Wangsel Institute for the Deaf, Drukgyel Paro, Bhutan
Category: Special Institute
Year of Establishment: 2003
Total land area: under Drukgyel Central School.
Classes/ Courses Offered: General Education with vocational specialization, PP- XII
Total Students: 103
- Male : 55
- Female : 48
- Male : 8
- Female : 11
- Male :3
- Female :1
- Male :4
- Female :2
Support Staff: 12
- Male : 2
- Female: 7
Infrastructure and Facilities
- One Administrative block, 4 rooms and attached toilets
- Two academic blocks with 12 classrooms, 1 computer room, 1 staff room, 1 mini MP hall with attached toilets.
- One Vocational Education block with 6 classrooms and attached toilets.
- Two Boys hostels with attached Wardens’ quarters and toilets/bathrooms.
- Two Girls hostels with attached Matrons’ quarters and toilets/bathrooms.
These 8 buildings were, in closest co-operation with the Royal Ministry of Education and the Paro District Administration, planned, constructed and financed by “Pro Bhutan, Germany”, Philanthropic Association in Loerrach, Germany, (www.proBhutan.com) with financial support from her German partner institutions"EinHerz-fuer Kinder / BILD hilft" ( the philanthropic NGO of the largest German daily newspaper BILDZEITUNG) as well as "Sternstunden-wir-helfen-Kindern" (the philanthropic NGO of the Radio and Television Station of Bavaria.)
Brief Background on the Institute:
- To produce holistically educated Deaf students.
- Provide equal access to National Curriculum with adaptation and modification
- Enhance BSL research and documentation for recognition as the language of Deaf community of Bhutan.
- Provide pre-vocational skills in various trades.
- Develop the capacity of staff in Deaf Education
- Coordinate and liaise with different stakeholders for the transition and placement of senior students.
Motto: Excellence in Deaf Education
Brief History of school:
Wangsel Institute for the Deaf is located in Drukgyel lower Secondary Campus. The hostels and dining facilities are located in Drukgyel Higher Secondary School campus. The hostel for the Deaf students is managed by Wangsel Institute whereas mess is managed by Drukgyel HSS.
Wangsel Institute then known as Deaf Education Unit attached to Drukgyel Lower Secondary was established from 1st June 2003with the commencement of Bhutanese Sign Language Research and Documentation Section by the 2 hearing teachers and 5 Deaf adults.
From the Academic session 2004, the 2nd element of Deaf Education program i.e. the provision of education (basic literacy and numeracy) for 10 students began. As of today there are 106 Deaf students undergoing basic education. We conduct the morning assembly together with Drukgyel LSS and integrate for social activities, cultural programs, games and sports.
From 2009 onwards pre-vocational programs (tailoring, woodcarving and bakery) is carried out. With start of academic year 2019 the vocational studies in four major trades provided as choice for children. The trades include tailoring, woodcarving, carpentry, and traditional painting.
From 2014 Deaf Education Unit became a standalone school as Wangsel institute with the appointment of separate Principal forWangsel Institute. From 2015, Wangsel Institute, Drukgyel LSS and Drukgyel HSS are clubbed together as Drukgyel Central School.
Again from 2019 the Wangsel Institute is segregated as Special Institute by the MoE. The institute is embarking for excellence in Deaf Education.
(Establishment of the school, Reasons for its establishment and location, infrastructure & facility development, course introduction etc may be mentioned in chronological order to illustrate the key development areas)
- In April 2003, two hearing teachers, one teacher of the Deaf and one Teacher/Researcher were recruited.
- In May the two teachers and 5 Deaf adults were provided workshop on “How to collect and record Bhutanese Sign Language“ by the Deaf Educationist/ consultant from Thailand.
- On 1st June, 2003, Deaf Education Unit attached to Drukgyel Lower Secondary School was formally established with the commencement of Bhutanese Sign Language Research and Development work by 7 staff (2 hearing teachers and 5 Deaf adults)
- In August 2003, the team made home visit of 8 Deaf children identified by Education department/UNICEF in Paro, Thimphu and Punakha to convince the parents for admission to Deaf Education Unit.
