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Teachers at the ongoing annual education conference in Phuentsholing have recommended the establishment of a teachers’ protection unit. A January 28 Bhutan Today article “Spelling out their grievances” reasoned that teachers “are sometimes charged both by students and parents.”

This feeling of “needing protection” has become rampant after democracy. Inadvertently, it was initially journalists who raised the issue. Discussions have also taken place for a protection mechanism for civil servants, employees of constitutional offices like the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC), the judiciary and other sectors.

A friend of mine responded to it saying it is “only natural” for people, in any career, to want protection blankets. He said that it is done in other democratic countries through the establishment of unions.

Thus, in the case of teachers, he recommends that they should think of having teachers’ unions. Similarly, all people working in the same trade should also think of forming unions to ensure that their interests are protected and they institutionalize their collective voice through the union(s). Moreover, the Constitution allows it.

It is also interesting to note that this was not much of an issue before the advent of democracy (arguments against this claim are welcome though).

Why?

Before democracy, people trusted the governance system. All Bhutanese had a feeling, and rightly so, of being taken care of by the system.  

Now, it is difficult to place complete trust in the system and people have started questioning it.

It is worth thinking over whether this loss of trust in the system is making people insecure and whether it has fuelled everyone to ask for protection insurance through legal statutes.

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