Introduction of no cut-off point for class X might be good news for the parents and students but it has affected enrolment in Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) institutes.
The vocational institutes which were once flooded with number of applicants beyond their requirements in the past are now bearing the brunt of the new policy with less number of applicants.
Currently, there are 114 TVET service providers in the country including eight institutes under the labor ministry.
Sangay Tshewang, Principal of Samthang Technical Training Institute (TTI) in Wangduephodrang said that with the introduction of no cut-off point for class X students, they did see some impact with no issues regarding heavy vehicle driving and the heavy earth moving machinery courses but the auto mechanic course received less applicants.”
The institute had announced 52 Auto Mechanic slots. While 66 had applied only 45 candidates turned up for the interview. For the rest of the unfilled slots the institute had to attend job fairs at Phuentsholing and Thimphu to hunt for candidates. In the past sometimes they would get more applicants but today the number of students applying for the course has dropped.
“Although the entry level for admission in TTIs is class X passedas per the admission regulation, we used to receive class XII graduates in the past. “A situation like this never arose in for the past two years. With the removal of cut-off point for class X the situation changed a bit. I believe the problem might be temporary as after two years from now, once the first batch of these students with no cut off point graduate from higher secondary schools, we will have no issue of under admission,” he said.
The College of Zorig Chusum (CZC) in Trashiyangtse too faced a similar issue. Kinley Penjor the principal for the College of Zorig Chusum in Trashiyangtse said compared to last year where they got hundreds of applicants of which they could enroll only 97, this year the scenario changed. Despite advertising for the second time for college enrollment, the college received only one applicant out of 16 requirements. Of 82 slots, they received only 69. He mentioned that in a few trades like wood carving, paintings and tailoring they had received good number of applicants while for others very few. He said the enrollment issue can also be attributed to the cut-off point introduced by the government.
For the Thimphu TTI, Sonam Wangmo the principal said that she cannot comment as of now as the institute is still in the process of registering the applicants with the deadline till the end of July. However, she did mention that they have not received enough applicants as compared to the past.
While Yonten Pelzang the principal of Kuruthang TTI said his institute did not have any issue in terms of enrollment like the other institutes. Though some courses like NCC III did have enrollment problem, it was not due to the new policy of no-cut-off point.
He said the institute offers Electrical and Mechanical courses for which they have been receiving sufficient numbers of applicants but since 2016 the numbers have decreased.
While Rangjung TTI has a different story to share, Yeshey Wangdi the Vice principal said that they were also worried about not getting sufficient applicants but fortunately they received over whelming number of applicants. “Almost all the courses have been filled up and for the 66 slots, we received 218 applicants and we had to increase some of the slots. However, we don’t about the next year. For the next two years we might suffer but we are worried that after class XII, the students might opt for TTIs whereby we might have issue of not being able to absorb all,” he said.
Chumey TTI principal Pema Tshering said due to cold climatic condition not many students opt for Chumey TTI and also compared to other institutes Chumey has been seeing least number of applicants. “We have no takers after the new policy of the government was implemented.”
The institute has identified four dzongkhags-Dagana, Pemagatshel, Samdrup Jongkhar and Zhemgang to headhunt for the applicants.
As for the Dekiling TTI in Sarpang, the principal Lobzang Dorji said that compared to other institutes they are comfortable with the enrollment. The new policy though had an implication. With the admission still going on he hopes to get the required number of applicants. Out of 153 slots the institute has so far received 130 applicants. “Enrollment was not an issue before but this time we having some problems in getting the required numbers,” he added.
Chencho Dema from Thimphu