History of National Institute for Zorig Chusum | National Institute for zorigchusum

History of National Institute for Zorig Chusum

The National Institute for Zorig Chusum is located at Tashi Gephelling, Kawa Jangsa in Thimphu. It is the premier Institute established to preserve and promote traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan in 1971. It started as a Painting school with 30 students and two Instructors under the Ministry of Development. The course duration was indefinite and students left the school when they felt it was time for them to leave. Most students were usually asked, “Don’t you think you learned enough to leave now?”

The students were paid Nu 120/- as stipend then. In contrast to what the name of the school suggests, students were taught only “Shing Tshen gi Rimo” (drawing of House Painting) and were sent out to learn how to paint by actually involving in the real work of painting. It was much later that the measurement of statutes (“Ku Thig”) was introduced. In 1986, the training duration was decided to be 11 years with entry qualification of class VI passed. A few years later, the duration was reduced to 8 years. A year later, in 1985 the institute was transferred to the Ministry of Finance, then to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

In 1999 when the National Technical Training Authority (NTTA) took over the charge of overall administration of VTIs, two IZCs were also subsumed under the same umbrella of NTTA, which later became full flagged Ministry of Labor and Human Resources in 2003. It was in 1999 the training duration was further reduced to 6 years, but with entry qualification requirement of class X passed. 2017 saw a big change with the appointment of the new leadership from non-technical background. The institute has started working in line with BVQF and got all courses accredited by Department of Occupational Standard, thereby Reducing the training duration significantly to anywhere between 1 to 3 years to get a National Certification III.