… for children and youth with disabilities

Staff reporter

Asian Development Bank and finance ministry signed a USD 2-million (M) grant agreement to increase the employability of youth with disabilities through the Japan Fund for Prosperous and Resilient Asia and the Pacific (JFPR) yesterday.

Finance Minister Namgay Tshering and the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Country Director, Shamit Chakravarti signed the grant agreement at ADB’s Bhutan Resident Mission in Thimphu.

ADB’s Country Director Shamit Chakravarti said, “The children and youth with disabilities were among the most affected groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. This project will help the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to increase the number of Special Education Needs (SEN) schools in Bhutan.”

He said that these schools will be provided with special equipment and computers with text-to-speech and speech recognition functions to improve the quality of education and skills development for youth with disabilities.

The grant will support training SEN school teachers to provide online learning opportunities for the youths.

The scope for introducing new courses such as graphic and web design as well as assistive devices using 3D printing digital fabrication technology will be explored, the press release from ADB stated.

The grant project will strengthen partnerships with private training providers, civil society organisations, organisations for persons with disability, FabLabs, and Humber College, Canada.

National and international partnerships will also be established for SEN schools and technical training institutes to build institutional capacity to deliver inclusive education and skills development to youth with special needs.