At the on-going national graduate orientation programme in Thimphu yesterday, a graduate requested the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to do away with the preliminary examination (PE) so that graduates get an equal opportunity to sit the Bhutan Civil Service Examination (BCSE).

“The RCSC could still select the civil servants according to the BCSE results,” he said.

Responding to the question, civil service exam division’s senior human resources officer, Jigme Norbu, said the graduates are provided equal opportunity even with the PE requirement. The main purpose of the PE, he added, was to gauge the minimum standard of the candidates.

“It is easy to evaluate through a machine and we can produce the result promptly,” he said. “It was difficult and time consuming to produce BCSE result if the graduates sit the exam directly with many candidates.”

Graduates said that the two and a half hour time allotted for PE was short.

An RCSC official said that apart from data interpretation and problem solving, which is time consuming, the rest of the questions would normally take only 15 seconds to answer. “The time provided for the exam is enough to answer all the questions.”

A graduate from College of Language and Culture Studies requested RCSC to recruit graduates with BA in Bhutanese and Himalayan Studies for postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE) this time.

An RCSC official said that a technical committee during a study of the course found that the course did not provide in-depth study about Bhutan and the Himalayas, which was not enough to teach history in schools, especially for class XI and XII.  “The course does not have in-depth study about the history and so the RCSC could not provide the opportunity.”

Some of the graduates who completed BA Journalism and BSc Environmental Science said they were not provided with equal opportunity for PGDE.

“Although I stood 116th in BCSE and there were 150 slots in the PGDE last year, I didn’t get through because I was told I have degree in BA Journalism and it was not relevant with the PGDE,” Leki Choda, a 2015 graduate said.

An RCSC official said the slots for teachers come from education ministry and did not yet have the documents or information to explain.

“There are Math teachers or Physics teachers who teach EVS in the school,” said, an Environmental Science graduate. “Why are we not provided opportunity to teach through PGDE?”

An RCSC official informed that EVS is not the main subject in the school and it is substituted by supporting staff who also take care of the elective subjects, which is why EVS is not included in the PGDE.

Most graduates complained of the poor sound system. The eight days NGOP ends on August 19.

Meanwhile, talking to 2,263 graduates yesterday, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, said, “There are opportunities and from here on too; you must work and try hard. The day you stop working and give up, that is the time your worth is questioned.”

Prime minister introduced six entrepreneurs to the graduates to show them that opportunities could be created. “They have taken battles into their own hands. They are inspirations. You have to be inspired by them and take the legacy forward.”

His Majesty The King granted an audience to the graduates on August 13.

Yangchen C Rinzin