Given the longstanding teacher shortage in district, Wangdue DT questions govt.’s logic

Education: Local leaders of Wangdue questioned the rationality of the government’s recent decision to not recruit all the trained B.Ed. graduates, during the ninth dzongkhag tshogdu that ended on March 18.

Such a decision, according to them, wasn’t logical, especially when rural schools have been facing teacher shortage for years.

Raising the issue, Kashi gup Rinchen Penjore said a primary school in Kashi has been short of about three teachers for years.

He said the issue however wasn’t just in Kashi.  Many schools across the district and the country are faced with same problem, especially rural.

Kashi gup said the government had a policy to boost the quality of education and provide equal education to every child.  However, when schools are short of teachers, it impacts children’s learning, which contradicts the policy.

“Whenever and wherever we raise the issue of teacher shortage, there is only one answer – that there is teacher shortage across the country,” a local leader said. “If there’s shortage, why not recruit all the trained B.Ed. graduates, instead of depriving them from getting an opportunity to implement what they learnt?”

Wangdue’s district education officer, Tshewang Penjore, said many schools are facing teacher shortage. “We’ve been constantly raising the issue at the ministry and in every meetings,” he said.

He said, for this academic year, the district education office had requested for 27 teachers, of which they received only five to date.

“Recently, we’ve requested for another 20 B.Ed. teachers, who were recruited on contract, but to date, the dzongkhag has received only eight contract teachers,” the DEO said. “Requesting for more teachers from the ministry is all we can do.”

The DEO said the contract teachers were distributed in primary schools that are short of teachers.  There are 18 primary schools in Wangdue and each has at least six teachers today.  The actual teacher requirement for a primary school is eight to nine, he said.

The shortage however was not a problem in secondary and high schools, he said.

Some local leaders requested the DT to raise the concern at the parliament, the DT chair, Thedtsho gup said, it doesn’t have to, because the district education office has been trying to bring in more teachers.

By Dawa Gyelmo, Wangdue