Pemagatshel dzongkhag administration revoked the admission of eight students, who were admitted in class PP to Nganglam Central School (CS) by manipulating the date of birth certificates for the academic year of 2018.

The action was taken on June 29 after the education ministry’s human resource committee (HRC) wrote to the dzongkhag administration to take necessary action against the school admission committee members and those involved in tampering of documents.

Of the eight students, six are the children of Nganglam CS’s teachers and other two are the children of a businessman and a drungkhag official. The investigation report by the dzongkhag established that the documents of the eight students were tampered and used to gain undue admission.

However, the revoked admission of eight students would be given automatic admission in the 2019 academic year.

The dzongkhag administration also took administrative action against seven teachers including the principal for tampering of documents and supervisory lapses.

The principal has been reprimanded for carelessness and negligence of duties during the class PP admission for academic year 2018 and his one annual increment is withheld.

In a reprimand letter issued to the principal, officiating dzongdag Pasang Dorji stated, “You as principal, who should also be chairperson of School Admission Committee, did not play an active role in admission process and failed in performing your supervisory role.”

It was also found that the principal had neglected his authority and delegation of authority was improper and contrary to admission policy. The principal had delegated his responsibility to the vice principal for school admission.

As per the admission policy, the admission committee shall comprise of principal, two/three staff and two/three school management board members. It also requires the principal to be the chairperson of the admission committee.

“Henceforth, you are reminded to do your assigned duties and responsibilities with due diligence as per the existing laws, policies, rules and regulation,” the letter stated. “If such lapse arises in future, you shall be dealt with higher penalty as per BCSR 2018.”

Six other teachers, including an assistant IT instructor and sport coach, were penalised by withholding of in and ex-county short-term trainings for one year from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019. They were also reprimanded for tampering of documents to gain undue admission of their children. Of the six, four teachers were also the admission committee members.

“The act is unethical and its against the civil service values and conduct under the BCSR 2018,” the reprimand letter issued to individual teachers stated. “Henceforth, you are reminded to abide by civil service code of conduct and teachers’ code of conduct. Failing to adhere with rules and regulations shall be dealt with higher penalty as per BCSR if similar case arises in future.”

HRC’s letter on June 6 stated that as the erring parents/guardians are civil servants under the direct jurisdiction of the dzongkhag administration, it is appropriate that the required administrative disciplinary action is executed by the dzongkhag administration. The HRC asked the dzongkhag office to take an appropriate administrative action against six parents/gurdians of six students for tampering the documents. “The dzongkhag administration is requested to send a copy of the administrative action taken (ATR) to the ministry for reference and record,” the letter stated.

The issue related to class PP admission surfaced after some aggrieved parents filed a complaint through eKaaSel to the Prime Minister stating that the admission committee of five members including four teachers violated admission ethics.

The committee was alleged to have deprived the admission of 29 students from poor family background without following admission policy and notification issued by the school.

Officials from the Public Services and Grievances Redressal Division (PSGRD) with the Cabinet secretariat investigated and concluded that allegations filed through eKaaSel to the Prime Minister were valid.

Rinzin Wangchuk and  Kelzang Wangchuk