The labour ministry has included in its 2017-2018 job plan to recruit 200 English teachers for dratshang, monastic institutes and monasteries in the country. The ministry recruited at least 17 English teachers in 14 monastic institutes between 2016 and 2017.
The recruitment plan is based on English curriculum that many dratshangs have included. There has been growing demand for English teachers in the country’s religious institutions.
Department of employment and human resources will recruit teachers whose salary will be supported by the ministry through fully-funded scheme under the direct employment scheme for two years.
Teacher’s salary will be paid as per the qualification. Teachers with Class 12 certificate will be paid Nu 12,000 a month and those with university degree will be paid Nu 15,000 a month. After the ministry withdraws its support, the dratshang, monastic institutes and monastery concerned should regularise the teacher’s service and manage their salary.
In most of the cases, the dratshang and institutions would also provide accommodation.
A ministry official said that Bhutan currently has 388 monastic institutions according to 2014 statistical yearbook. Some already have volunteer Bhutanese and expatriates teaching English.
“English proficiency is becoming increasingly important in a globalised world,” the official said. “It is important to have communication skills in a changing, modern world to be able to explain the richness of our culture and tradition to outsiders when they visit monasteries.”
As for now the department has set the minimum qualification for English teachers at Class XII graduate with high score in English.
“We’re still compiling the required number in monastic institutions, but the target would be to employ 200 teachers. We have not yet announced the vacancies. When we do, we hope there would be takers,” said the official.
The department will select and recruit teachers based on demand and availability of jobseekers. It has received about eight requisitions from the institutions in April.
However, the official shared that although this would create jobs, there were not many takers last years because of the remoteness or location of most of the institutions. Many leave even before the contract period expires for the better opportunities.
An applicant who was selected has refused to go to Trashiyangtse dratshang and the dratshang is still waiting for an English teacher, said dratshang secretary Ugyen Tshewang.
Dratshang officials said that both English and Dzongkha curriculum should be given equal importance to make learners adapt to changing times.
Yangchen C Rinzin