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Education ministry proposes changes in IWP for teachers

Education ministry has come up with proposals and recommendations concerning IWP for teachers after the completion of the review of Individual Work Plan (IWP) for teachers.

The proposal and recommendations include changes in weightage of the six IWP domains, using the existing evidences for documentation, and changing the ranking system.

The changes in the IWP addresses the major issues of IWP such as chances of diversion of the teachers’ attention to other fields, giving more focus to documentation of evidence than teaching and learning, and the IWP ranking system.

Education Minister Norbu Wangchuk said that of the six domains of IWP, only two are directly related to the core mandate of teachers. However, he said that if equal weightage were given to all the domains, there could be chances of teachers diverting their attention to other domains. “We are differentiating the six domains into core mandate and allied mandate.”

The six domains of IWP are leadership and management practices; green domain initiatives; curriculum practices; holistic assessment; broader learning; and community vitality.

Curriculum practices and holistic assessment would be considered as the core domain while the others will be catergorised as allied.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that for the core mandates each would be provided with a weightage of 25 percent while the rest would be considered from five percent. “We want teachers to take interest in curriculum practices and holistic assessment where the weightage is high so that it will enable the teachers to focus on teaching and learning.”

For the staff, counsellors, principals, and vice principals of the schools, the ministry would also allocate different weightages for different domains depending on their responsibilities.

For the teachers to not be burdened with additional work, the ministry has proposed the use of existing evidences for documentation such as student score, lesson plan, yearly plan, teaching and learning materials displayed in the classroom, and student work assessment.

Lyonpo said the review of the IWP for teachers found that the ranking submitted by the schools did not have any grounds at Teacher Resource Centres (TRC) where the actual IWP rankings were done. He said that the principal and the school committee would best know which teacher to put in which four categories of outstanding, very good, good and needs improvement.

To honour and respect the ranking submitted by the schools, the ministry has proposed that ranking moderation be done at schools and not at TRCs.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the principal and the school committee would identify how many and whom to put in the outstanding category which would be submitted to the thromdes and dzongkhags for validation. The thromde and dzongkhags would submit the list to the ministry who will submit it to Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC). “How many are required in the outstanding category will be determined by the Performance Management System (PMS) ranking of the particular school,” lyonpo said.

He said that the ministry’s proposal also included that there be no quota for the very good and good categories and that the teachers placed in these categories be honoured at the school level.

For the needs improvement category, the ministry is proposing that only those fitting a specific criterion be categorised under it.

The ministry is submitting two criteria for needs improvement category- if the teacher is not able to fulfill 50 percent of the IWP target; and if the teacher has some character flaw such as being a habitual drinker, habitual gambler, is in conflict with law, and violates the teacher code of conduct and civil service code of conduct.

Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk said that the ministry was putting up recommendation to the RCSC to hand over the responsibility and accountability to manage the IWP of the teachers and staff in the schools. “If that is provided to us, we would bear in mind the general guideline of RCSC, and the purpose and aim of IWP. We will honour that and manage the IWP properly.”

The recommendations and proposals, he said, would honour IWP’s purpose and would also empower and respect the school authorities for the management and governance of IWP, while also holding them accountable. “It is not the ministry or the RCSC who should look into teacher performance management. It should directly be the school authorities. We will hold them to do a fair, transparent and objective performance management of the teachers.”

He said that there were two aspects to the proposals – one which the ministry can implement on their own, such as the changes in the weightage of the six domains, how much weightage to give to what documented evidence, and how much evidences to collect.  “Two, we need the RCSC’s approval for the moderation and how to do the ranking.”

The recommendations and proposals came after the task force under the ministry completed the review of the IWP. The task force met and discussed the issues of IWP with 887 teachers, 161 school staff and 74 principals across three thromdes and 11 dzongkhags.

The ministry will soon issue a guideline to the schools affecting the changes on evidence documentation and the changes in the weightages of the six IWP domains.  The ministry will also submit a proposal to RCSC to consider the changes in the ranking system.

Karma Cheki

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