Taking a clear position on the issue of RCSC issuing a limited number of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed) jobs, the Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said that the assumption that every B.Ed graduate student would automatically get a government job is wrong to begin with.
There were 182 vacancies for the 417 B. Ed graduates from the Paro and Samtse Colleges of Education.
“Sherubtse College graduates, College of Science and Technology graduates, and others don’t expect to get government jobs automatically,” said the PM.
He said that if B. Ed graduates who joined three or four years ago were given the impression that they would automatically get jobs, then it was a failure on the part of the former government for giving them that impression.
Lyonchhen pointed out that the civil service already has more than 8,500 teachers for around 172,000 students with a student teacher ratio of 1 teacher to 21 students.
He said, “We need teachers for Maths and science but those are not available.”
“I can feel their pain and disappointment but it is my responsibility to be honest with them and say that nobody is guaranteed a government job,” said the PM.
The PM had met the B. Ed graduates and had a brief discussion with them listening to their grievances and communicated his stand to them.
The PM encouraged graduates to look for jobs in the private sector or even become entrepreneurs. “On the governments part we will do our best to create the right environment for graduates to work in the private sector but we need students and parents to cooperate,” he added.
Giving the example of the Business Opportunity and Information Centre (BOiC) he said 550 loans had been given creating many jobs.
Lyonchhen cautioned that people would lie to them and some would also stoke their insecurities, but they should not fall in that trap. Instead he urged that students should study hard and fight hard to get those seats.
The PM said that he would sit together with the jobless graduates of not only B. Ed background but also with those from other colleges in both Bhutan and outside and help each other in building jobs.
The Agriculture Minister Yeshey Dorji said that his Ministry also faced a similar situation with College of Natural Resources graduates though they had been informed in writing three years ago by the Ministry that jobs can only be secured through competition.
The Education Minister, clarifying on the issue threw a ray of hope for the B. Ed graduates when he said that while RCSC was evaluating the need for teachers from the ministry around 400 plus vacancies in terms of study leave and another 80 on extraordinary leave had not been calculated.
He said that the MoE and RCSC were discussing the issue and the situation should not be that bad.
The PM again stressed that there were no guaranteed government jobs and that it would get increasingly difficult and people should be ready to work in other sectors.
He said that it would be the easiest thing for the government to say it is RCSC’s job and that they should handle it, but this, he said, would be irresponsible which is why the government sat with the RCSC to discuss recruitments in the coming years.
The issue has also come in the backdrop of RCSC’s stated aim to promote a lean and efficient civil service in what many already see as a bloated and expensive bureaucracy.