Sherab Lhamo 

As a large number of professionals exit the system, most offices are grappling with human resource shortage, hampering basic public service delivery in the country.

It is evident in the Royal Civil Service Commission’s (RCSC) announcement of 1,126 vacancies across all sectors, which is an increase of 460 slots compared with 666 vacancies announced last year.

The attrition rate last year increased from 4.82 percent in 2021 to 8.62 percent, and the trend shows that it is only increasing.

The highest attrition rate is observed in the education and health sectors, the two most important sectors in the country.

The Minister for Education and Skills Development JB Rai reportedly said that on average, 83 teachers resigned voluntarily in a month, with 531 teachers leaving the system in the last five months. The vacancies for Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) increased from 121 slots to 245, while the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) increased from 260 to 430 slots within a year.

The slots for other sectors such as administration, finance, and legal also increased from 58 slots to 110 slots.

With an increase of 114 slots, the technical services opened 341 vacancies for 13 new positions in the sector such as urban planner, plant protection officer, engineer, ortho technologist, beautification officer, and aeronautical information services, among others.

As the attrition rates increased, the work pressure on the remaining officials was reportedly high. Many of them reported suffering from burnout with detrimental impacts on their mental health.

An official in one of the dzongkhags said that as sector heads resigned one after another, she had to shoulder the responsibilities of three officials at once. “There are issues of accountability as we cannot perform all these responsibilities at once. There are lapses and failures for which our system doesn’t have space for.”

The official also tendered her voluntary resignation this month.