Edn. minister makes bold reform promises

Education minister Jai Bir Rai

While C𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘀 𝗫 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗫𝗜𝗜 𝘀𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 will be allowed 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗽𝗲𝗮𝘁, teachers serving in remote schools will get access to decent staff quarters

KARMA CHIMMI

Thimphu

Students who fail in class X and XII, even if for the second time, will still be allowed to repeat again as before.

The Education Minister, Jai Bir Rai, reiterated this during the ongoing national assembly question-hour session on 7 June in response to questions from some members of the parliament.

The members questioned about the preconditions the ministry set for repeaters in these grades. Monggar MP, Karma Lhamo, raised on the plans and strategies to resolve the issue of class 10 and 12 PCNA students failing to get admission in schools due to limited seats despite having a policy allowing them to repeat.

She questioned on why the students, awarded PCNA twice in class 10 exams, are not allowed to repeat in the next academic session and just made to continue in the next grade despite the huge admission crunch. 

Karma Lhamo reiterated on the government’s plans to both do away and change the policies, and plans and strategies of the government to resolve issues of small children residing in far flung areas and distantly away from their schools.

In addition, the Gangzur-Minje MP, Kinga Penjor, said that it is the mandate that the government should provide free education till Class 10 as per the constitution.

However, he added that the government should review the policy on students who do not qualify for class 10 and 12, and those who are not able to get opportunities to pursue their studies.

He said there are students who are repeating in class 12 as there are not enough scholarships available to absorb them, and further plans to engage students who qualify to continue their tertiary education in the country.

The MP of Phuentshopelri Samtse, Ganesh Ghimrey, also quizzed the government and the ministry’s way forward to improve the living conditions of teachers serving in remote schools.  

Further, details on the number of trainees from the two Teacher Training Institutes, the total number of graduates since 2018, and those recruited as either full or part-time teachers were also raised.

Education minister JB Rai said that the issue of limited seats arose because of the large number of students failing in both class 10 and 12. However, as per the directive from the Office of the Prime Minister, the minister said that they are allowing class 10 and 12 PCNA students to repeat. 

He informed that this has enabled almost 1,716 class 10 students to repeat in government schools and about 2,133 in private schools, fully funded by the government.

It was also submitted that, out of the 2,487 failed students of class 12, around 566 are repeating in government schools while the rest were enrolled in private schools.

JB Rai said that if anyone has missed to avail these opportunities and want to continue their studies, they could register with the Ministry of Education.

Regarding the ministry’s plan to improve the living conditions of teachers in remote schools, the minister acknowledged that the living condition of the teachers in remote schools in many parts of the country are in need of improvement.

He added that according to the 12th FYP, it was planned that about 80 percent of the teachers would be provided with houses, keeping in mind of the evolving situations and conditions.

The ministry had initially planned to construct 39 houses for 26 schools from which only 13 have been completed and handed over as to date.

The education minister also submitted that 26 houses are being constructed as of today and that at least 300-400 teachers in remote schools will benefit from the project. “We are exploring ways to construct houses for teachers in remote places with prefabricated structures,” he said.

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