About Samtse and Samtse College of Education

Samtse College of Education is situated in Southern Bhutan in Samtse Dzongkhag ranges from 600-3,800 m in altitude. The main crops grown in the region are oranges, cardamom, ginger and areca nuts. These cash crops are exported to the nearby Indian state of West Bengal and even to Bangladesh. With an area of approximately 1500 sq. kilometers, Samtse Dzongkhag is a little more than twice the size of Singapore. It shares an international border with the Indian states of Sikkim to the west and West Bengal to the south, and internal borders with Haa and Chukha Districts.

As the kingdom’s first teacher education establishment, the launch of Samtse College of Education as a Teacher Training Institute (TTI) coincided with the historic development efforts that were being initiated in the 1960s. TTI was blessed and inaugurated by His Late Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuck on 29 May 1968. The institute began with an initial enrolment of 41 students, 39 of whom graduated successfully and became teachers and teacher educators and later played important roles in the educational development of Bhutan. In 1983, drawing on models and best practices in teacher education programmes in the UK, Australia, Switzerland and the Philippines and with assistance from UNESCO, TTI (renamed National Institute of Education [NIE], now Samtse College of Education [SCE]), launched the country’s first undergraduate programme in secondary teacher education.

The birth of NIE coincided with the introduction of New Approach to Primary Education (NAPE) initiatives in the country, which brought about a paradigm shift in the way school education – especially curriculum and teaching pedagogies – was approached. NIE then introduced the country’s first Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) programme for university graduates in 1989, Bachelor of Education programme (B. Ed Primary) for higher secondary graduates in 1993, and Bachelor of Education programme (by distance) in  1995 for in-service primary school teachers.

It was here where the first Postgraduate Certificate in Education programme (Dzongkha) was also launched. SCE currently offers Masters, postgraduate, bachelors and diploma programmes in diverse fields of teacher education including science and mathematics, contemplative counseling, social sciences and humanities, language and literary education, IT, and commerce and business education. The College will introduce bachelors and Masters programmes in social work in the near future. SCE’s faculty members are actively engaged in policy relevant research, policy and programme development for agencies in government and private sectors, and community service.    

How to reach the venue 

You can reach Samtse College of Education via two entry points.

1. Bagdogra Airport in Siliguri, West Bengal, India, is about 3 hours’ drive to Samtse (Conference organisers will receive the guest/participants at the airport).

2. Paro International Airport, Paro, Bhutan, is about 8 hours’ drive to Samtse (conference organisers will receive the guests and participants).

Applying for visa

  1. Dated Visa Application Form (June 2018) with complete details, including picture (visa form attached)
  2. Scanned copy of the Passport- both pages included
  3. Programme schedule (attach conference program)
  4. Declaration letter from the Person’s organization to authenticate his/her visit to Bhutan for the proposed activity- financial implication has to be reflected- Note- letter should not be signed by the person coming to Bhutan but anyone from the International Relations Office in their respective organization/institution

Note: If you arrive via Bagdogra Airport, Indian visa is necessary and you will need to tick double entry on the visa from. For any queries and support contact or

In addition to your professional experience in ICESWPE2019, you will have the occasion to visit Bhutan.
Bhutan is a unique country both culturally and environmentally. Perched high in the Himalayas, it is the world’s last remaining Buddhist Kingdom. It has developed the philosophy of Gross National Happiness; where development is measured using a holistic approach of well-being, not just based on gross domestic product.

Come and live this unique experience at ICESWPE2019