Her Majesty the Queen Mother Tshering Pem Wangchuck officially handed over the educational materials for the Special Education Program to the Ministry of Education (MoE) at YDF, Thimphu on July 24.
Her Majesty is the co-chair of the Bhutan Foundation and the presentation marked its continued support to children with disabilities under the leadership of Her Majesty the Queen Mother.
“Access to education is an absolute right of every youth in Bhutan. The Bhutan Foundation is honored to have a role in building the capacity of Bhutanese teachers and schools in improving access to education for children with special needs. We place great emphasis on our commitment to this key area of the Ministry of Education’s efforts to ensure education for all Bhutanese,” said the executive director, Bhutan Foundation, Tshewang Wangchuk.
The Special Education Program (SEP) for the last five years has been building the capacity of teachers in eight pilot schools to identify and teach children with special needs. Through Special Education Summer Program, the teachers are trained by the special education specialists from New York. Each summer, the teaching and learning materials for the teachers and students in eight pilot schools to supplement their training are donated by Bhutan Foundation.
This summer the Bhutan Foundation brought seven specialists into the country to provide embedded staff development at Changangkha Middle Secondary School and Mongar Lower Secondary School. The specialists will help develop strong special education programs in these schools so they can serve as effective training centres for the rest of the pilot schools as well as schools new to special education.
A U.S. Special Education Advisory Committee was set up in New York to work with the MoE to identify the priorities of the Special Education Program in Bhutan. These key advisors then assist with selecting the specialists who come to Bhutan for the Special Education Summer Program.
The Bhutan Foundation works in collaboration with the Early Childhood Care and Development and Special Education Division. MoE. It serves as an American nonprofit organization that is wholly focused on the benefit of the country and people of Bhutan.