The Education Ministry launched three education policy initiatives coinciding with His Majesty, Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s 34th birth anniversary at Motithang Higher Secondary School yesterday. The three policies are aimed at creating a more attractive teaching profession, empowering schools to set their own strategic directions and to meet the nutritional requirements of students,
The event was presided by Lyonchhen in the presence of Education Minister, Chief Election Officer, Secretary of Education Ministry, Bangladesh Ambassador to Bhutan, representatives from development partners, government officials, principals, teachers and students of Motithang Higher Secondary School.
Talking about the first policy the Director of School Education, Karma Yeshi said that the ‘Teacher Human Resource Policy (THRP) 2014’ has been developed in keeping with the aim of attracting and retaining the best and the brightest into the teaching profession, to see teaching profession as a carrier choice, create an enabling environment, enhance the morale and motivation of teachers and to promote and strengthen fair and transparent human resource management.
Yeshi said that now the teacher can gain the highest positions both at the executive and specialist level.
In an initiative to give autonomy and empower schools to set their own strategic directions, determine priorities and exercise control over their own resources, the Education Ministry, Dzongkhags and Thromdes signed a Delivery and Performance Agreement (DPA) with 19 schools which have been given autonomy.
The release states that out of 33 applications received, 19 have been selected based on performance infrastructure, etc.
The DPA sets out the performance and accountability expectations of the school and the resources and support to be supplied by the Education Ministry. It also says that autonomous Schools will remain as part of the public schools and meet the obligations required of all public schools.
To ensure quality food supplies and meet the nutritional requirements of children in the most effective manner, the Education Ministry signed a MoU with the Food Corporation of Bhutan to undertake centralized procurement, storage and delivery of all non-perishable food items to the boarding schools for the school feeding programme.
In the event, Education Minister, Lyonpo Mingbo Drukpa said that food is available in schools but it is not sufficient. He said that there are many issues pertaining to schools and teachers, and the government will be resolving them as soon as possible. Talking about the future plans for the education sector he said that the ministry will promote a Teacher Council of Bhutan and develop an education roadmap for a ten year period.
Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgye said that through the policy about eight thousand teachers and two hundred thousand students comprising 30 percent of the total population would benefit. He said unfortunately only three teachers were currently now in the executive level. He said that interested individuals pursuing a teaching profession would be able to have a better career track from the THRP 2014.
Speaking on the nutritional requirements for students in schools, Lyonchhen said that the responsibilities are with all stakeholders for death or diseases due to insufficient nutrition. He said developmental partners that are helping schools would not stay forever. He said after that, the ministry must be ready to shoulder responsibility and possibly make it better.