Seventy-eight teachers from 26 schools in Wangdue were recognised on Teachers’ day, May 2.

The teachers were awarded certificates of order of merit in teaching excellence in recognition of the academic performance of students in 2018.

Chief dzongkhag education officer Pema Dorji said the award system was initiated in 2018 following the annual dzongkhag education conference. “One of the resolutions of the conference to motivate teachers was to begin an award system to recognise and appreciate the teachers.”

The 78 certificates were based on students’ performance in a particular subject.

Wangdue dzongkhag has 440 teachers in 26 schools.

Based on good practices, learning environment, academic performances, and gross national happiness among others, four schools from the dzongkhag were rated as the top four schools in the dzongkhag.

Pema Dorji said that aligning the criteria used by the ministry to rate schools in the country, the dzongkhag categorised the assessment based on the school performance of class III, VI, X, and XII.

“We didn’t just look into the academic performance. We interviewed teachers, students and the parents to rate the school in various category.”

In class III category, Khotokha Primary School; in class VI category, Jalla Primary School; in class X category, Phobjikha Central School; and in class XII category, Gaselo Central School were recognised as top schools in the dzongkhag.

According to the evaluation done by the dzongkhag, students’ performance in the dzongkhag had improved by 25 percent compared to the previous year.

“The award recipient also changed by 60 percent. So this shows that there is a sense of competition among the schools,” Pema Dorji said.

A certificate of appreciation was awarded to Karma Dechen Wangmo, a teacher at Kazhi Primary School, who had sacrificed two months of her maternity leave to teach due to shortage of teachers in the school.

“She didn’t take any of her casual leave as well,” Pema Dorji said. “We don’t encourage such practices in future but because she had already sacrificed her time for the students we wanted to appreciate her for her work.”

The certificates awarded to the teachers would prove beneficial for the teachers to acquire scholarships or training organised by the dzongkhag in future. Order of merit in teaching excellence is one of the criteria set by the dzongkhag for a teacher candidate to gain a scholarship or training.

Organised by the dzongkhag education sector, the celebration unlike last year was held in Bajo town. Apart from the teachers, hundreds of town residents also attended the event.

“We will continue the award event in future and hopefully make it better than today by collecting donations,” Pema Dorji said.

Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue