The duration for the Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) course has been extended to 18 months after the Bhutan Civil Service Examination (BCSE) 2019.

This was according to the proposal the education ministry made to the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC).

The RCSC has notified that the candidates who undergo 18-month PGDE course would also be eligible for their first promotion after four years of service, including probation period.

The course used to be for nine months long with promotion only after five years.

From July this year, Samtse College of Education has phased out four-year B.Ed Secondary programme. Instead, the college looks to offering Master of Education programme in 11 subjects from 2020.

The chief of teacher professional service division, Tashi Lhamo, said that the course duration was extended to improve the quality of teachers, ministry’s initiative to improve teacher preparation programme.

Tashi Lhamo said that studies conducted by relevant stakeholders and Royal Education Council revealed that PGDE programme did not prepare teachers adequately to teach in secondary schools (classes VII-XII). It was also revealed that the quality of teachers was poor, especially in the secondary schools.   

“Studies showed that B.Ed secondary teachers were not competent to teach in secondary schools, especially classes 9-12,” she said. “The ministry, therefore, had proposed to phase out B.Ed secondary programme.”

Henceforth, the teachers must be a graduate to teach secondary schools.

With the reform, teachers will get opportunities to upgrade their qualifications in their teaching subject at the college of education.

The reform was made according to feedback from the education colleges, PGDE students, and schools who said nine-month course was not enough to learn teaching practices.

Tashi Lhamo, however, said that B.Ed Primary would remain as it is where students join the course after completing class XII. Graduate with this qualification will only teach primary classes from PP-VI.

This year, the RCSC has announced 265 vacancies and eligibility criteria for education services,  60 seats more compared with that of 2018. The available seats are in the field of Dzongkha, which has the highest (100) seats, followed by Arts, Science, IT, and Guidance and Counselling.

Yangchen C Rinzin