As pledged by the PDP government during its campaign
Each year, more than half of the university graduates are screened out during the Royal Civil Service Commission’s (RCSE) preliminary exams, making them ineligible to appear for the main Bhutan civil service examination (BSCE), which most graduates feel is unfair and should be discontinued. The graduates feel it is unfair to hold back students by way of preliminary tests, and most of the graduates expect the new government will do away with the preliminary tests.
Education minister Mingbo Dukpa said, “The matter will be looked into as pledged in our manifestos and we would like to discuss it with RCSC first, for it isn’t helping the students.”
He said all the students should be given an equal opportunity and platform, by allowing them to sit for main exams, rather than to hold them back because of an entrance exam.
A 31-year-old Yenten Thinley, a graduate of 2011 said he appeared for the last prelims, his third attempt now. This means he isn’t eligible anymore. “I cannot sit for RCSC exam unless we are allowed to do direct exam rather than going through entrance exams,” he said.
“I think it should have been better if university graduates are allowed to appear RCSC ,as it will help select best among all, rather than screening out some good students in the entrance exams,” he said, adding that it is just going to be a loss on government’s part to lose graduates who can really be an asset.
Similarly, Sherub who also appeared for the third time said, “I won’t a get chance to appear next time, and now I have to wait until the new government does away with prelims, as they have pledged.”
Ugyen Wangmo, 25, said there is a vast difference when it comes to the prelims and main exams, in terms of the questions, as students with mathematics background can easily make it through the prelims, and at times it is also by luck, while the main exam requires knowledge and capabilities.
Some even gave instances on how technical graduates who completed professional courses were held back because of prelims. Pointing out to the shortage of doctors as an issue, some graduates with medical background say because of such entrance exams, they are stuck for another year in order to make through to sit for main exams.
However, Palden Phuntsho, a fresh university graduate said it is to evaluate how eligible and capable a student is for the government job. He said the prelims consist of basic questions which a person should be able to solve.
A graduate from Chennai, Dechen Dolkar, 24, said prelims are very important for it has now become a trend where all the exams are carried out, first with the entrance exam. “I personally feel that quality assessment is needed, in the kind of questions that are framed, as we see and observe the current PE (prelims) trend if not, at times it is all about luck,” she added.
The last prelims, held earlier this month, screened out more than half the 3, 332 university graduates who sat for the exam, and only a total of 1, 614 graduates passed the prelims, out of which only 538 graduates will be absorbed into the civil service. The registered number of university graduates was 3, 567.