To keep the schools functioning an immediate shortage of 47 teachers has to be addressed

Education: At least 22 schools including extended classrooms in Wangdue are short of 47 teachers.

The teacher shortage problem in schools in Wangdue began last year, said assistant district education office(ADEO), Karma Tshering.

Despite receiving additional teachers from the ministry last year, he said the problem could not be resolved. This, he added was due to the resignation of around 10 contract teachers and some regular teachers. Several teachers have also left on extra-ordinary leave (EOL). No replacements were sent for those teachers who have resigned and taken EOL.

Karma Tshering said the problem would be resolved if the ministry sends 25 teachers as soon as possible. “Schools like Nahi and Gaselo lower secondary school have two excess teachers, which we are planning to pull out and send to other schools,” said the ADEO. Primary schools like Khotokha and Rukubji have only three teachers, against an actual requirement of a minimum six teachers, he said.

The district education office wrote to the education ministry on February 19 requesting additional teachers to address the shortage.

The letter stated that the dzongkhag was surprised to note that there is no placement of new teachers on the assumption that Wangdue has adequate teachers.

It stated, as per the teacher deployment tools, the district is short of 87 teachers, however, the immediate shortage is 47, which is required to keep the schools functional.

Many primary schools are functioning with four teachers, including the principal, to manage seven sections of classes and some extended-classrooms, it is stated.

Around 31 teachers were transferred out of the district, last year, for which only 27 replacements were received. Around 10 contract teachers resigned in December, last year, and no replacements were sent. One teacher has resigned and two have taken EOL.

The letter stated that Rukubji primary school has the highest shortage with a need of five teachers. It is currently run by only two teachers. Schools like Khotokha, Nobding and Singye Namgay primary school are short of four teachers each.

Shataksha, Rameychen and Uma primary schools are also short of two teachers each, it is stated in the letter. Gaselo and Samtengang central schools are in need of one teacher each while primary schools including Hebesa, Bjena, Jala and Rubesa are also in need of one teacher each.

Extended classrooms of Gogona, Gangphel, Athang are short of one teacher each. Dhonkhobji and Dranghal extended classrooms were without any teachers, and in need of two teachers each, as per the letter.

Wangdue has 32 schools including extended classroom in its 15 gewogs. Bajo higher secondary school has the highest number of teachers with 48, followed by 39 teachers in Tencholing primary school and Wangdue primary school with 35 teachers.

The teacher shortage issue was raised at both the dzongkhag tshogdu and mid-term reviews, last year. Local leaders blamed the education ministry for not resolving the teacher shortage issue, and questioned the ministry for not recruiting trained B Ed teachers.

Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue