In a Teacher Needs Assessment (TNA) study conducted by the Royal Education Council (REC) teachers of MSS scored on an average 55.1% in the Mathematics Pedagogical Skills, while teachers of Community Primary Schools (CPS) managed to score 47.2%.
The TNA tested teachers of CPS, Primary Schools (PS), Lower Secondary School (LSS), Middle Secondary Schools (MSS) and Higher Secondary Schools (HSS) on subject content as well as pedagogical or educational skills.
Results conclude that high school teachers did better than the CPS teachers while MSS and LSS teachers performed better than PS and CPS teachers.
For the subject content, particularly MSS teachers performed better than teachers of lower school category and significantly better off in general skills scoring 63.4%.
The LSS teachers nonetheless performed better than CPS and PS teachers.
Teachers of MSS and LSS teachers did well for the English content examinations while for the pedagogical skills, teachers of MSS, LSS and PS have proved to be better than CPS teachers in the area.
For the Science content tests and Pedagogical Skill, teachers of the high schools were found to do better than others.
All in all, the study conclusively stated that better performances were seen from teachers of high schools. Teachers of various school interviewed by The Bhutanese agreed to the statement.
A teacher from Lingmithang Community Primary School in Mongar, Ugyen Wangmo, said “It is obvious to perform well by the high school teachers since they have to teacher higher level students where they have to update themselves with the higher knowledge”.
She said moreover technical terms are more their case and they have to keep a tab on it.
A teacher from Sherubling Higher Secondary School under Trongsa Dzongkhag Padam Mongar said usually CPS falls under rural areas and yet they are neglected while HSS are in urban areas.
He explained in case of HSS, everyone has a close watch on us as well as teachers get alerted while in CPS, fewer researches are being done by the teachers. Moreover they have resources constraints in the places too.
“Or maybe because teachers are also kind of de-motivated out there”, he said.
A teacher form one of the remote schools under Zhemgang who didn’t want to be named said he found the TNA tests difficult.
He said, “There is no electricity as well as facilities in the remote Zhemgang schools. It is also for the unavailability of opportunities or the facilities that a teacher’s as well as students’ performances are affected”.
The Zhemgang CPS teacher said such things as workshops and trainings are all for the teachers of higher schools.
Similarly, many teachers from the lower schools also shared similar reasons and stories for their poor performances.
A teacher from Chhukha HSS, Jamyang Choden said the reason for the low performances compared to high school types could be because the students are at primary level which means they learn only a basic thing and no researches are being done by the teachers since the students will have tough time to understand it.
“Which is why teachers’ professional qualities also don’t improve or upgrade,” she said.
The Chukha teacher said most CPS are in rural areas where people with lower level of capacity for knowledge are enrolled in the schools, so the teachers also need to come to their level to make them understand.
Jamyang Choden said performances are better from HSS teachers since they have got good knowledge on the subject context.
“They deal with adult students and they prepare a lot since these students expects more from their teachers,” she said.
“And most importantly, they do have masters certificate or a PGCE background, which means majority are graduates.”
About 2867 teachers from 405 schools of all categories across the country participated in the TNA 2011 tests for the REC study conducted to study teacher performances based on school types.