Human Values in Higher Education Conference in Thimphu
More than 120 participants from five countries— Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan attended the conference.
By Phurpa Lhamo | Kuensel
The 7th international conference on Human Values in Higher Education opened at the Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Kawajangsa in Thimphu from 26-28 April.
This is the second time that this conference is being held in Bhutan. The 4th conference was held at the Gaeddu College of Business Studies back in 2015. The first international conference was held in Hyderabad, India in 2012.
More than 120 participants from five countries— Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Maldives and Bhutan attended the conference. The event also celebrates 50 years of diplomatic relationship between Bhutan and India.
Key focus of the conference
This conference is focused on the theme “Education for Holistic Human Health”, which covers all aspects of human health, including mental health, physical health as well as the health of the environment (family, society and nature), which play important roles in human health.
It provides a holistic perspective on human purpose and outlines a society in which this purpose is fulfilled. A health system for all is a part of such a society – a system for the preservation of health as well as one that deals with disease and accidents. It also enables us to approach the major issues being faced by the medical system today, while duly appreciating the many advances in medicine.
The Vice chancellor of the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB), Nidup Dorji said, “We need to adopt a more holistic view of education that aims at the development of the faculties and pay more attention to developing the cognitive, emotional and aesthetics, in other words the humane aspects of study.”
Importance of cultivating human values
The President of the Khesar Gyalpo University of Medical Sciences (KGUMS), Dr K P Tshering, said that because health professionals take care of the sick, it is imperative for medical universities to introduce universal human values for students, faculties and staff.
He said that the conference this year will focus on all aspects of human health including mental, physical and environment health.
“The conference will have keynote speeches, hold panel discussions, and have experience sharing sessions. We expect recommendations and guidelines to develop education for the well-being of all, particularly in the area of health.”
The conference is organised by eight universities including KGUMS and RUB from Bhutan.
Her Majesty the Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck, who graced the conference, said that the Youth Development Fund will be establishing an institute of wellbeing in the country, which will adopt the universal values education programme.
She also stressed the need for the universal human value programme in daycare centres, early childhood development centres, the educational systems and workplaces.
“I am happy to hear that the universal human value is now being proposed for self-reflection as a foundational tool in over 40 universities and both the RUB and KGUMS are engaged in similar practices,” said Her Majesty the Gyalyum.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the new Bhutan Times.