doing the hard work required in learning advanced mathematics. Anyone taking mathematics as major subjects has to do lot of hard, abstract, theoretical work.

The table below reveals some interesting statistics about the fact that a small percentage of girls enrolled in schools at all levels, when compared to boys.

Girls in Primary School
(for every 100 boys)
Girls in Secondary School
(for every 100 boys)
Girls in Tertiary School
(for every 100 boys)





(Source of information: - Kuensel, dated May 10, 2003 p. 8)
The enrollment of girls in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary level from the table clearly shows that many girls drop out of formal education beginning at the secondary level and accelerating at tertiary levels.
Sherubtse College was upgraded to offer degree course in early 1980's in three streams of science, commerce and arts. It has seen its first female student graduate with a mathematics degree (i.e. Pure Science) only in year 1993. For a decade, no women students took up mathematics as their major subject for B.Sc. (Pure Science group, i.e. Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics Combination). Hardly any female students qualified from XII for the pure science; they tend to choose Bio- group (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) as their option. Biology requires more of rote learning, where they do well.
My school, Gyelpozhing Higher Secondary School, offers options for Pure Science,  Bio Science or Bio-Math; students who want to continue higher secondary or tertiary education in science, take any one of these options. We had 80 students taking science in the year 2003. Out of 80, only 12 are girls and 68 are boys. Out of 12 girls, only 4 girls have opted for mathematics i.e. Pure Science and Bio-math. This option in taking mathematics by girls and boys, shows that our girls are weaker and/or less interested than our boys in learning of mathematics at the higher levels of study. When interviewed, some girls made comments such as these; "We find Biology more useful and easy to learn"; "Mathematics is too difficult in class XII, I am facing problems in solving the equations and deriving the formulas and I am already thinking to drop it, as I am in Bio-Math". Others taking biology as an option, said, "Biology is easy as it requires only memorization, I hate thinking too hard; that's why I dropped mathematics". The above comments give us an idea why girls are less numerous in higher secondary math classes.
 However, the enrollment pattern is opposite for girls and boys where the demand of mathematics is less and other subjects is more. For instance in the Royal Institutes of Health Science (RIHS) in year 2002, there were 17 girls getting trained for general nursing midwifery  (GNM),  where the major subject is biology and no mathematics is needed. When interviewed, one of senior lecturers said, "We have trained more girls than boys so far, and we have always observed during interviews for enrollment, more girls comes forward to take up the course than boys". For the GNM, courses Class X pass students were enrolled until last year, where opportunities for girls and boys were the same.
 In contrast for the same year, Royal Bhutan Polytechnic had 13 girls compared to 80 boys taking engineering courses, which required mathematical background and where Mathematics is a major subject. "Only a few girls take the course and they do well. Many girls have to re-sit the exam. Boys are doing better in the subject," says a lecturer at the college. The evidence discussed above in the enrollment pattern in our higher secondary level school and institutes, is more evidence that our girls are neither enrolling nor performing at par with our boys at the higher level in learning of mathematics as the major subject.

Performances in Mathematics at different levels  
The difference in mathematics learning is seen as a great disparity between males and females in higher secondary level. However, there is not much of difference in the learning of mathematics at primary, lower secondary and secondary level in our schools. In fact at the primary level, in general girls perform even better than boys. At the lower secondary level, the performance of girls is at par with the boys. At Gyelposhing Higher Secondary School, in one class of 30 students (18 boys and 12 girls), only four girls and seven boys failed mathematics. Their marks are similar. This shows that girls and boys perform fairly at par in the lower secondary level.
From the sample I have taken from Gyelpozhing HSS, of 30 students in class, 20 boys and 10 girls at the secondary level, 30% of girls and 35% of boys have succeeded mathematics course.  At the Higher Secondary level in the same school, there are ten students taking mathematics, 2 girls and 8 boys. Only one girl has passed with a minimum score of 40% as her highest mark. Out of 8 boys, 6 boys passed mathematics with 90% as the highest mark. In this small sample, this performance at the higher secondary level shows that boys are doing better than the girls. This trend of success in mathematics in Bhutanese education is similar to trends highlighted in the study conducted staged by Kreinberg, Eccles and Backer (1985), and  that is also true in the rest of world. In their study, they say "One has only to think about number of females is any mathematics related career to recognize that females do not participate in careers that require mathematics at near the same levels as do males. For example, in 1980 only 9.7% of those who graduated with a degree in engineering were females" (p. 407).

