Dechen Dolkar 

Some of the country’s most qualified educators find themselves in incongruous teaching roles, a situation that has caught the attention of educational authorities and sparked concerns about the optimal utilisation of the country’s limited human resources.

The Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) raised alarm bells by communicating its findings to the Ministry of Education and Skills Development. 

During a comprehensive audit of human resources across various dzongkhags and thromdes, the RCSC discovered a disconcerting trend: teachers possessing advanced qualifications, including a Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE), were being placed in Extended Classrooms (ECRs) and Primary Schools—placements that arguably fail to harness their elevated level of expertise and qualifications.

This revelation came to light earlier this year when the RCSC embarked on a mission to streamline the placement of PGDE teachers, who had been recruited in July this year. The Commission’s notification resulted in their strategic deployment to lower and high schools, aligning with their skill set.

However, a cohort of PGDE teachers, recruited in February, faced a different fate. Driven by a dearth of educators, they were assigned to primary schools.

A PGDE teacher, who chose to remain anonymous, lamented this incongruity. They revealed that their rigorous 18-month training programme had focused predominantly on preparing them for instruction at higher grade levels. “Teaching primary students with varied subjects,” the teacher said, “compromises the quality of education.”

Moreover, the mismatch between qualifications and placements has precipitated challenges for some teachers who now find themselves teaching multiple subjects, often in multigrade settings where students from different levels share a single classroom.

The ministry acknowledges the anomaly, citing isolated instances where teacher shortages necessitated such placements and anticipate a future resolution with the recruitment of B.Ed Primary teachers, who will facilitate the internal transfers of PGDE teachers to lower and high schools, aligning them with their skillsets.

Ministry officials agree that primary schools might not be the ideal setting for PGDE instructors, acknowledging that their true value lies in their expertise at the higher education tiers.

The RCSC, for its part, emphasises that these discrepancies could be averted through meticulous human resources planning undertaken by dzongkhag education officers (DEOs) and thromde education officers (TEOs). 

The Commission warns that if such discrepancies persist, the DEOs and TEOs will be held directly accountable.