Afterword

ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's with the MoE Website?

The official website of the Ministry of Education, www.education.gov.bt, is dead. And it's been dead for the last few weeks. We first tweeted about this a few days ago.  My guess is that it went down about 3 or 4 weeks ago. That's a pretty long time for a website of that importance to be unavailable. In the online world, it's almost infinity. It's down for so long, in fact, that the website does not even come up in Google search results. Try looking for "ministry of education, bhutan" or any other query related to education in Bhutan. The ministry's official web site is just not there. It's gone.


For some reason, I could not find any information about this outage. There was no announcement before it went down. There was no announcement about an ongoing issue, or an estimated time of recovery. I could not find any information in the Kuensel, other newspapers or BBS; not on Twitter or Facebook; not in the official government portal (www.bhutan.gov.bt). DrukNet, the hosting company, did not provide any information as well.

If you are a parent, a student, a teacher, a researcher, or anyone interested in online information related the MoE, you're basically out of luck. According to a recently-started discussion on the new Kuensel forums, teachers in remote areas depend on the website for accessing materials. A user by the name of fuel wrote: "in the remote place education web site is must update the teachers".

My guess - and it's only a guess - is that some serious technical problem has occurred. Perhaps the website was hacked. Perhaps a hard disk crash occurred. If anyone has information about this painful outage, kindly illuminate us all.