Employment: There is surplus of teachers today because of change in the government’s policy, said the opposition party (OP) yesterday and urged the government to take in all the 417 teacher graduates into civil service.

“This is a case of shortage to surplus of teachers because of change in government policy and the present government should take full responsibility,” said Dorji Wangdi, Druk Phuensum Tshogpa’s MP from Panbang, adding that in the last 47 years ever since the two teacher training colleges were established, not a single teacher graduate was left unemployed.

“All these years we have been talking about teacher shortage, sometimes incidences of severe shortage of teachers in certain subjects,” said Dorji Wandgi. “And when the present government is unable to give them job, the blame is put on the past government. Yes we’ve guaranteed them the jobs. Isn’t it the duty of the government to provide jobs to our teachers or anybody?”

According to the party’s release, the two colleges of education in Samtse and Paro were established specifically to take care of teacher needs, to plan, train and deploy teachers in a systematic manner. All intakes in the past were carefully planned as per the existing and future needs, which in turn was as per the education policy of the government. There was no anomaly or miscalculation in the needs or deployment of teachers.

Zangley Dukpa, MP from Khar-Yurung, said it is due to lack of coordination and planning among relevant agencies and ministries that resulted in cutting down the vacancy for B.Ed graduates. “The two colleges of education enrol certain number of trainees as per teacher requirement put up by the education ministry. There is something going wrong somewhere.”

Opposition leader (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho said that in the past the problem was always attracting people to the teaching profession and retaining them and that there are excess teacher graduates today is surprising.

“We demand that they all be rightfully and  gainfully employed in the profession they are trained in,” said Dorji Wangdi.

By Nirmala Pokhrel