English | Dzongkha Friday, June 18, 2021

Education ministry to recruit 138 B.Ed graduates as Regular Contract Teachers next month


Jun 10, 2021

At a time when most schools are struggling with a teacher shortage, around 200 B.Ed graduates from Paro and Samtse Colleges of Education have been unemployed for about a year now. They are waiting for the education ministry to announce the regular contract vacancies. The ministry usually recruits B.Ed graduates on contract as regular contracts after the recruitment of regular teachers. The ministry deployed 321 B.Ed graduates as regular teachers earlier this week.

The representatives of the graduates requesting anonymity said they appealed to the education minister twice. They completed B.Ed in July last year and scored more than 50 per cent pass mark in this year’s civil service examination.

But they could not be selected in the ministry’s required slot. With the ministry yet to float regular contract vacancies, the graduates raised concerns.

As per the ministry’s records, schools across the country are short of more than 500 teachers.

“We have around 250 B.Ed graduates. The government can recruit us and send us to those districts where there’s a teacher shortage. We are ready to serve. The teacher shortage is a huge problem. If I am to share my own experience, I volunteered at Babesa Higher Secondary School as a History teacher for about five months. And when asked, the school still has a history teacher shortage. I think the government needs to intervene and do something about this as the B.Ed graduates are still without a job,” said one of the graduates.

“In the past, those who could not get selected in the given slots, the government used to take them as Regular Contract teachers. But this year there aren’t any slots for RCT. Firstly, the slots are very limited. And regarding the recruitment of regular contract teachers, we approached the education minister twice. And when we called the office for a follow-up, they said they will take us as regular contract teachers only if the shortage is critical otherwise they will not. On the other hand, the ministry has been recruiting more contract teachers without any training. But we have been specialised in teaching for four years. And the teaching opportunity we get is minimal,” added another graduate.

“There has been news in the media about the teacher shortage. For instance, recently it was highlighted in media that two Dzongkha teachers teaching all subjects in one of the schools. But according to BPST (Bhutan Professional Standard for Teachers), a teacher is supposed to teach only one subject. The education quality is compromised when things like this happen. So when the teacher shortage is as clear as the daylight, why are they not recruiting the B.Ed graduates? They have been pushing away the recruitment of regular contract teachers while they have been recruiting the national contract teachers. This has led us to question ourselves. While there are B.Ed graduates who have undergone four years of training, they still recruit National contract teachers over us,” added another graduate.

But there is hope for the graduates as Education Minister Jai Bir Rai over a telephone interview said, the ministry is planning to recruit some 138 B.Ed graduates as regular contract teachers next month. The ministry recruited the same number as regular contract last year as well.

The minister added the delay in the civil service examination due to the pandemic led to the delay in B.Ed graduates recruitment and deployment. Their appointment usually takes place between January and February, every year.

And over the last six years, more than 1,700 teachers have left the profession. As per the Annual Education Statistics 2020, there are over 10,000 teachers in the country today.

Sonam Pem

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