Office to be relocated to Thimphu by December

Yangchen C Rinzin 

As recommended in the Royal Civil Service Commission’s (RCSC) organisational development exercise, the Royal Education Council will again be merged with the Ministry of Education (MoE).

The REC will now function as a Department of Curriculum and Professional Development and no longer be an autonomous agency. It has remained an autonomous agency under the RCSC since 2014.

Although staff of REC office located in Paro were asked to move to the capital, an official from the REC said that they have requested the ministry to consider and allow them to move after December.

Officials said that the decision was an outcome of organisational development exercise and there was no option than to merge with the education ministry after having delinked from the same ministry seven years ago.

However, it was learnt that it was not a recent development.

An official said they were informed about the merger in January this year and were told to move to Thimphu in April.

“It’s not easy because we have families here, spouses working and students in the school, which is why we requested to defer till December,” the official said.

An official said that the ministry has deferred the relocation of office till December giving them time to prepare.

REC was first established through a royal command in August 2007 to initiate and implement education reform across the spectrum, covering school education, technical and tertiary education.    

Following several discussions, the REC was later merged with the education ministry’s department of curriculum and research development (DCRD) to avoid duplication of work.

REC and DCRD was then merged as an autonomous agency on December 12, 2014. It was delinked from the ministry to conduct educational research, curriculum and technical development.

During the merger in 2014, REC had to lay off 42 employees. Officials said they did not hear of any employee lay off this time.

As the new department, the REC has proposed five new divisions to be headed by the REC’s existing curriculum specialists.

The RCSC has approved the divisions, which included STEM division, language and humanitarian, commercial, educational technology and publication, and teacher professional development.

“Everything will be finalised once the office is relocated to Thimphu after December,” an official said.

The official added that the ministry’s current teacher profession support division would likely be a part of the Department of Curriculum and Professional Development. “Some officials from the ministry will also join the new department.”

Meanwhile, few officials shared that it was illogical to relocate the office to Thimphu after they were asked to move to Paro years ago.

Some officials shared that the relocation is coming at a time when the government was already looking into decongesting Thimphu by relocating offices to other dzongkhags.

“We don’t see any added value to move back to Thimphu. We were asked to move to Paro in the name of decongesting offices and now that philosophy is not there anymore.”

Edited by Tashi Dema