- Out of 8 children visited only 6 reported for admission and only 3 boys continued their education. The remaining 2 continuedfrom 2004 and onefrom 2006.
- The old hostel block was refurbished to be used as working room and a classroom with the financial support from UNICEF
- The actual academic classes for 10 students began.
- Only 4 students were admitted and the additional one teacher was recruited to provide basic education.
- 2 books titled “Basic English for the Deaf in Bhutan (Class PP)’ and “Basic English for the Deaf in Bhutan (class I) were published.
- From 10th January to 9th February, Handshapes for Dzongkha Alphabets were developed for provision of basic literacy in Dzongkha.
- 4 new students were admitted and additional teacher (ZTC) was recruited for teaching Dzongkha literacy from class II onwards.
- 5 students were admitted and additional one teachers was recruited
- On 24th November the new administrative block and academic block was inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck.
- 5 students were enrolled and a teacher was recruited.
- A book titled “Bhutanese Sign Language Book Class II and III” was published.
- 15 new students were admitted and additional two teachers were recruited.
- After Mid-Term, two more teachers were recruited, provided orientation program and hands on practice of Sign Language.
- Started to teach pre-vocational (Tailoring and woodcarving) after school hours with recruitment of instructors.
- Started to use new academic block, administrative block, girls and boys hostel.
- 14 studentswereenrolled
- Started teaching of Social studies and science for classes IV and above.
- Art classes were introduced with the deployment of JICA volunteer as Art teacher from JICA office.
- 13 children were admitted and 3 additional teachers were recruited.
- 12 students were enrolled and a teacher was recruited.
- 9 students were admitted and a teacher was recruited.
- The first AVID volunteer was deputed from July 2013 – June 2014to train the teachers in teaching strategies, curriculum adaptations.
- UNICEF International Special/Deaf Education Consultant was hired from 5th August to 24th September to develop a Road Map of Deaf education in Bhutan.
- On 5th December, the new academic block with 8 classrooms, a computer room and a staff room was inaugurated by her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck.
- 4 students were admitted and two teachers were recruited.
- Deaf Education Unit became Standalone School with the appointment of the new Principal.
- UNICEF International Consultant on Deaf education was hired from 28th September to 27th October to train the BSL Research Team.
- Deaf Education Unit was renamed as Wangsel Institute.
- 13 students were enrolled and 3 teachers and a librarian joined the Institute.
- The research team from Thailand comprised of 1 Special Education Specialist, 1 Sign Language Linguist, 1 Sign language Interpreter, 2 Deaf education Officers trained the Research Team of Wangsel Institute for five days.
- 8 students were enrolled and a teacher was recruited.
- The research team from Thailand comprised of 1 Special Education Specialist, 1 Sign Language Linguist, 1 Sign language Interpreter, 2 Deaf education Officers trained the Research Team of Wangsel Institute for 2 weeks.
- Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck inaugurated the vocational block on 5th December.
- 5 students were admitted and two teachers were recruited.
- Additional new girls hostel was inaugurated on 25th March by Her Majesty the Queen Ashi Tshering Pem Wangchuck. It is also funded and constructed by the Pro-Bhutan, Germany.
- The research on BSL started as early as the inception of Wangsel Institute for the Deaf. However, the formal research with appropriate research methodology was started from September
- 20 new students were admitted and they were provided with BSL course for 5 months before they are send to bridging classes.
- The Bridging course for new students started from this year. The course has been developed with support from SEN Division and REC with funding support from UNICEF.
- With financial support from UNICEF REC and Wangsel jointly came up with Wangsel Curriculum from PP to VI
- BSL is taught as subject in all grade upto X but could come up with separate curriculum from PP-III
- Two new students admitted and two new teachers joined the institute.
- Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, the Institute came up with EiE curriculum for Wangsel and started teaching children through Google classroom and We-Chat.
- The Wangsel Institute for the Deaf was recognized as Special Institute and separated from Drugyel Central School from 1st January, 2020.
- The Institute is upgraded to grade XII