Dealing with teacher deployment

The projection will resolve the paradox of a shortage of teachers when there are plenty

Education: The education ministry is doing something that should have been done years ago.

It is working on the most “complicated” issue – teacher deployment projection.

It has been observed that the lack of a proper teacher deployment projection has caused shortage of teacher in the country.

The projection, which is likely to be completed in another two months, will clear all doubts on the contradiction between shortage and available teachers.

Education ministry’s chief human resource officer, Kinley Gyeltshen, said that, as far as the ministry was concerned, there were enough teachers in the country.

It is only in some subjects that there is a shortage of teachers.

“Inefficient deployment of teachers by dzongkhags causes the shortage,” Kinley Gyeltshen said. “While some schools in the urban area have more than enough teachers, schools in the rural areas do not get enough.”

He added that dzongkhag education officials (DEO) and principals should consider teacher requirement and deployment seriously.

At the end of each academic year, all the schools submit a list of subject-wise teacher requirement to the dzongkhag administration.  The dzongkhag education officials are required to verify the list and submit the requisition to the education ministry.

However, the ministry does not receive a “verified” list of required teachers, said Kinley Gyeltshen.  There is a contradiction between teachers required by the schools and existing subject teachers.

That is how some schools run short of some subject teachers.

“It’s important that we get the accurate ‘subject-wise’ teacher requirement from the dzongkhags,” Kinley Gyeltshen said.

The teacher deployment projection being worked out currently is expected to show the required number of subject teacher that are in short supply.

Without the projection, there was a contradiction between what the two colleges of education in Paro and Samtse were producing, and what subject teachers were really required in the schools.

According to the 2014 annual education statistics, there were 7,873 teachers in the country.  But the number doesn’t include 182 B.Ed. graduates recruited in January this year, 200 teachers recruited on contract, and 49 teachers with post-graduate diploma in Education (PGDE).

Upon completion of the deployment projection, there are possibilities that the courses that the two education colleges have been offering until now might get changed.

The two colleges will train teachers based on subject requirement only, so that a teacher who graduates with bachelor’s of education (B.Ed.) secondary need not teach primary school, or vice versa.

Royal University of Bhutan (RUB) for the first time this year discussed with the education ministry before finalising the admission seats in the two colleges of education.

Despite the reduction in number of slots in the civil service last year, it did not have any impact on the total number of admission in bachelor of education courses this year.

Instead, the Paro College of Education saw an increase of about 16 slots this year, excluding the self-finance slots.

The dean of academic affairs of Paro College of Education, Som Gurung, said that RUB did not allocate any self-finance seat for B.Ed. primary, despite their projection of 45 this year.

“Self-finance seats were instead combined with the government scholarship slots this year,” Som Gurung said. “Education ministry has stressed more on B.Ed primary because of requirement of primary teachers.”

Samtse college’s dean of academic affairs said that reduction of civil service vacancies has had no impact on enrolment of trainees.

 

Nirmala Pokhrel

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