Bhutan close to teacher self-sufficiency

Education: Bhutan has made a steady progress by reducing its reliance on expatriate teachers to only 2.6 percent in 2016 from complete dependence in the 1960s.

Today, there are 234 expatriate teachers in the country compared to 647 in 2008, according to figures compiled by the education ministry.

According to the annual education statistics 2016 report, Bhutan has managed to reduce its reliance on expatriate teachers since 1992 by almost three folds.

In 1992, 33 percent of the teaching force or 708 teachers in the country were expatriates. Today, the country has 234 expatriate teachers.

Back then, given the limited number of national teachers, the country relied heavily on expatriate teachers even at the community and primary school levels.

As per the annual education statistics 2005, there were 484 expatriate teachers in community primary and primary schools in 1992. However that number was reduced to 14 in 2005.

“Now, we might have only one or two expat teachers teaching at the community primary level,” the education ministry’s chief human resource officer Kinley Gyeltshen said.

Today, the education sector dependence on expatriate teachers is limited to the secondary level. Many expatriate teachers can also be found in private schools. “However, dependence on expatriate teachers continues at the secondary levels since private schools recruit a comparatively large number of expatriate teachers,” the annual education statistics 2016 report states.

Going by the 2014 annual education statistics, dependency on expatriate teachers went down to 16 percent in 2015 from 20 percent in 2014 even at the secondary level. The report also states that 28 percent of teachers in private schools are expatriates.

Most of the expatriate teachers are science and mathematics teachers.

Tempa Wangdi

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