KP Sharma

The education ministry approved more than 330 transfers this year to manage the teacher shortages in schools.

The ministry endorsed transfers for one dzongkhag education officer (DEO), 17 principals, 12 VPs, 330 teachers, two counsellors and 23 support staff, as per the list shared by the ministry.

According to a notification issued by the ministry on November 9, the transfers were approved in line with the transfer and placement guideline 2023 approved by the Royal Civil Service Commission.

While approving these transfers, the ministry stated that it looked into the factors such as subject vacancies, transfer options, subject requirements for teaching, non-teaching field vacancies and marital cases as well as considered the duration of service at the current place of posting.

Teachers teaching special education needs (SEN) were placed in the same type of school, while principals, vice principals and counsellors were directly assigned to schools unlike the teachers and support staff.

The ministry stated that it declined transfer proposals based on factors such as prioritising marital cases when there were more applicants than vacancies in a teaching subject.

Those applicants without supporting documents for marital cases were placed in the pool of the eligible transfer category and transferred wherever feasible.

In cases where both members of a couple are currently employed in the same school or dzongkhag, the transfer has only been taken into account if there are available vacancies for both individuals in their chosen location, either in the teaching field or the relevant field for non-teaching staff.

The ministry stated that principals in four thromdes and in Thimphu and Paro dzongkhags were also addressed through this annual transfer.

However, teachers transferred to Thimphu Thromde, Thimphu and Paro dzongkhags are required to sign an undertaking, committing to serve a minimum of one academic year in the place of posting.

Teachers are asked to sign the undertaking due to the instances in the past where the teachers either availed extra-ordinary leave (EOL) or resigned before joining the new school.

Some teachers resigned shortly after joining the schools that further exacerbated the teacher shortage issues and hampered the lesson delivery in the schools.

The notification stated the issuance of transfer orders will be limited to those who submit the duly signed undertakings on or before November 14.

According to the ministry, the changes or cancellations to approved transfers will not be entertained, except for cases related to Thimphu Thromde, Thimphu and Paro dzongkhags who fail to submit their undertaking letter.

Teachers on transfer are not entitled to transfer benefits according to the budget notification from the finance ministry on July 7, 2023.