Teaching is always regarded as a noble profession in our Bhutanese society and the teachers occupy a special place in our country. The teachers play a special role in shaping the future citizens of our country. The responsibility of being a teacher seems too huge as a slight failure in their profession would cost huge to the whole nation.
With the introduction of the school education in Bhutan in late 50’s, teachers were hired from India and the teacher training institutes was established to train national teachers. Despite the remoteness, the rugged terrains and lack of infrastructures in the schools the teachers had served the nation at their best. They have been given the recognition from the highest authority where teachers received the National Order of Merit during the National Day celebrations.
Recognizing the importance of the teachers, the Ministry of Education has always given much importance to the training of the teachers and provided in country and ex- countries trainings in countries like Canada and Australia. Further to make the teachers more attracted to teaching profession the Ministry had even encouraged distance education for the school teachers and will be starting the Masters program soon.
However all seems not well with the teaching profession as there was a hue and cry over the high attrition rate for the teachers last year. According to the annual education statistics 2017, 365 teachers have left the teaching profession to the highest teacher attrition since 2008. About 2,346 teachers from the public schools have left the profession. About 1,467 have voluntary resigned and 305 teachers have superannuated, 282 teachers either died or were terminated, 251 left after the expiry of the contract and 40 teachers left on compulsory retirement.
As said by the Prime Minister in the annual education conference in Pangbang last year, every child is precious and our children are now even more precious as our population is tiny and family size is shrinking rapidly. He also asserted to invest whatever resources are required to nurture our precious children.
As the Ministry of Education is working towards in resolving the issues at hand and to explore the possibilities to retain our good teachers for future of our children, we see a ray of hope at the end of the tunnel for the teaching professionals. The teaching profession in Bhutan needs a closer scrutiny as the teachers are the backbone of the nation. The teachers need to be professionally equipped to build our future generations. The ministry must explore ways to retain them and support the noble profession as the initiative will go long way in building the future of our country.