The worrying departure of teachers from the field seems to have reached an unprecedented level. The severity of the problem cannot be understated, since more than 531 teachers have left their positions in just the last five months.

Although the government’s plan to hire more teachers from India, particularly in STEM fields, may seem like a positive step, it creates significant issues. Offering these foreign instructors a wage that is noticeably more than the one we pay our own committed teachers is not only demoralizing but also a smack in the face to the Bhutanese professionals’ faces. It conveys the idea that their tireless efforts are unimportant and unnecessary. Our local teachers will surely lose motivation as a result of this gap, which will only make the already severe shortage worse.

But compensation is only the very beginning. Our teachers are leaving our system in search of better opportunities in places like Australia where they can find the safety and support that our own system is unable to offer. Our educators, who mold the brains and futures of our kids, need to be appreciated, valued, and given a safe path to follow when their long careers are over. It is understandable that they look for chances elsewhere if they lack a sense of security and a bright future.

Although it is unquestionably important, the issue of teacher retention must not overshadow an even more urgent one: the quality of education. Our top goals should be the intellectual growth of our kids and their capacity to compete on a global scale. But given that there is a severe teacher deficit in the system, how can we expect them to succeed?

Wide-ranging effects result from inadequate educational opportunities. It denies our children their full potential, restricts their prospects, and impedes the development of our country as a whole. We must acknowledge that our children will be the nation’s future innovators, leaders, and problem solvers. We owe it to them to give them access to a learning environment that develops their abilities, fosters their talents, and equips them to face the challenges of a more complicated world.

Therefore, immediate action is required to solve these related problems. We must first and foremost support our own instructors. Instead of relying on foreign recruits, we should prioritise on the working environment, career opportunities, and support for our native educators. We may rekindle their commitment and love for teaching by providing competitive compensation, extensive benefits, and a clear path for professional progress.

We also need to fund our teachers’ continued professional growth. They will be equipped to provide a high standard of education thanks to ongoing training programs, access to cutting-edge learning materials, and chances for collaboration and knowledge sharing. A thorough system of teacher evaluation should also be put in place to find and help underperforming teachers while recognising and rewarding achievement.

It is time to put a priority on high-quality education, give our teachers the stability they deserve, and foster an environment where our kids can thrive.