The possible causes of sex-related differences in learning of mathematics
                What prohibits females from becoming better in mathematics or at par with male students? So far no researches have found a totally satisfying answer.  However various factors that might lead to the causes are discussed in detail in relation to the development of sex-related differences in learning of mathematics.

1) Biological Differences:
Are there any biological differences to explain the learning of mathematics between males and females? Crockett and Peterson (1984) reviewed the literature, and found that evidence supporting any direct effect as an explanation of sex-related differences in intellectual activities in largely inconclusive (p. 413). The most important effect that we can consider here is, how do we as a society respond to the fact that a child is a male or female? Do we give more attention to the baby girl or a boy? Still when children are quite young, we respond to them differently especially allowing them to play, mix with friends etc. The ways we talk to children of different genders make them feel that they are different. By the time they go to school, their mind is already set that girls should be going, playing, eating, and staying with girls, and boys with the boys. In the Bhutanese context, no school is separate for boys and girls; we have a co-educational system. Generally this difference should not arise as they mix up with boys from very early childhood. Also our society does not differentiate between boys and girls; we give equal importance to boys as well as girls. But we observe these differences in schools like girls are shy; hereby they do not come forward to ask help for their problems. This is because we parents are very cautious about the behaviour of girls and are more careful about their upbringing than our boys. These influences affect the girls biologically that they tend not to do risk taking things that boys do. This effect is perhaps carried on to the learning of mathematics.   

Cognitive Influences:
Crockett and Peterson (1984) say, “No difference exists between males and females in general intelligence" (p. 413).  However, Fennema (1975), Maccuby & Jacklin, (1974) wrote,
One cognitive variable that many believe may help to explain a sex-related difference in mathematics performance is spatial visualization, a particular subset of spatial skills. Even though many sex-related differences are being challenged, the evidence is still persuasive that in many cultures male superiority on tasks that requires spatial visualization is evident beginning during adolescence. (__).

Spatial visualization means being able to imagine of the movements of objects in the mind; spatial visualization is found to be better for the boys than girls.
Also, Scott Hodgetts (in Burton, 1986) offers some explanation of the view that gender differences in learning mathematics may be associated with differences in cognitive style. Her hypothesis is that people who are inclined to adopt a serialist approach to learning are disadvantaged when learning of mathematics and that great portion of girls than boys’ exhibit serialist performances.   

