…𝑮𝒚𝒂𝒍𝒔𝒖𝒏𝒈 𝒍𝒆𝒂𝒅𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒂𝒔 𝒂 𝒕𝒓𝒂𝒊𝒍𝒃𝒍𝒂𝒛𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒏𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒉 𝒐𝒇 𝑩𝒉𝒖𝒕𝒂𝒏
The Gyalsung, Bhutan’s National Service, announced its first batch of Cadets for the inaugural Gyalsung Training program, which will run from September 1, 2024, to January 15, 2025, sparking excitement among the youth.
The training for the inaugural batch will last for four and a half months. Due to its shorter duration, cadets will undertake Basic Military Training followed by courses in National Education, Leadership Development, Life Skills, and other activities.
Tenzin Syelden, a Class X student at Changangkha Middle Secondary School, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I am really excited about Gyalsung. We discuss gender inequalities, and I personally believe that this program offers a great platform to bridge this gap. With a wide array of disciplines, it provides an opportunity to explore our potential and hone our skills. Most importantly, it offers a wonderful opportunity to serve our country and the King. I shall be forever grateful for this opportunity and for the noble vision of our King. I can’t wait to be a part of the program.”
Sangay Lhamo, a 17-year-old student at Sonamthang Central School in Zhemgang, expressed her enthusiasm for the Gyalsung program, saying, “I am excited about the Gyalsung program because I anticipate gaining various skills. Initially, I wanted to join De-Suung, but due to the age limit, I couldn’t participate. However, with the Gyalsung program, I am thrilled and prepared to join.”
Another student, Kinga Tshering, shared, “The first time I heard about Gyalsung, I thought it was just another De-Suung program. However, as I learned more about it, I wanted to join immediately and even insisted that my father help me with enrollment.”
His Majesty The King introduced Gyalsung during the 112th National Day on December 17, 2019, with a vision to empower all Bhutanese youth to participate in the nation-building process, enhancing the security, peace, unity, harmony, and sovereignty of the nation. The Gyalsung Act was ratified by the Parliament on November 11, 2022, making all Bhutanese youth born in 2005 (who will be 18 in 2023) eligible to participate in the training starting in September 2024. These youths must register through the Gyalsung portal at https://portal.gyalsung.bt and complete the 2024 registration within 100 days of the announcement.
The Gyalsung journey begins with a year-long, full-time training program, bringing youths aged 18 from all corners of the country to one of the four Gyalsung Academies. During this phase, young citizens undergo basic military training and attend courses in national education to develop essential life skills that will prepare them for future challenges and opportunities. This training phase is followed by the Gyalsung Duty, which continues until the age of 35, and then by the Gyalsung Reserve phase until the age of 45. During these phases, participants may be called upon to render voluntary or mandatory services. After completing the Gyalsung obligations, a Bhutanese citizen can choose to volunteer for De-Suung and continue to serve the nation. However, individuals born before 2005, regardless of their educational status, are ineligible for Gyalsung due to capacity constraints and may opt to volunteer for De-Suung instead.
In alignment with His Majesty’s vision, Gyalsung aims to shape Bhutan’s youth into more capable, committed, and confident citizens with the strength of character and discipline that fosters integrity, excellence, accountability, and loyalty to the Tsawa-Sum. Gyalsung will become a significant rite of passage for all Bhutanese youth, irrespective of their educational status, social, economic, regional, or linguistic backgrounds.
The Gyalsung Governing Council, in accordance with the provisions of the Gyalsung Act 2022, will, as a one-time measure, exempt eligible students who are in Class 12 in 2023 and plan to pursue further education in 2024 from attending the inaugural training program. However, they will be required to register and apply for the exemption. Starting from 2025, such exemptions for further education will no longer be granted. Students born in 2005 but in or below Class 11 in 2023, who intend to continue their studies, will need to register on the Gyalsung portal and apply for deferment so that they can attend Gyalsung after completing Class 12.
“’I am thrilled to join the Gyalsung-National Service. I aspire to be a part of this program and contribute to my country and the King. I have heard that after completing the program, we will become better individuals with a clearer sense of direction in our lives. I am eager to explore and discover myself,” said Tashi Tshering from Lungtenzampa Middle Secondary School.
“I am very excited about Gyalsung because it will create numerous opportunities for me and fellow students in Bhutan. It will empower me to become a strong citizen, capable of protecting my country and me when needed. I am thrilled to have the chance to join Gyalsung and serve my country to the best of my abilities,” said Sonam Choki Dawa from Zilukha Middle Secondary School.
Numerous enthusiastic young individuals fervently expressed their excitement and eagerness to be a part of this exceptional program, as they eagerly anticipate the opportunity to participate and make a meaningful contribution.
Gyalsung Call Centre operates with 40 Call Agents assigned to two shifts. The First Shift runs from 9 AM to 3:30 PM (900 hours to 1530 hours), and the second shift operates from 3:30 PM to 10 PM (1530 hours to 2200 hours).
Since the announcement for registration began on October 9, 2023, the Gyalsung Centre has received more than 500 calls as of 3:30 PM on Saturday, October 14, 2023. These calls were primarily received from individuals born between 2005 and 2007. As of October 14, only one patient has been reported to have called. Most of the inquiries have been related to signing up, registration, eligibility, exemptions, and deferment.
As a collective national endeavor to uphold the Constitution and realize His Majesty The King’s vision, the Gyalsung program looks forward to the firm commitment and support of all Bhutanese citizens in achieving its national objectives.