Shortage of teachers in the country caused by improper teacher deployment

The Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014-2014 highlights that ‘improper teacher deployment is one of the reasons for teacher shortage in the country’. The public consultations, conducted for the report, also indicated that competent and experienced teachers were mostly found in urban schools, whereas, new teachers with minimal experienced were posted in rural areas.

The report states that the public also expressed concerns on the qualified and experienced teachers leaving the system. Between 2013 and 2014, 179 teachers in government school left the teaching profession. It has also been observed that there are frequent teacher transfers in schools which affected the smooth functioning of schools, especially in teaching and learning areas.

The research on teacher quality in Bhutan indicated that low academic and professional standard for entry into teaching are the major constraints in the system which affects student performance.

As for ways to improve teacher deployment, the report recommends for a teacher HR policy, recruitment of professionals for extra-curricular activities in schools and an establishment of teachers council for teacher redressal, welfare, certification and licensing.

The Bhutan Education Blueprint 2014-2014 also says that in Bhutan, grade XII graduates are selected for admission to the two colleges of education based on merit ranking. The top percentage of each cohort of grade XII graduates is first selected for ex-country scholarships to pursue professional courses. The next cohorts of students are selected for in country to pursue higher studies. It has been observed that generally, teaching is the last choice for most of the grade XII graduates. However, there are also undergraduates students who pass the Bhutan Civil Service Examination to pursue a year-long Post Graduate Diploma in Education on their choice.

According to the education blueprint, the public expressed views that quality of education could be improved if the entry academic qualification could be improved, and the entry academic qualification is raised to that of a bachelor’s degree.

The report says that in addition to the academic requirements, teachers must also possess a set of attributes which are very essential in teaching, such as a deep love for children, strong interpersonal and communication skills, willingness to learn and the motivation to teach through use of standard instrument. Currently, the academic dependent does not take into account the personal attributes and other essential attributes of teachers.

The draft education policy articulates that teachers must have a firm conviction of the importance of education as an instrument of empowerment.

The blueprint report says that during public consultations, it was expressed that teachers are inadequately prepared to face classroom situations. Restructuring the teacher training programs and strengthening collaboration between the colleges of education and schools are some of the intervention and recommendations that the report has pointed out.

The teacher competency, according to the education blueprint, indicates concerns on English language competency of teachers. A study on English medium education in Bhutan revealed students are not attaining control over English at desired levels of schooling approaches. It was also discovered that teachers tend to teach towards terminal examinations and adhere to traditional teacher and student roles, and subject teachers do not consistently support student English language development.

The survey for the Blueprint indicated a need for Bhutanese teachers to enhance their competency.

The blueprint report also says that during the focus group discussions, teachers expressed that poor working environment and conditions, limited access to the internet, printers, computer and fax and lack of proper accommodation affected their motivation level.

Therefore, the report recommends for the enhancement of teacher competency in English and subject content knowledge in respective teaching subjects and institute forums to promote teachers engagement in research and seminars.

The report also says that teacher in remote schools who occupy government quarters expressed unfairness in the housing allowances policy considering the poor condition of government quarters in remote schools. Limited or flexibility in school systems to accommodate personal and domestic inconveniencies in times of serious domestic problems also tends to affect teacher morale.


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