Contract teachers to get vacation pay
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.