The exodus of educationists

Is something wrong in the teaching profession? This is one pertinent question that deserves some deep reckonings, considering the exodus of educationists from this profession.

Whatever may be the reasons, an increasing number of people are opting to find a way out from this profession. While some have left for greener pasture, it seems some are impatiently waiting for that golden opportunity to bid adieu.

And further what is more alarming is the finding of the annual education statistics, 2013, that shows that a government schoolteacher leaves the teaching profession almost everyday in Bhutan. About four percent of teachers in government schools leave the profession annually for various reasons, according to the report; while teachers voluntarily resigning totes up to 750 between 2008 and 2013.teachers

Often studies have been quoted, reasoning that teaching as a profession is unable to attract the brightest candidates, but what is disappointing is that even the ones that are there today are possibly in a lookout for that exit passage.

Take for instance, the vacancies announced for the post of Drungpa/ Dzongrab a few years back. While it was not known then how many educationists or teachers actually tried for the post, but 14 shortlisted out of the total 17 were education officers and school principals.

Seriously, we need to find solutions to avert this exodus. While reasons could vary and could be many behind teachers leaving this profession, this is obviously not a positive development. Educationists play a crucial role in shaping the future of the youth and thus the future of the nation.

This also becomes a cause for concern in the wake of a deluge of flak on the quality of education in the country. Perhaps, it’s not the first time we are hearing the dearth of teachers, the appointing of contract based teachers, and the deteriorating quality of education in the country.

And while we have also been told that there is no dearth of teachers per se and education report identifying low academic and professional standards for entry into the teaching profession as major constraints in the current system, it’s time we right the wrongs in the system. How long will we continue to find replacement to fill the vacuum left by those who are leaving or are about to leave? The departure also means the departure of skills, knowledge and experience. These are the people who know the education system inside out. Retaining through appropriate incentives rather than finding replacements should be the immediate focus. 

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Inaccessible access to information

Has media’s access to information become so grueling? It appears so going by what reporters looking for stories or information in the field say.

Even for a few details on certain stories, the reporters today literally have to beg or cajole for information. It’s all a matter of sheer luck or the mood of the source/interviewee sharing the information with that reporter. If he/she is lucky, she gets the story. Otherwise be prepared to hear the phone getting slammed against you. And there are some ministers whom you can never contact over the phone, no matter how much one tries.Tastatur Info

There has been so much reiteration on the importance of communication, transparency and openness for that matter, but these are just rhetoric or some malarkey if the present trends are any indication. And what is indubitably sad is the fact that there are the heads of government institutions and agencies who feel that they are doing a humungous service to the media by answering their queries and rendering information to them.

It’s only dismal if such are the understanding and comprehension of the media. The access to information today, which many media practitioners claim have become even more arduous compared to the past years, could perhaps also explain Bhutan’s continuous drop in global press freedom ranking.

And while we may make headway toward transparency and accountability with the enactment of the Right to Information Act, how many of us even believe, both in spirit and mind, that information is a public property? And that people have the right to this information, and people should know about public policies affecting them and their lives. It’s more about rights than a favor.

However, on the contrary, labeling media people as ‘Phung zoh mee’ (Controversy brewer) and lines like ‘Choe Media Tsu Nyam Tse Yeh (You, media people are a disturbance!) have only become common today. If media has failed today, if it’s in a piteous state, it’s not only the media to be blamed. If people’s trust in the media and media’s credibility is being questioned today, the lack of access to information and more-than-constricted access to information are partly to be blamed too. It’s simple as that!