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

Dorji Rinchen Dorji, Matthew J. Schuelka

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Scopus citations


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 (US)
Title of host publicationEducation in the Asia-Pacific Region
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEducation in the Asia-Pacific Region
ISSN (Print)1573-5397
ISSN (Electronic)2214-9791

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media Singapore.


  • Inclusive Education
  • National Happiness
  • Student Teacher
  • Teacher Education
  • Teacher Education Program


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