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Contract Employees Await Regularization Against Hope

โ€ฆ๐’‚๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐‘ฎ๐’๐’—๐’†๐’“๐’๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’• ๐’”๐’†๐’•๐’” ๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’ˆ๐’†, ๐’•๐’†๐’‚๐’„๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’๐’†๐’„๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’“๐’” ๐’—๐’๐’Š๐’„๐’† ๐’๐’‘๐’•๐’Š๐’Ž๐’Š๐’”๐’Ž ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’„๐’๐’๐’„๐’†๐’“๐’๐’” ๐’‡๐’๐’“ ๐’‹๐’๐’ƒ ๐’”๐’†๐’„๐’–๐’“๐’Š๐’•๐’š ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐’‡๐’‚๐’Š๐’“ ๐’•๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’•๐’Ž๐’†๐’๐’•

Krishna Kumar Sanyasi

On the first day in office, the Prime Minister convened a meeting with the Cabinet Ministers. Four Executive Orders and ten directives to various ministries were issued for expedited implementation. One of the executive orders was on the establishment of a committee to study the regularization of contract employees, with the study report to be submitted to the Government within a period of one month.

Following the executive order, those directly impacted by the contract system have expressed optimism. While some view this move as a step towards addressing long-standing grievances and ensuring fair treatment for contract workers, others see it as an opportunity to secure job stability and pursue long-term careers.According to a lecturer from the Royal University of Bhutan, “As a lecturer at the Royal University of Bhutan, I firmly believe that regularizing contract employees is crucial for long-term job stability, enhanced experience, and improved performance. The pressure of uncertain future prospects can lead to mental distress and hamper work efficiency. By ensuring all employees are specialized in their respective fields through regularization, we can boost motivation and drive exceptional outcomes in alignment with our country’s economy.”

According to a teacher from Sarpang, โ€œI believe it is important to acknowledge that the possibility of regularization is minimal, as the final decision rests with the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC), an autonomous body. However, regularization would unquestionably enhance our job satisfaction. When priorities and opportunities are equally distributed, the workplace becomes more vibrant and conducive for productivity. The lack of certain privileges such as benefits, smooth loan processing, Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA), and promotions adds a layer of challenge to our professional journey, reminiscent of a narrative often found in journalistic stories.”

A contract teacher from Wangdue Phodrang expressed his elation upon hearing the news of the regularisation of contract employees. He described the feeling of receiving this news as a surge of positive energy, bringing hope and stability to what he considers a noble profession. The teacher emphasized the importance of regularising contract employees in order to restore the value and longevity of the teaching profession. He noted that the current contract system has led to a sense of impermanence and insecurity, with contracts lasting only a short period of time. With the promise of regularisation, the teacher sees a brighter future not only for himself but for the education system as a whole. He believes that a well-planned approach by the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) is crucial, especially considering the shortage of teachers in Bhutan. For individuals like him, the prospect of a regular job not only provides a sense of stability but also the opportunity to contribute to the development of the nation. The teacher expressed gratitude for the government’s commitment to addressing the issue of contract employment and looks forward to a more secure and sustainable future for himself and his colleagues.

A contract employee from Pema Gatshel said, โ€œFor the most part, being regularized comes with a host of advantages, while for some percentage of the population, it may bring insurmountable disadvantages, given the preference of going abroad. I don’t have personal feelings, though. Many people just don’t like it, especially those who appeared in civil service, as they see from the lenses of meritocracy, while us from a humanitarian perspective. However, I understand that the possibility of regularisation brings significant implications for job security, benefits, and professional stability, which are crucial considerations for individuals in contract-based positions. A welcomed decision.โ€

A contract teacher, who preferred to remain anonymous, expressed optimism about the possibility of being regularized, citing the potential benefits it could bring to the youth and the country as a whole. The teacher highlighted the importance of encouraging the youth to stay in the country, emphasizing that regularization could play a key role in achieving this goal. When asked about the potential impact of regularization on job satisfaction and performance evaluation, the teacher confidently stated that it would lead to greater job satisfaction and that performance evaluations would be based on merit. The teacher emphasized the importance of fair and transparent criteria for determining a person’s suitability for regularization.

However, the teacher also voiced concerns about being on a contract where they do not get benefits such as loan schemes and health insurance, for contract teachers. The teacher warned that the absence of such benefits could risk the sustainability of their employment, especially if the government or relevant stakeholders decide to halt contract extensions, potentially leading to unemployment.

Despite these concerns, the teacher remained hopeful that regularization would have a positive impact on the socio-economic development of the country. The teacher believed that providing stability and security to contract teachers would ultimately contribute to the overall progress and well-being of the nation. In addition, the teacher criticized the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) for its outdated system of evaluating personnel. The teacher argued that the current evaluation process does not adequately assess individuals’ potential, citing examples of individuals being placed in positions where they lack the necessary knowledge and skills. The teacher called for a more relevant and effective evaluation system that aligns with the qualifications and experiences gained at the college level.

As the government’s initiatives spark both optimism and caution, the voices of teachers and lecturers resound with a shared desire for job security, fair treatment, and a revitalized sense of purpose within their noble professions. The potential impact of regularization on job satisfaction, performance evaluation, and the socio-economic fabric of Bhutan looms large, with promises of stability and sustainability echoing through the discourse.

In the midst of the anticipation and apprehension, the call for a more inclusive, transparent, and merit-based approach to employment evaluation rings clear. The quest for a system that nurtures talent, rewards dedication, and propels the nation towards progress stands as a beacon of aspiration for all involved.

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