The Bhutan Baccalaureate sees education as a wholistic process that extends far beyond the mere acquisition of knowledge. The framework for the wholistic development of learners is based on the Five Areas of Development: Cerebral, Emotional, Physical, Social, and Spiritual.
The Spiritual Area of Development relates to basic questions about the meaning and purpose of life that impacts everyone. It does not depend on an individual’s religious beliefs or affiliations alone but on the universal quest for individual and community identities and responses to challenging experiences. A learner’s growth and development in the spiritual area is about the search for answers to existential questions and the value of being able to live with purpose and meaning.
The underpinnings of spiritual development in the Bhutan Baccalaureate lie in the notion of being a good human being. Spiritual development, therefore, desires each learner to actualise one’s innate potential to become the best version of oneself. Built on the understanding of the interconnectedness (tendrel) of all natural phenomena, spiritual development helps learners discover their innate goodness to contribute to the creation of a just and harmonious society. The creation of a harmonious society starts with a deep understanding of oneself and one’s relation to the world. To do this, learners inculcate the watermarks of spirituality, such as grit (ngar -ངར), empathy, compassion, and altruism, and develop a sense of others.
The Spiritual Area of Development comprises four components: self-awareness and identity, meaning and purpose of life, inner goodness, and beyond self and others. These components allow learners to recognise their inner callings toward becoming good human beings.
Keeping in mind the significance of the Spiritual Area of Development for a learner’s wholistic growth, the Spiritual Coordinators of 23 Bhutan Baccalaureate schools organised a range of Spiritual Development Exchange Programmes Each school partnered with another school to carry out one of a total of twelve programmes, which were scheduled between March 27th and March 31st. While each exchange programme had its own objectives and indicators of success, all aimed to bring forth an enrichment of their school’s understanding of the Spiritual Area of Development.
To read more about the Spiritual Development exchange programme between the 23 Bhutan Baccalaureate schools, the report can be found using this link.