MoE Seeks to Address Teacher Shortage by Hiring Experienced Educators



Facing a critical shortage of qualified teachers, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development (MoESD) is making an unconventional move including rehiring experienced educators who previously resigned. This initiative, spearheaded by the Ministry, aims to leverage the valuable skills and knowledge of veteran teachers while addressing the immediate staffing gap.

A significant rise in teacher resignations of 15.5 percent in 2023 compared to 7.7 percent in 2022. The huge gap will be filled by hiring initial teachers who resigned. The Ministry acknowledges the valuable experience and expertise of these individuals, highlighting how their familiarity with the curriculum, policies, and procedures contributes positively to the learning environment.

The major chunk of the issues arises from the record of the highest number of teachers voluntarily resigning from the service. The officials from the ministry emphasize that not all resigned teachers will be automatically rehired. They are especially targeting qualified subject teachers, particularly those suited for higher grades, through a contract-based recruitment process. This selective approach aims to address the critical gap in specific subject areas while ensuring the recruited teachers meet the necessary eligibility criteria.

The official from the ministry said that this is seen as particularly beneficial in situations where filling vacant positions with new graduates has proven challenging, with some subjects like economics, accounting, and commerce facing a constant lack of qualified candidates. Despite repeated announcements made by the Dzongkhag, the gap has not been filled. So, as of now, the Ministry has the approval of 600 teachers to be recruited on a contract basis.

Where officials from the ministry express confidence that rehired, teachers will remain in service, addressing the underlying reasons behind the high attrition rate remains a priority. Initiatives like professional development programs and workshops will help teachers enhance their skills and stay updated with the latest teaching methodologies and technologies.

Specifically, these opportunities not only improve teachers’ effectiveness but also help clear career advancement pathways for teachers. Particularly with ongoing efforts to improve job satisfaction and retention. However, the official acknowledges that certain incentives, such as pay increases require government approval.

The ministry head’s innovative approach has generated mixed reactions. While some applaud the initiative’s potential to address the immediate staffing crisis, others express concerns about the long-term consequences of relying on returning educators instead of fostering a new generation of teachers. The official said, “Only time will tell if this strategy proves successful in alleviating the teacher shortage while maintaining the quality of education for students.”

However, the initiative is not solely driven by pragmatism. The Ministry recognizes that personal or family circumstances may have prompted the initial resignation, and those circumstances might have improved. This opens the door for a teacher who previously thrived in their position to revisit their teaching career under potentially more favorable conditions.

The people are concerned about the hiring of an experienced teacher even after they resigned. For these, the official said that they are on a contract basis, and there won’t be any issues with their rejoining as long as they have met the eligible criteria.

Furthermore, the Ministry emphasizes that past performance will be a significant factor in rehiring decisions. Only educators with a positive track record, as evidenced by past evaluations and feedback, will be considered. This strategy ensures that the program prioritizes both addressing the teacher shortage and maintaining the quality of education.

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