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Naps to boost physical and mental wellbeing of the students

Yeshey Lhadon

Bukkey Primary School is one of the exemplary schools in Samtse despite being one of the remotest schools.

Recently the school management headed by Jigme Jamtso, the officiating principal came into the limelight once more for taking an interesting initiative by starting daytime nap sessions for the students of classes PP and I.

There are 11 students in class PP and 10 students in class I.

Initially, they started with a two hours napping session after lunch in the school’s new library. But after consulting experts, the students aged five-six nap for 30 to 40 minutes.

There are a few good reasons for the school to introduce napping sessions.

The first one is to boost the physical and mental health of the children.

Another reason is to keep the students safe from swelling streams. There are two small streams that swell during monsoon season, posing life threats to the young learners on their way back home.

“As monsoon season is risky and students walk for hours to school, we want to keep them safe, ” said the officiating principal.

The officiating principal stated that the young students were often observed loitering around after school hours which gets over by lunchtime.

“We noticed that the students don’t go home directly and the parents couldn’t come to pick them up on time as they are busy with their farm work.”He said the initiative taken by the school made things convenient for the parents too.

Another reason to start a napping session for classes PP and I was to engage them in a reading session after the last period. The whole school reads for half an hour after school. “I think it’s a good opportunity for our young students to exercise reading and develop their learning skills,” said the school.

The school management claimed that they discussed the daytime napping session with the parents before implementing it. “Parents were supportive of the management’s idea.”

The idea of introducing a napping session in Bukkey is not new to Jigme Jamtsho. He claimed that he had been planning to introduce the session some five years ago.

He got the idea from his previous working area, Maltibasti ECR which is now closed due to no new-enrollment.

“The napping session was successful in my previous school, and I am sure it will help the young children here too,” said Jigme Jamtsho.

The school said that the students are hyperactive as they engage in various activities in a day.  The students are often seen learning outdoors with their class teachers. Moreover, Bukkey being in the sub-tropical zone of the country, the summer heat drains the children’s energy.

“They get exhausted and dehydrated due to the geographical setting of Bukkey. And napping will rejuvenate their energy,” said the school.

The school also keeps the students engaged in recreational activities like football, basketball, volleyball, and traditional games like doe-gor and badminton. 

“Power naps will help them grow physically and mentally, and keep them active,” said the officiating principal.

The school management also adopted this new strategy as per the psychologists’ advice.

According to the psychologist, “As children grow and develop, naps give their bodies and minds time to rest and recharge during those big changes.”

The class teachers monitor the napping routine while the parents are happy and supportive of the new strategy. Jigme Jamtsho said that the teachers also get some time to plan co-curricular activities when the students take naps. 

There are 87 students in Bukkey Primary School and 12 staff taking care of the needs of the students. Bukkey school was established a decade ago with minimal structure and facilities. 

“It is one of the exemplary schools in Samtse Dzongkhage and known for conducive learning environmental ambience” said Jigme Jamtsho.

Jigme Jamtsho shared that longs to change the stories his students will tell. He himself comes from one of the remotest places in Trashiyangtse. He doesn’t want his students to repeat the same stories people from remote areas share. 

He said, “Even to this date, there are students from remote places narrating the same stories of struggles and challenges they face being in remote parts of the country.”

“My main objective is to change the story. I want my students to tell their stories proudly when they grow up. About all the opportunities they got in the school despite coming from a remote area,” he added.

The officiating principal said that the gewog administration, the dzongkhag and community came together to make Bukkey school a beautiful learning place.

He also applauds the support of all the young and energetic teachers and staff who live like a family in the school compound. 

He is happy to show around his colorfully painted school facilities starting from the entry gate, artificial waterfall, new library, recreational facilities , all that is a part of a conducive learning environment.

“There’s a huge difference in the academic performances. It has improved a lot as we take care of the physical and mental wellbeing of our students,” said the school management.

He proudly claimed that a conducive learning environment helped reduce the number of absentees and dropouts over the years. He said, “Students are excited. They come here so early and are always eager to learn. They are filled with positive energies.”

Since there is no Television at the students’ home, they leave the school compound unwillingly.”They don’t want to go home as they are engaged here.”

Moreover, to help those living hours away from the school and reduce absentees the management has also opened an informal boarding facility. 13 boys and 13 girls live on the school campus as of now.

“Earlier, some students would miss classes for one to two months as they couldn’t make it to school during monsoon seasons, now we have a good attendance record,” said the officiating principal.

This was possible because their management worked their way out of the regular duties. The officiating principal always looks for potential donors and supporters for the school and the students .

 He shared how he returned to his school with his car filled with clothes and  reading materials for the students.

The school keeps posting their innovative works in their social media page so that other schools can get inspired and copy the ways.

Bukkey Primary School is located about 11 kilometres away from Samtse town. Recently, black topped on samtse to Phuntshopelri (Gomtu)  way, it now takes about 25 minutes to reach the school

Bukkey first gained attention when one of their class VI alumni, Ugyen Gurung got an opportunity to study in the Royal Academy in Pangbisa, Paro.

“Bukkey teachers are trying to send at least two students this time. It’s such a proud moment, to guide and groom the students here,” said Jigme Jamtsho

He claimed that the school is now focusing more on academic performance as they are content with the development of structures and facilities.

The officiating principal said, “Our community is keeping a close watch on our activities, they appreciate and come forward to help the school and the students.”

Bukkey primary school wants to change the stories for the future leaders, the young learners.

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