Neten Dorji

All 137 Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) centres across the country will get enough facilitators from the next academic year, according to the education minister.

This was in response to the MP to Sombaykha, Dorjee Wangmo, who asked how the ministry is planning to solve the problem of shortage of facilitators in her constituency.

She said that two ECCD centres—Shari and Sombaykha ECCD centres—are without facilitators.

“Without facilitators children are not able to avail ECCD services. The issue was also discussed several times during dzongkhag tshogdu (DT),” she said.

Dorjee Wangmo said that she also reported the issues to the ministry and relevant agencies like Royal Civil Service Commission(RCSC). “I learnt that the Ministry of Education requested several times to RCSC about the need for ECCD facilitators.”

She said it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education to give quality education.

Education Minister JB Rai said that because of budget constraints “we took the middle path to recruit 31 new facilitators and 36 non-formal instructors as facilitators. A total of 107 facilitators will be ready for next academic year.”

He said that the ministry has requested for 55 additional facilitators to RCSC.

According to the minister, 30 percent of centres are without facilitators; from 2019, the ministry has requested RCSC to provide 137 facilitators. “Though RCSC allows us to recruit facilitators, due to budget constraints, the ministry still could not provide facilitators to the centres.”

About 166 centres are without facilitators, lyonpo said. “Centres in 205 gewogs and 20 dzongkhags have similar problems.”

Meanwhile, MP for Dewathang-Gomdar, Ugyen Dorji, asked the ministers if there are any procedures and criteria set for managing the teachers out. “If RCSC and ministry do not set certain criteria for recruitment of regular and consolidated teacher, there is a risk of favouritism in the recruitment process.”

Lyonpo said that the ministry does not have criteria set for managing them like other agencies.

“After recruiting 500 to 600 permanent teachers from Samtse and Paro education colleges, there will be vacancies for teachers. As and when there is a requirement, we will recruit them,” lyonpo said.

There are about 194 contract teachers who have completed their contract term.

Lyonpo said that there is a shortage of teachers. “This year alone, about 325 teachers have voluntarily resigned; many are on extraordinary leave.” Some, he said were terminated and were made to resign compulsory.