Q-Hour: The social and cultural committee of the National Assembly (NA) was directed to review the shortage of Dzongkha language teachers in some dzongkhags and excess in others.  The report will be discussed at the next (6th) parliament session.

Chukha dzongkhag had submitted the petition, urging the house for a review on the issue.

Reading out the petition yesterday, Bongo-Chapcha member of parliament (MP), Dawa Gyaltshen, said the problem was not just confined to Chukha but was a national issue.

Although the deliberation was on shortage of teachers, the MPs went on debating that, because of incompetent Dzongkha teachers, the quality of national language was deteriorating.  It was pointed out that, even if children spoke Dzongkha fluently, they could not read and write well.

Opposition MP Dorji Wangdi said, there were issues in the past about a general teacher teaching Dzongkha in schools.  Today, dedicated periods in schools for Dzongkha are minimal compared to other subjects.

On behalf of the education minister, Dophuchen-Tading MP, Tek Bahadur Subba, said that, although Chukha was short of Dzongkha teachers, some parts of Chukha had an excess of 21 Dzongkha teachers.

He said, according to data with the education ministry, there are 154 excess Dzongkha teachers in the country, but there is also a shortage of about 150.  In total, there are about 1,200 Dzongkha teachers in the country today.

“Going by the numbers, we’ve enough Dzongkha language teachers,” he said. “The real problem lies in the deployment system.”

The house also discussed the teacher student ratio.  MPs pointed out that the teacher student ratio for Dzongkha was way higher than education ministry’s standard of 32 students a teacher, or 36 students a teacher.

By Nirmala Pokhrel