REC: Of the three colleges that the government pledged to establish in the east, one of them is likely to come up at Yonphula in Tashigang.

In case the government decides to close down the Royal Education Council (REC), the college is expected to come up at the Centenary Institute of Education (CIE), which is part of REC.

Economic affairs minister Norbu Wangchuk, during the meet-the-press session on January 1, said that with the infrastructure already in place, CIE would be an ideal location.

“The government is taking active considerations on this,” said lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk.

In an earlier meet-the-press session lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the CIE office, which was established on wing IV Army camp in Yonphula, has the potential to become a good education institute or a college.

Sprawling across 75 acres of government land, the campus has recreational facilities, office building and residential quarters, all of which were underutilized after the army phased out in 2011 and 2012.

The immediate proximity of the area to the domestic airport and Sherubtse College is expected to add to the advantage of constructing another educational institution in the region, the minister has said then.

The idea of establishing a college in the region is also in line with the government’s pledge to convert Kanglung into an educational hub in the country.

Meanwhile, of 42 employees of REC, 16 are currently at CIE in Yonphula. With only two more months remaining of their extended service with the office, the staff of the council are looking for jobs.

More than eight months after REC and the education ministry’s curriculum and research development department (DCRD) merged in December 2014, DCRD issued a notification to REC employees to discontinue their services from October 1, 2015.

“As per the resolution of the 2nd Council meeting on July 1, 2015 and upon subsequent approval from the council members, the service of the following staff of the erstwhile REC including CIE are to be discontinued with effect from October 1, 2015,” the notification stated.

The Cabinet intervened following which the employees got an extension of six months to continue their services.

REC and DCRD were merged to work on education research, curriculum and teacher development mainly to avoid overlapping and duplication of roles and functions of the two agencies.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay at the 19th meet-the-press session on September 18, 2015, had said that by extending the service of the employees by six months, he would personally look for slots and place them on a contract basis.

Lyonchoen had also said the main problem with the employees was that the 42 officials, who are not civil servants, wish to remain with the office while the organization has become an autonomous agency under the Royal Civil Service Commission.

While most of the employee’s nature of job was regular, only two were on contract.

However, the government is yet to employ the 42 employees.

Younten Tshedup