KP Sharma 

Thimphu Thromde is gearing up to recruit 70 national contract teachers (NCT) in the coming months to address the issue of teacher shortage in schools under the thromde.

The process of short-listing candidates has been completed and selection interviews will be held soon, according to the thromde education office.

A total of 108 teachers resigned from schools in Thimphu Thromde between January 1 and April 21 this year. This means that an average of 27 teachers resigned every month.

Of the 108 teachers who resigned, 64 did so voluntarily and 44 availed extraordinary leave. The figure includes only regular service providers and not contract teachers who are recruited on fixed terms.

According to the thromde education office, all 19 schools under the thromde are facing teacher shortage. The two schools with the highest number of teacher vacancies are Lungtenzampa MSS and Yangchenphu HSS.

The thromde education officials said that the education ministry has been very supportive in placing teachers as per the need and urgency of the situation.

“The education ministry has supported us with about 184 teachers at the beginning of the year and more than 50 teachers later on appeal,” said an official.

The official said that the higher number of teacher resignations is because Thimphu thromde has a higher number of schools and teachers compared to other dzongkhags.

To recruit teachers on time, the thromde education office has also apprised the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) to ease the contract teacher recruitment process and even centralized the power to schools to recruit substitute teachers for teachers on maternity leave.

“The response from RCSC and the Ministry to our proposal has been positive,” added the official.

The officials from the thromde education office said that despite recruiting NCT on time, it is challenging to curb the issue as the trend continues.

The thromde education office updates the teacher requirement exercise (TRE) to the ministry twice a month.

“This is done to keep the ministry informed about the change in the number of teachers so that it can act on it immediately,” said the officials.

It was learnt that there are no major disruptions in teaching and learning as the number of shortages is manageable at present.

It is also learnt that teachers who come on transfer to Thimphu do not remain in service for longer duration. Some of the teachers who were transferred to thromde tendered resignation even before joining the new school in the previous year.