Children with Disabilities in Bhutan: Transitioning from Special Educational Needs to Inclusive Education

Matthew Schuelka, Richen Dorji

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


With Bhutan fully invested in international conventions and initiatives
such as Education for All and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, getting all children in school has recently become a priority for the
Royal Government. Despite the intention, there have been many challenges around developing quality inclusive education due to teacher quality, personnel and administration, curriculum, pedagogy, and student physical access as well as a lack of resources. A new inclusive education policy is in the process of being approved by the Bhutanese parliament. This chapter will focus on the challenges and possibilities of how inclusive education can be fully realized in Bhutan through a focus on the context and history of education for persons with disabilities and an analysis of the current relevant policies. In our exploration of pre-service teacher training provision we argue that there are tangible and realistic steps that can be undertaken by the Ministry of Education and the Royal University of Bhutan to prepare Bhutanese teachers better to navigate heterogeneously inclusive classrooms. Our suggestions include a greater integration of inclusive practices across all teacher education programs
and a more explicit focus on interacting with students with disabilities during
pre-service teacher placement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation in Bhutan: Culture, Schooling, and Gross National Happiness
EditorsMatthew Schuelka, Tom Maxwell
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9789811016493
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bhutan
  • Education
  • Inclusive Education
  • Special Education
  • Disability


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