Thakur S Powdyel is an educator by choice, conviction and passion. His teaching experience spans schools, colleges and universities and includes leadership and management, curriculum planning, teacher education and community service, among others. He writes regularly on development issues, education and democracy, and meditates on educational integrity, institutional honour, national self-respect and moral literacy. Powdyel has travelled extensively across the length and breadth of his country and developed a deep understanding of the aspirations of his fellow-citizens and the needs of the country.
As the Minister of Education (2008-2013), Powdyel, in tandem with his colleagues, worked hard to achieve universal enrolment and gender parity at primary school level, enhance non-formal and continuing education, and restore Education to its core function by initiating the Green Schools programme under the auspices of the Educating for Gross National Happiness initiative. In his capacity as a Member of Parliament, he introduced some important bills particularly those affecting the welfare of women and children.
Powdyel has been Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University, Japan, and Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA, and has delivered talks at other university and college campuses. His published works include “As I Am, So Is My Nation”, Right of Vision & Occasional Views”, and “My Green School: An Outline”, now available in Spanish, Catalan, and Vietnamese, with other translations underway. He is the principal author of “The Light of My Life”. Thakur S Powdyel was awarded the prestigious International Gusi Peace Prize in 2011 for Life-time Contribution to Education, the Global Education Award in 2012 for Outstanding Contribution to Education, and the Distinguished Service Award in 2016. Powdyel received the sacred Dakyen from His Majesty the King on April 11, 2008, and became Bhutan’s Minister of Education in the country’s first democratically elected government. He is a recipient of the Coronation Gold Medal 2008.
Powdyel joined the Royal Thimphu College in March 2015 in honour of the Noble Sector as the vital instrument of nation-building.