Socialization influences:
From early childhood, the experiences which the world provides for girls and boys are totally different. They are given different kinds of things to play with. Girls are not allowed freely to go out of the house whereas boys can. Girls are usually taught to weave cloth and work in the kitchen with their mothers and sisters. While working they are reminded of breakages, danger of handling delicate things like the lightening of gas, washing of plates etc. This leads girls to be careful even if they try to do anything on their own. They get scared that they might spoil something if they try, so better not to try if it is difficult. This effect will be carried with them, will be developed within them, and discourges them from trying difficult problems. On the other hand boys are allowed to go anywhere while playing with their friends. They do not mind even trying with tough games like Khuru, Degor, archery, football, volleyball etc. Even if they are hurt badly they do not mind. The competition developed within the group of friends leads to the development of risk taking, problem solving and the winning spirit. They have developed a different concept: even if I might lose, I will try. This strong concept of trying hard, developed in the brain, might be helping the boys to solve difficult problems in higher level mathematics even if it's hard. However, girls are not encouraged to be adventurous risk takers. They have the concept that they should not go out to play, not to mix with the boys frequently, not to trust everybody, not to go around alone. These might lead girls to develop the inferiority complex in comparison with the boys. Girls are much more cautious most of the time; this hesitance must have been developed because of early childhood admonitions. This socializing might be hampering them in handling hard problems.
Family socialization patterns are seemingly reinforced by socialization patterns in school. When we open any mathematics book, talk about mathematics, read mathematics etc., the subject is presented as a male dominated subject. Hardly ever do we see any females' names in the mathematics book; there are no role models.  This might be discouraging to girls, that women have not been able to do mathematics earlier and why should they try now. I interviewed around twenty of the class 10 students to find out whether they were taught by the male teachers or female teachers the subject mathematics. Eight of the girls said that male teachers taught them from class III till ten. Two of the girls said, their math teacher in class III was a female and in rest of the classes they were males). This shows that our girls gets discouraged to do well in mathematics as they find mathematics is a male dominated subject.
Classroom Influences:
Classroom influence deals with the relation that exists between girls and boys, and the differentiated roles they assume in the classroom. Boys and girls are assigned to the same classroom, they are taught by the same teacher, they are awarded the same punishments and awards, and they follow the same curriculum. This gives us the impression that there should not be any difference between boys and girls in learning the subject. But if we look at them closely, the difference between boys and girls appears almost involuntarily. Boys and girls do not sit with one another in the class, help one another, or talk with one another as frequently as they interact with the same sex peers. Usually boys are dominant in the classroom. They tend to be leaders, and there tends to be more opportunities for the boys to interact with their teachers and friends. Also this idea of assuming leadership helps them to do better in the classroom as they have to perform well if they have come forward in future times as well. Girls as they do not come forward to seek help; they get less attention from their teachers. This might be helping the boys to learn better and try harder to impress their teachers. They try harder to impress teachers' leads to have patience and practice, which definitely helps them to learn mathematics better than girls.  

Attitudinal Influences:
Having positive beliefs about oneself in relation to mathematics is an important aspect in learning of mathematics. The same beliefs influence the learning of mathematics by influencing.
1)       How hard we work with the problem.
2)       How consistent are we in performing the problems.
3)       Do we work independently or always ask for the help.
Our internal belief is that mathematics is a male dominated subject. Osen (___) says that many women in our present culture value mathematics, but it is not seen as an appropriate domain for females. She perceives that teachers and peers have lowered expectations for girls' mathematical success. Success is not valued by the girls even if they do well as this is seen as an exceptional that should not have happened. Attitudinal influence leads to an inferiority complex in females in comparison to the males. This socially acquired complex leads to disliking the subject.

From the observations, discussions, and research, there is a serious gender difference in learning of mathematics within our Bhutanese schools, as there is outside Bhutan. It's of a serious concern for each and every one of us as teachers to think how can we overcome these differences and overcome all the problems that are hampering our girls to perform at par with the boys in the higher level mathematics. We have to consider factors where we have an influential role to play in bridging the gap, such as attending to classroom influences. Other problems, like socialization influences, might take years to overcome till the parents in all of our homes are educated and do not see any difference between boys and girls in their abilities and aspirations.
I am optimistic that we will be able to overcome these problems in the long run. I am confident that with more of our girls becoming educated, they will realize the value of mathematics in our day to day life and its importance. Although the problem does not seem high priority in Bhutanese society, it exists in the schools, and in the field of work. If we want equal opportunity for females, we must work hard in performing at par with the male counterparts overcoming all the influences that might be hampering the learning of mathematics by girls.

Thomas, R. (1998).  Teaching Mathematics in grades K-8, Research based method.  City of Publication: Allyned Bacon Inc.

I would sincerely like to thank Zane de Noncourt, Writing coach to the Canada-Bhutan M.Ed Students, STFX University, Canada for the correction of the grammar in my work apart from the correction of my assignments. Also I would like to thank my colleagues of Gyelposhing Higher Secondary School for encouraging me during my initial phase of the write up. Also I would like to thank my wife for being the source of inspiration and support in my work.