Employment: Labour and human resources ministry is in the process of setting up a teacher knowledge test to qualify them for jobs anywhere in the world.

The test is similar to International English Language Test System and will be conducted in Royal Institute of Management in Thimphu.

The government has drawn a plan to employ the teacher graduates for until 2020.

Labour and human resources minister, Ngeema Sangay Tshempo, said that all teacher graduates would be employed.

National Council’s eminent member, Kesang Chuki Dorjee, said that of the 417 trained teachers, only 182 were employed as regular teachers while 200 more were taken on contract for two years.

“When they complete their contract after two years, there will be more trained teachers competing in the job market,” she said. The two teacher training colleges will continue producing more teachers.

She asked how the government plans to provide jobs for the graduates from the teacher training colleges. Last year more than 300 teachers were left without jobs, which caused concerns for the government.

As a result, the government in consultation with Royal Civil Service Commission came out with a long-term plan to employ the teacher graduates for five years until 2020, the minister said.

A total of 541 teachers graduated this year, of which 507 have been employed.

“Job opportunities are being explored in other areas for the remaining teacher graduates,” said the minister.

According to the plan, the government will employ 373 next year, 270 in 2018, 224 in 2019, and 222 in 2020.

“We are working as per this plan,” he said. “I’d say teacher graduates have no need to worry for jobs,” he added.

On the availability of vacancies, he said, the education ministry’s teacher attrition rate stands at three percent with at least 258 teachers retiring annually.

Monasteries and religious institutions have vacancy for at least 388 English teachers.

The ministry will also replace 139 contract teachers and 285 community based teachers employed by the previous government with trained teachers. The graduates from the two teacher training institutes in Paro and Samtse will also gradually replace the 296 expatriate teachers in schools across the country.

“Slowly these teachers will be replaced by trained teachers,” the minister said.

A few teacher graduates are not employed not because there is no need of them but to maintain quality, the minister said.

The ministry is also talking with Thai government to send 400 teachers to schools in Bangkok.

The ministry will also send teachers to India.

He said before sending them abroad they undergo one month training on teaching pedagogy and on working in the respective country they are going to.

The embassies in the respective countries are instructed to help should the teachers confront any problems.

Labour and employment minister Ngeema Sangay Tshempo said policy of education is to delivery quality education.

“If we need quality teachers the professionalism of teachers has to be developed. For that the government will maintain adequate funds for this programme,” he said.

Tshering Palden