KP Sharma   

The Ministry of Education and Skill Development (MoESD) is yet to reach a final decision on the appointment of cluster principals, a proposal initially intended for submission to the government. 

The ministry had previously expressed interest in implementing the concept of clustering principals as part of its cluster school programme, aimed at improving school efficiency.

During a live television discussion, Lyonpo Jai Bir Rai revealed that while he had heard about the initiative, no official proposal or discussions with relevant officials had taken place.

He emphasised the importance of conducting thorough research by experts before making a final decision, as clustering principals could potentially lead to resource consolidation but also presents management challenges.

Lyonpo highlighted that overseeing larger-sized schools and smaller ones requires distinct skills and approaches, underscoring the need for comprehensive research into the concept. If the ministry decides to proceed with the idea, a cluster principal would be responsible for supervising and managing three schools located in close proximity.

During a Meet-the-Press session in April, Tshewang Chophel Dorji, the acting education secretary, argued that appointing cluster principals could lead to cost savings for the country and is a globally recognised practice in education.

He pointed out that cluster schools, particularly those in close proximity, have demonstrated their effectiveness by facilitating resource sharing and improving facilities.

Previously, Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering expressed support for the concept, aligning it with transformational goals and effective administration and resource management, despite initial concerns.

However, some members of the public are apprehensive about the potential resemblance of the concept to the central school campus model, where a principal oversaw two schools as upper and lower campuses. This previous model faced criticism due to certain issues.