The Ministry of Education and Skill Development (MoESD) is currently collecting information on the teacher requirement in all the schools in the country. MoESD completed its reassessment of the Regular Contract Teachers (RCT) and National Contract Teachers (NCT), and the result of the assessment will be out in the end of February 2023.
The Education Minister, Jai Bir Rai, shared that, for now, MoESD is looking at the number of teachers required in all the 20 dzongkhags, and after which, all the regular contract teachers and national contract teachers will be called in.
Teachers on contract shared that some of their colleagues’ contracts have already been extended. Many contract teachers have served as a teacher for 4 to 10 years, and yet, they did not get the extension.
“It is not fair for those who got contact extension without setting any criteria. We, too, served equally with them, but many of us have lost our job. We are helpless,” they shared.
While the Education Minister said contract teachers will be reinstated because there is a need for teachers. However, the placement will depend on the number of requirement.
As for the hiring professional teachers from outside, it will be known only after placing all the Bhutanese teachers, and there may not be any requirement for teachers from abroad, said the Education Minister.
During 48th Meet-the-Press, the Prime Minister Dasho Dr Lotay Tshering said teaching contracts are given for two years, and some teachers are given more than two years.
According to RCSC Rules, regular teachers must have a bachelor’s degree, and qualify in the RCSC examination; otherwise, there is no entrance into a regular civil service teaching. However, the Prime Minister shared his personal view that teachers who have served for many years do deserve the regularization.
While the shortage of teachers is a concern, however, the bigger concern is the quality of education. Therefore, filling up the number of teachers might hamper the quality of education too, said the Prime Minister.
According to the Annual Education Statistics 2022, teachers in public schools leave for various reasons, such as voluntary resignation, contract expiration, termination and unfortunate events, such as death. The number of teachers in public primary education leaving the education system has been increasing over the years. Teachers teaching primary education level (PP-VI) in secondary schools are counted under the teachers in secondary schools.
There was a sharp decline in 2020 with an attrition rate for teachers in public primary schools at 1.6 percent. The attrition rate again rose to 3.8 percent in 2021 and reached 5 percent in 2022. On average, the attrition rate has been 3.8 percent for primary education over seven years.
As of 2022, the attrition rate for public secondary school teachers stands at 4.8 percent, which is a further increase in comparison to 2021. 2020 has seen one of the lowest teacher attrition rates till date, and 2022 depicts one of the highest. On average, the attrition rate of public secondary school teachers has been 4 percent over seven years.
In 2022, 478 teachers have left the system, and over five years, 1,780 teachers have left the system, that is 1,237 regular teachers and 543 contract teachers.