Assessing Educating for Gross National Happiness in Bhutanese Schools: A new direction


  • Kaka Kaka University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia
  • Judith Miller University of New England
  • Nadya Rizk University of New England



Gross National Happiness (GNH), Educating for GNH (EGNH), GNH values, EGNH Practices, Theory of Practice Architectures


Gross National Happiness (GNH), a concept that is rooted in Buddhist philosophies, underpins a range of educational policies in Bhutan. The Educating for GNH (EGNH) initiative was launched a decade ago to promote GNH values throughout the school system. However, whether EGNH has been a success is still contested with evidence lacking to support either view. Several issues arising from the implementation and evaluation of this initiative remain unaddressed. The five pathways to the EGNH have not been effectively institutionalized. Principals and teachers still lack the motivation and competency to infuse and integrate GNH values. More importantly, the Performance Management System (PMS) is questioned as a valid framework to monitor the primary purpose of providing adequate feedback and trustworthy recommendations for promoting and improving GNH practices. Based on the review of literature and some anecdotal evidence, the authors present the Theory of Practice Architectures as a new direction for investigating EGNH practices in the Bhutanese schools as it provides the theoretical framing for interrogating and potentially transforming educational practices.

Author Biographies

Kaka Kaka, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia

Kaka is a doctoral candidate in the School of Education at University of New England. Prior to pursuing his postgraduate studies, he served as a primary school teacher, Head teacher, Principal, Assistant District Education Officer, Education Monitoring Officer and Officiating Chief Programme Officer. He resigned from civil service in June 2018 to pursue an academic career. His contribution to the Ministry of Education in Bhutan includes the development of concept papers for Central Schools, Autonomous Schools, Armed Forces School, and mainstreaming Technical and Vocational Education into school system among many others.

Judith Miller, University of New England

Judith Miller has been actively contributing to preservice teacher education, teaching and researching at the University of New England since the early 1990’s. Judith has contributed to both collaborative research and curriculum development in Bhutan, most recently championing study programmes for young Australian teachers to experience education in Bhutan through the support of the Australian Government New Colombo Plan Scholarship scheme.

Nadya Rizk, University of New England

Nadya Rizk is a member of the Science Education team at the University of New England. She has been involved in various research projects both nationally and internationally. While a secondary physics teacher by training, her research interests are in the professional learning of in-service primary teachers in science.




How to Cite

Kaka, K., Miller, J., & Rizk, N. . (2022). Assessing Educating for Gross National Happiness in Bhutanese Schools: A new direction. Bhutan Journal of Research and Development, 11(1).