Dechen Dolkar

Despite the resolution passed in the Parliament, which aimed to change civil servants under consolidated contracts to regular contracts, the government now says that it will be unable to fulfil this commitment.

During the question-and-answer session in the National Assembly on June 13, Choki Gyeltshen, MP for Maenbi-Tsaenkhar, raised concerns about the lack of progress on the resolution passed during the fifth Parliament. He highlighted that the National Assembly Secretariat had sent a letter to the Ministry of Finance for an update during the sixth session, but no information has been provided as Parliament convenes its ninth session.

Choki Gyeltshen specifically mentioned the plight of consolidated contract teachers, who perform the same duties as regular contract teachers in schools. “There is no difference in terms of responsibilities,” he said.

However, consolidated contract teachers are deprived of benefits such as annual increments, 30 percent incentives, training opportunities, and access to bank loans.

In response to the query, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering explained that the government has engaged in several discussions with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), which operates based on its own set of rules and regulations.

Prime Minister noted that even though the resolution was passed in Parliament, the government must consult with the RCSC, as the Commission is guided by its own principles.

Prime Minister said the government was aware of the challenges faced by consolidated contract teachers and the opportunities they are deprived of.

There are two categories of contracts for teachers: consolidated contracts and regular contracts. Consolidated contract teachers are recruited from general graduates for a period of one to two years, while regular contract teachers are selected from those who have completed training at Samste and Paro Colleges of Education.

Within the civil service, there are over 5,000 contract employees, and out of the 10,000 teachers, 2,000 are hired on contract.

However, Prime Minister said that some consolidated contract teachers have been serving for more than eight to nine years, implying that their continued services are necessary. 

Prime Minister said that the RCSC has indicated that contract teachers who wish to become regular employees must pass the RCSC exam. “RCSC plans to conduct exams for teachers twice a year, if feasible.” 

He further said that if contract teachers pass the RCSC exam, their seniority will be protected. However, as the government grapples with the complexities of regularizing contract teachers, the fate of these dedicated educators remains uncertain.