The Wangsel institute in Paro will prepare its hearing impaired students for vocational education

Vocational: Hearing impaired students at the Wangsel Institute, Drugyel in Paro now have an equipped building that will prepare them with skills to enter vocational education.

Her Majesty Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck and Pro Bhutan, Germany Association’s executive chairman Harald N. Nestroy inaugurated the pre-vocational building on December 5. It’s the seventh structure the association has helped built for the institute.

Constructed under phase three of the project, the pre-vocational building is worth about Nu 15.375M. The Wangsel Institute is now set to introduce their proposed pre-vocational education in tailoring, cookery, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, and accountancy, among others.

According to education ministry officials, the project is expected to help the hearing impaired students through basic practical skills in these fields besides improving the chances of the students to be accepted in Vocational Training Institutes (VTIs).

Executive chairman Harald N. Nestroy said the trainings would enable students to become professionals, support themselves and to contribute to further development of Bhutan.

The concept of a pre-vocational building, he said was developed in cooperation with the education ministry. “With such pre-vocational education, we want the students to gain experience in practical and not academic jobs so that they can join the national vocational training institutes,” he said.

Harald N. Nestroy also said that the Wangsel Institute was born as a dream project following the signing of an agreement between him and former education and health minister Sangay Ngedup in November 2002.

From 10 students in 2004, today there are 82 hearing impaired students at the institute from all parts of the country except Gasa and Thimphu.

“The progress is not just in providing time but also in the improvement of teaching-learning processes resulting in overall wellbeing of each student here,” Wangsel Institute’s principal, Kunzang Drukpa said.

The Pro Bhutan, Germany Association is a non-governmental organization composed of private German citizens.

Education minister Mingbo Dukpa said that while the objective of the project is to support the government in strengthening and improving the health and benefit of the

Bhutanese people, its specific objectives are designed directly to improve the situation of those with disabilities, especially the hearing impaired.

Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa said the education ministry would do its best to provide adequate professional trainers in each of the selected fields.

“We hope that as the capacity of the new pre-vocational education unit develops, the facility can also benefit the non-disadvantaged children at Drugyel HSS and LSS.”

The development of infrastructural facilities with assistance from Pro-Bhutan Germany Association also includes construction of an academic building for 40 children at the DLSS and two hostels at the DHSS campus project at a cost of Euro 350,000 under Phase I.

Phase II of the project includes an eight-unit classroom building and hostels for the hearing impaired education unit of DLSS and visually impaired children at the national institute of disabled, Khaling at a project cost of Euro 480,000.

The association on November 13 further committed Euro 310,000 for the construction of a 32-bed girls hostel following an agreement sighed between the education ministry and the association.

Kinga Dema, Paro