KP Sharma 

Schools in Thimphu thromde saw 196 teachers exit between January 2022 and January 10, 2023. That is on average, more than 16 teachers resign every month.

Of 196, most of the teachers resigned voluntarily according to the record maintained by Thromde Education Office.

To address the teacher shortage, Thimphu thromde submitted a proposal to education ministry after it was done with the teacher requirement exercise (TRE).

According to the education office, the education ministry could place 141 teachers in the schools under thromde in 2023.

The thromde has received 112 teachers on transfer from other dzongkhags, 20 returned from long-term training and studies, and nine from two teacher-training colleges.

The officials said that they are still short of 55 teachers if they go by the numbers of those who left earlier.

The thromde administration has also requested the ministry for additional National Contract Teachers (NCT) to place an adequate number of teachers in thromde schools.

“It is challenging to get the required teachers on time,” said the official from the thromde education office.

Keeping standby teachers ready is another idea the office is looking for to avoid disruption in the middle of the academic session.

The official said, “It is difficult to replace teachers, especially in the middle of the academic session.”

He added that thromde education office has started to update the data at certain regular intervals so that issues could be resolved faster.

“Replacing technical subject teachers at the higher secondary level is difficult,” he said. Although NCTs could be recruited, he said it takes time for them to cope with the teaching system.  

When teachers leave the profession in the middle of the academic session, it hampers the delivery of lessons in the schools.

“When we don’t have teachers for a long time, students tend to lose interest in the particular subject,” he said.

Some schools don’t have teachers teaching technical subjects which could hamper the performance of students in long-run. “We are trying every strategy not to keep the students idle or without teachers.”

The officials said that teachers leaving the profession in Thimphu are higher compared to other dzongkhags because of the expensive living expenses.

Kuensel learnt that most of the teachers who left the profession left for Australia and other popular destinations like the United Kingdom, the USA and Canada.