Women graduates this year dominated the civil service common examinations (CSCE), taking the top three positions.
A geography honours graduate from Sherubtse, Gaki Wangmo, topped the CSCE in the general category with 66.10 percent. BA English graduate from Monash university in Australia, Pema Choezom, stood second, followed by a BSc hotel management graduate from Bharathiar university in India, Dechen Wangmo.
"I want to pursue postgraduate diploma in public administration at the college of management and, if possible, join the foreign ministry," said 23-year old Gaki Wangmo, who worked as a temporary teacher in Phuentsholing soon after her graduation. "I expected to be in the top 30, but I never imagined I'd top the general category exam."
This is the first time in almost six years that a woman graduate has topped the civil service exams. But it was once again a Sherubtse graduate, who topped the common examination, making it four years in a row.
A total of 943 graduates appeared for the examination in three categories (general, technical and Dzongkha) in November this year. Only the top 336 graduates will be landing a career in the civil service.
The CSCE 2009 saw an almost 17 percent increase in number of graduates opting for a job in the civil service, compared with 806 candidates in 2008.
"I'm genuinely surprised and I haven't decided what placement I'll opt for," said 22-year old Pema Choezom, who has majored in English literature. "But I'm really happy that women graduates have secured all the top three positions. This is the most coveted examination in the country and it proved that girls are equally good if not better."
Of the total, 678 were general graduates competing for 182 job vacancies in the government. About 238 technical graduates, including doctors, engineers, architects, IT professionals, lawyers and those who have specialised in forestry and medicine also sat for the exam (see box for details). However, there are only 113 job vacancies for technical graduates in the civil service. There were also 27 graduates, who appeared the exam in the Dzongkha category.
"More than three months of vigorous preparation have paid off and I'm really excited," said 23-year old Dechen Wangmo, who stood third. "My dream of pursuing a post graduate diploma in administration and joining the civil service has finally come true."
The top 20 general graduates include six female and 14 male who have bachelor's degrees in various subjects such as geography, English, Dzongkha, business administration, economics, political science, philosophy, computer science and hotel management. More than 50 percent of the 20 graduates were from Sherubtse college, Kanglung.
The royal civil service commission (RCSC) announced in November that about 125 of the 182 selected general category graduates would go for postgraduate diploma in education. The RCSC needs 40 Dzongkha teachers, 30 Physics/Mathematics teachers, 15 Biology/Chemistry teachers and ten teachers each for History, English, Geography, Economics and Commerce.
Graduates should score a minimum of 50 percent in the CSCE to be eligible for the jobs in the civil service. But only 196 out of the total 678 general graduates scored more than 50 percent. About 123 were male graduates, while 73 were female. Only one graduate scored below 50 percent in the Dzongkha category.