Muenselling Institut in Trashigang, Bhutan
Access to digital technology for visually impaired children at Bhutan’s school for the blind
Muenselling Institute in Trashigang, located in the east of Bhutan is the only school for the blind in the country. Today, 24 students are enrolled. Improved access to digital media will make students become more digitally literate and ensures an inclusive and equitable quality of education for Bhutan’s visually impaired children. Together with the Austrian Agency for Development Cooperation (ADA), the Association of Friends of Bhutan, Austria supports the Muenselling Institute in Trashigang with 12 smart TVs and associated equipment. The project is a contribution to SDG Goal 4 Inclusive, equal and high-quality education.
Learning and Teaching with modern equipment
Using a computer, getting information and exchanging information via the Internet has become a matter of course for us. Whether in professional or private life, the use of modern information and communication technologies (ICT) has become an integral part of our everyday lives. For visually impaired people, modern ICT open up new opportunities to participate in everyday life on an equal footing. In education, there are new perspectives for visually impaired children to access learning materials. Modern technological devices applied in special needs education can further help to improve the learning outcomes of visually impaired children.
What is a Smart TV?
A smart TV allows visually impaired persons to participate equally in social life. It offers additional features such as a voice guide, color intensive mode, magnification mode among other features to easily access content. Reading is easier because texts can be enlarged and learning materials can also be accessed acoustically. Additionally, equipping a classroom with smart TVs offers up-to-date teaching methods for teachers and provides them new opportunities of interaction with the visually impaired students. 24 students are benefitting from this project. The smart TVs and associated electronic devices ensure that visually impaired students have better access to learning materials.
Bhutan signed the UN- Disability Rights Convention in 2010 and is working on its ratification. The convention stipulates, that blind and visually impaired persons must have the same opportunities in the education system as everyone else. This project makes a valuable contribution to supporting Bhutan on its way to an inclusive society, especially regarding SDG 4.
Project name: Enhancement of ICT access and learning for students with vision impairment, Khaling
Financing: Small project fund of the Austrian Agency for Development Cooperation (ADA)
with a budget of 9.596 Euro (82%) and a fund from Friends of Bhutan Association, Austria with 2.010 Euro (18%).
Project phase: 13 July – 15 October 2021
Thematic focus: Inclusive Education & Social Justice
SDG Tracker: SDG4 Inclusive and equitable education, SDG 10 Reduce inequalities