Dratshang Lhentshog and UNICEF launch Dratshang Management Information System and Akelius project
The Akelius project will support monks and nuns to learn the English language
Joint Press Release
June 23, 2023: The Dratshang Management Information System, which holds the national database for the monastic body went live today.
The Dratshang Lhentshog (Council for Religious Affairs) and UNICEF Bhutan launched the information management system, which will further empower the Dratshang Lhentshog secretariat and partners to support evidence based programmes and interventions.
Developed with support from UNICEF, the system will serve as a database on all monks and nuns studying in various monastic institutions across the country. The system is an integrated platform to collect disaggregated data on various components that will be analyzed and used by the Dratshang Lhentshog and other stakeholders.
Unlocking the value of data to strengthen the monastic system and service delivery, the Dratshang Management Information System was initiated to strengthen the management of data on monks, nuns and the monastic schools, to improve the national capacity to collect, manage and use education data to achieve quality, inclusive education and learning for monks and nuns.
To facilitate accessible and continuous learning of English with better learning outcomes for children in monastic schools, the Dratshang Lhentshog in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, the Akelius Foundation and UNICEF also launched the Akelius project in 14 monastic schools.
Spread over two years, the Akelius project, will equip 1,400 monks and nuns across 14 monastic schools with the digital English language proficiency levels by accessing the Akelius language course. Using the application, the project will also enhance the capacity of 26 teachers in monastic schools in blended teaching and learning approaches.
His Eminence the Tsugla Lopon Karma Rangdrol said technology is one of the main tools today to promote cultural values and enhance education.
“The launch of the Dratshang Management Information System has set a precedent for the monastic body to embrace innovative ways of learning and culture preservation,” the Tsugla Lopon said. “This is a stepping-stone for the monastic body to maintain data on student, attendance, resources and administration.”
The Akelius digital learning application is a tool that helps students learn language in a fun way. It presents rich, interactive content in a gamified learning environment. Application users go through various types of activities, including thousands of micro-steps that provide instant feedback on their progress, which individualizes learning.
Commending the Dratshang Lhentshog’s initiatives to empower monks and nuns, UNICEF Bhutan Representative Andrea James said data management is a critical lever for effective and efficient planning and management.
“The Dratshang Management Information System will enable us to take informed decisions in supporting programmes for children and young people across all monastic schools,” Andrea James. “Foundational literacy skills are critical for children to thrive in school and beyond. We hope the Akelius project will foster an interest in learning English for monks and nuns while improving the digital skills of children and teachers.”
Note to Editors
About Akelius Foundation
The UNICEF-Akelius Foundation global partnership, through the Swedish National Committee for UNICEF, provides financial and in-kind resources to UNICEF education programmes and focuses on two priorities: Digital language learning for marginalized children and supporting regular education programmes.
The Akelius Foundation has been developing a digital language learning application (online and offline) for the acquisition of English, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian languages. This work is being done in collaboration with UNICEF Country Offices and through a team of software engineers, academics, and linguists, that Akelius has hired specifically for the development of the application. The platform is being developed to be used both by a facilitator in a classroom supporting ongoing non-formal and formal education and as a stand-alone self-learning tool.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.