The human resource division (HRD) of the education ministry is yet to review the teacher recruitment system in private schools after the education minister called for a review last month.

The review was commissioned following the arrest of the 39-year-old vice principal of a private charity school in Bjemina, Thimphu on April 6 for allegedly molesting and sexually assaulting nine girl students.

While condemning the incident, the education minister Norbu Wangchuk on April 13 message had said that the incident has revealed gaps in the recruitment process of teachers in the private schools.

An official from HRD said that although the division had a talk on the review once nothing has been finalised on paper yet. He said they are yet to start the review, as they would also have to discuss with the school private division.

“This is the status as of now but we’ll definitely look into it,” the official said. “This is important.”

In an earlier interview with Kuensel, the education minister said that realising the gap, the ministry has directed the HRD to review the teacher recruitment system.

“We need to review so that it strengthens teacher recruitment in private schools. In this case, if there were no loopholes, the school would have known about the vice principal’s past record.”

Police records revealed that the accused was convicted of having an illicit relationship with a minor in 2004 in Trashigang and had served a five-year prison term.

An official from the private school division said that although the private school guidelines have been revised, it does not cover the recruitment process of teachers.

According to the private school guidelines, although the ministry monitors the recruitment of expatriate teachers in private schools today, the recruitment of Bhutanese teachers are usually carried by the school management based on the minimum qualification requirement.

The guideline does not state whether the school is responsible to check the past records of a teacher during the recruitment process. The private school division and education-monitoring division collect data of teachers every year to see if they have met the basic requirement.

Yangchen C Rinzin