Investing to better teachers

The govt. aims to make 70 percent of teachers happy with their profession by next year 

Education: The education ministry is working on developing the skills of teachers and increasing their job happiness, it was pointed out during the 24th meet-the-press.

“A teacher is the heart of school and education,” education minister Norbu Wangchuk said.

The ministry has prioritised teacher’s development among the number of plans and programmes for education. Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that infrastructure, curriculum and teachers are the three pillars of education.

“A good dedicated teacher can substitute poor curriculum and infrastructure,” the minister said. “But an exceptionally fine infrastructure and curriculum just cannot replace a teacher,” he added.

This year has therefore been declared as “Teacher’s Development Year.”

A study by the ministry found that the pedagogy such as the teaching strategy and approach has remained unchanged since it was first introduced when teaching began in the country.

“Most of the teachers while teaching are still using the old pedagogy. This according to the education minister will impede children’s ability to learn.

The study also found that many teachers have served 10-20 years but have not been to a single training.

In order to develop the capacities of teachers, Nu 116.8 million (M) has been allocated this year from just around Nu 8M last year. The ministry in 2016 will initiate a new pedagogy training for around 9,000 teachers across the country.

“This is a programme that would definitely benefit teachers,” Lyonpo said.

As per the government’s instructions, the ministry is also planning to give every teacher a master’s degree. Accordingly, a mater’s degree institution will be introduced in the Yonphula College to specialise in English and other related subjects. “The master’s degree in Yonphula will be starting from the 2017 academic year,” the education minister said.

Even the Paro and Samtse Colleges of Education will be turned into centres of excellence gradually. “While Paro College of Education will specialise in Maths, Samtse College of Education will focus on science subjects,” Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said.

The education ministry’s study also found that 55 percent of teachers are unhappy and dissatisfied with their profession.

“This has raised huge concerns in the government,” the minister said. “Such a finding also sends a huge message of concern to the communities across the country since more than half of the teachers preparing our future generation are uninterested and dissatisfied in teaching.”

Upon submission of this report to the government, Lyonchoen has ordered the initiating of programmes with a target of making 70 percent of the teachers satisfied or happy with their profession.

“In one year we going to work harder to make at least 70 percent of teachers happy with their profession,” the education minister said. “Actually it should be 100 percent but because the situation is dire, 70 percent would be a reasonable target.”

Tempa Wangdi

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