IDRC – Coordination Meeting
Date: Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
The first coordination meeting for the Bhutan Technical Committee members was held at Paro College of Education (PCE) on 16/08/2022 with regard to the joint project “A Multi-Country Study on Educational Innovations for Out of School Children (OOSC) and Children at Risk of Dropping Out (covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal)” supported by International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The meeting was attended by representatives from various CSOs that support disabilities such as Ability Bhutan Society, Draktsho Vocational Institute, Phensem Parents Support Group and VTOB. Similarly, there were representatives from Ministry of Education, UNICEF Bhutan, and schools that support SEN programmes. The President, project coordinator and researchers for PCE attended the meeting.
The President as a Chairperson made opening remarks reminding the participants the importance and opportunities of this joint project for out of school children and youth with disabilities in Bhutan. Then the Project Coordinator presented an update of the project activities conducted as aligned to the project phases and milestones achieved till date. The researchers presented the results and analysis of the baseline qualitative study that was conducted with parents of children with disabilities, officials from Ministry of Education, District Education Officers and representatives from CSOs that support people with disabilities.
A brainstorming session was conducted for possible implementation of strategies and programmes that was identified as an output from the qualitative data analysis for including out of school children with disabilities and children with disabilities at risk of dropping out from the schools. It was decided that three intervention strategies namely – advocacy and awareness, therapy sessions and educational activities will be designed as a package considering the severity of disabilities in the children and youth. It was also decided that considering the organization’s strengths in implementing these intervention strategies, respective organizations would develop intervention packages accordingly. The preparation and transition to employability opportunities for youth with disabilities were also explored.