Disability, Inclusion, and Gross National Happiness: the complex case of Bhutan

Seyda Subasi Singh, Matthew Schuelka

Publications: Contribution to bookChapterPeer Reviewed


Bhutan, where Gross National Happiness (GNH) shapes policy, has modernised its education system over the past 60 years while preserving its cultural essence guided by Buddhist philosophy. This chapter focuses on the developments targeting the inclusion of students with disabilities, a global educational ideal closely connected to the Buddhist understanding of disability. Disability conceptualisation in Bhutan is motivated by the social justice and equity vision. However, there are also tenets of Bhutanese Buddhism that view disability negatively through karma and purity of mind and body beliefs. The Bhutanese Government has taken steps towards education policy reform to promote inclusive education, teacher education for inclusive education, and public acceptance in line with the international move towards a more inclusive school system and GNH’s commitment to improving conditions for all people.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSouthern Theories Contemporary and Future Challenges
EditorsOliver Mutanga, Tendayi Marovah
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781003826699
ISBN (Print)9781032415970
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 503034 Inclusive education

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