Con­tract teach­ers to get va­ca­tion pay

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Lucky Wangmo from Thim­phu Bhutan, Busi­ness

Fol­low­ing com­plaints by con­tract teach­ers who said that the Bhutan Civil Ser­vice Rules and Reg­u­la­tions de­prives them of va­ca­tion pay by mak­ing 10 months’ an­nual ser­vice manda­tory while ex­ist­ing pro­vi­sions en­able them to ren­der only nine months’ ser­vice, the clause in ques­tion has been amended.

The Royal Civil Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (RCSC) amended the clause in a no­ti­fi­ca­tion is­sued on May 16.

Now the con­di­tion reads: “In an aca­demic year, a civil ser­vant in the teach­ing pro­fes­sion shall be en­ti­tled to full paid an­nual va­ca­tion for ren­der­ing a min­i­mum of seven months ser­vices; one month paid va­ca­tion for ren­der­ing less than seven months but three months or more ser­vices and no paid va­ca­tion for ren­der­ing less than three months ser­vice.” Talk­ing to

the Chief Hu­man Re­source Of­fi­cer, Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion (MoE), Kin­ley Gyelt­shen, said that the min­istry and the dzongkhags also pushed for the va­ca­tion pay­ment of con­tract teach­ers.

A let­ter is­sued in April from the MoE to the Com­mis­sioner (MoE fo­cal) at the RCSC states that most of the dzongkhags have paid the va­ca­tion salary to the ex­ist­ing con­tract teach­ers un­der their ju­ris­dic­tion ex­cept a few dzongkhags such as Zhem­gang and Lhuentse.

The let­ter also states that the con­tract teach­ers will con­tinue their ser­vices in the fol­low­ing aca­demic ses­sion after the win­ter va­ca­tion while schools across the coun­try will re­main of­fi­cially closed but teach­ers are forced to stay back dur­ing va­ca­tion. “They are still serv­ing in the sys­tem and it is un­fair by not fa­cil­i­tat­ing them va­ca­tion salary,” states the let­ter.

An­other rec­om­men­da­tion states that it is not the fault of the con­tract teach­ers since they are ap­pointed only in April, which means their an­nual ser­vice lasts for nine months be­fore their con­tract term ex­pires in March.

“The re­cruit­ment of con­tract teach­ers hap­pen only in April after ab­sorb­ing the reg­u­lar teacher can­di­dates, and the con­tract teach­ers are just shy of two months to be el­i­gi­ble for the va­ca­tion pay,” said Kin­ley Gyelt­shen.

It was also brought to the no­tice of RCSC that teach­ers work­ing in pri­vate schools are paid va­ca­tion salary.

Kin­ley Gyelt­shen said that a lot of teach­ers go on ex­tra­or­di­nary leave or re­sign and some leave teach­ing after pro­mo­tions re­sult­ing in a short­age of teach­ers. “Th­ese con­tract teach­ers fill in the gaps,” he said.

He added that with the gov­ern­ment com­ing up with 120 cen­tral schools in the coun­try, some small and un­sus­tain­able schools might have to close down. “We may then not re­quire so many con­tract teach­ers.”

Cur­rently, there are 127 con­sol­i­dated con­tract teach­ers and 735 reg­u­lar con­tract teach­ers across the coun­try. Con­sol­i­dated con­tract teach­ers are not re­cruited through the civil ser­vice ex­am­i­na­tion while the reg­u­lar con­tract teach­ers are those who failed to get through the exam.

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