Employment: The Royal Education Council (REC) has discontinued the services of its 42 employees with effect from October 1. Sixteen of them work for Centenary Institute of Education (CIE) in Yonphula.

A notification with a list of the employees issued yesterday stated that the decision to discontinue the services of these employees was following the resolution of the 2nd Council meeting.

“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.

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

This comes more than eight months after REC and education ministry’s curriculum and research development department (DCRD) were merged, on December 12, 2014.

Surprised with the notification of their service termination, the employees gathered at the REC conference hall yesterday were worried and distressed.

Representing the 42 employees, one of the officials said the director of new REC, Kesang Choden Dorji had informed the staff on August 19 that their service was likely to be discontinued and a proposal on post-discontinuation benefits was submitted to the Cabinet for approval.

“This was not expected. Most of us here are either sole bread earners in the family or both husbands and wives are employed here. How are we supposed to make a living now?” the official said. “Where will 42 of us find a job within a month?”

The employees also said they are worried on how to repay the loans they have availed from financial institution, expecting their job was a permanent one.

With the merger in December, DCRD employees were to be delinked from the education ministry, while the employees of the erstwhile REC, most of whom quit the civil service to join the Council, were to be taken on contract. DCRD and the old REC had 40 and 27 employees respectively.

However, the official added that they remained as regular employees of REC until now and only two of the old REC’s staff was taken to the new REC.

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

It now turned out that, in the name of merger, old REC is being dismissed completely, keeping only the DCRD, officials said.

The Royal Education Council (The Council) was established through a Royal Command in August 2007 to initiate and implement education reforms across the entire spectrum covering school, technical and tertiary education.

REC’s mandate then was to conduct research, review and assess education policies, practices, and programmes, develop and pilot innovative programs, provide technical expertise, publish literature, design systemic assessments, pioneer use of ICT in education, mobilise funds to carry out its works and provide a forum for exchange of information among national and international educational institutions.

On December 13, 2013, the government reconstituted the Council board.

Lyonchoen Tshering Tobgay is the Council’s chairman and education minister Mingbo Dukpa, the vice chairman.

Meanwhile, officiating director of REC, Norbu Wangchuk under whose signature the discontinuation notice was issued yesterday did not comment saying he “was just following the board’s directives”.

Nirmala Pokhrel