Inclusive health and education

The death of a baby girl in Dagana and the lack of adequate budget, facilities and teachers for special need students in Changangkha school bring to the fore the issues in our health and education system.

The Prime Minister initially argued that there was no way an ambulance could save the baby given that the care the baby needed was only in Thimphu. However, in response to questions from the press he admitted that an airlift would have saved the baby.

Even if the ambulance was not a lifesaver at the time, the case shows a sheer shortage of budget or mismanagement or both at the Dzongkhags when it comes to health facilities like ambulances.

An important step of paying doctors and teachers well has been achieved, but there now needs to be much more investments and focus to follow through.

In the field of education, the lack of adequate facilities and teachers for special needs students is an issue as seen in the Changangkha school in Thimphu.

Education cannot be only for the mainstream but care must be taken to make sure it is inclusive and also opens a pathway for children who need that bit of additional help from learning disabilities and a range of autisms to more serious cases of down syndrome and cerebral palsy at the special schools.

This government has declared health and education as its top priorities and so to walk the talk it should ensure that our heath and education facilities are not only equipped well but are also inclusive and able to cater to the diverse needs of Bhutanese society from a new born to children who are especially abled.

The health and education system can no longer be boasts about numbers and stats but its must move in the direction of reliability, quality and inclusiveness.

There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.
Arlen Specter

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