Employment: Nima Zangmo chose to become a teacher. The 23-year-old qualified to study in Sherubtse college after she completed her higher secondary school, and training to be a teacher, she assumed, would guarantee her a job.

She joined the Paro College of Education in 2010. However, having completed her four-year training and when she should be preparing for her first placement, she says she feels cheated.

A job as a teacher is not guaranteed. There are 417 graduates from the two colleges of education and only 182 vacancies. “We should have been told about it before we opted to go for teacher training,” Nima said. “We’re trained to teach, if RCSC doesn’t take us, we won’t get employment anywhere.”

The vacancy announcement by Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) for B. Ed graduates has left most of them disappointed. RCSC announced 182 vacancies for the 417 graduates who appeared the civil service examination, which ended yesterday.

Of the 182, highest slots at 120 are allotted to B. Ed primary but 201 candidates appeared the examination. Another 50 slots are allotted to B. Ed Dzongkha and five to B. Ed secondary mathematics and physics, which has 54 graduates appearing the exam.

For the 83 graduates of B. Ed secondary English and IT, biology and chemistry, and English and history, there are only six vacancies. Of the 13 English and geography graduates, only one will be absorbed into the civil service.

Although graduates were told in the college that starting this year, they will be screened during placement, it was least expected that the vacancies would be halved.

Another graduate, Pema Yangchen said, since the vacancies were announced just before the examination, she could not do the exam well.  She said private schools requirement is minimal and it would not absorb large number of graduates into teaching.

“We’re being cheated. If our batch’s fate is this, what would happen to hundreds undergoing B. Ed in the two colleges currently,” she said.

Education ministry officials said the ministry’s requirement submitted to RCSC was more than the announced vacancies but the number could have been worked out according to RCSC requirement.

“There is shortage of teachers in primary schools but secondary schools have teacher in excess,” an official said adding that some of the remaining B. Ed graduates would be recruited as contract teachers.

Meanwhile RCSC officials could not be contact. RCSC director Dorji Tshering, however had told BBS that vacancies were floated as per the requirement from education ministry. He said they came up with the number after a consultative meeting with the education ministry.

Sources said the drastic decline in teacher recruitment might be to get in line with the school consolidation policy of closing extended class rooms (ECR) where there are fewer enrollments.  While the schools will be closed, there will be excess teachers.

By Nirmala Pokhrel