Following recommendations from the education ministry, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has changed the performance appraisal system for teachers.

The changes in managing for excellence (MaX) system for teachers, which would be implemented for moderation exercise (ModEx) from this academic session including the 2018 performance appraisal, were based on the findings of a taskforce’s recommendations.

The ministry constituted a task force to study Individual Work Plan (IWP) for teachers last year.

RCSC introduced IWP as a requirement for performance evaluation. However, teachers complained that IWP was not realistic or relevant for the education sector. It had instead burdened the teachers and shifted them to non-academic area to meet the target set in IWP.

Education ministry’s director, Kinley Gyelthsen in an email interview said the ministry presented the changes and wherever possible, the recommendations have been accepted. The ministry has also started disseminating the changes to all dzongkhags and thromdes.

Kinley Gyelthsen said the findings of the task force were categorised into IWP, documentation and moderation. In IWP category, 77 percent of respondents shared that IWP helps in proper planning and helps differentiate performers from non-performers.

The task force consulted about 1,180 teachers, principals, education officers, counsellors and support staff. Of the total participants, 887 were teachers.

“Respondents also indicated that more weightage should be allocated to core mandates (teaching and assessment) to avoid focus on non-academic areas,” he said. “Few shared that the output areas should be separate for teachers and support staff while few said that there is a need for adequate orientation on IWP.”

The RCSC in its recent notification stated that to provide clarity and consistency in the assessment of performance, IWP form would hereafter be assessed as per the rubrics developed by the education ministry.

RCSC has now allocated weightage for each outcome in the six domains – curriculum delivery and practice (25 points), holistic assessment (25 points), leadership and management (5), green school domain (5), broader learning domain (5) and community vitality (5).

In the documentation category, 77 percent of the respondents said documentation is time consuming, resource intensive, deviates focus from teaching with emphasis on physical and structural aspects, which do not help improve students’ learning.

“But there were respondents who felt records of academic focused activities are necessary and possible,” Kinley Gyeltshen said. “While few said it is difficult to manage documents.”

RCSC has notified that the documentation required shall consist of mandatory requirements such as yearly plan, block plan, lesson plans, teaching-learning materials assessment, and other records.

The taskforce also found that 76 percent said that same level of schools should be clustered for fairness and large schools should be allowed to do their own moderation to address equality issues.

“Teachers felt that moderation should be done on a uniform set of targets, process and criteria, and principals should be a member of the moderation committee,” the findings state.

Else, the authority should be given to schools to rate. Moderation, the study found, was causing conflict, disharmony, and that ‘need improvement’ rating should be made optional.

The RCSC has now based moderation exercise on the number of employees in the school and recommended to conduct ModEx group as; a) independent school b) independent school with feeder and cluster of small schools. ModEx committee now has at least a principal or vice-principal in each group.

Kinley Gyeltshen said that despite the disgruntlements, all school staff from S5 and above positions should continue to maintain IWP, as it helps proper planning and achieving targets to develop schools holistically.

“It also helps to judge, differentiate performers from non performers according to their work outputs and fix accountability,” he said. “IWPs of teachers are managed at the school level.”

There are 8,454 teachers including principals, vice principals and counselors as per the teacher requirement exercise carried out by the HR division in 2018. This excludes those on study and extraordinary leave.

Yangchen C Rinzin