(Facts in the following document is to some extent taken from Lonely Planet, 2nd edition, June 2002)
The main scope is to develop the local competence in serving the need of the visually impaired in Bhutan for managing the computer as a useful tool. The target group is students, adult professionals and the drop outs from the educational stream line.
The time limit given is from January 2006 - December 2010 where-after the local educational authorities will take over the responsibility.
Consequently it is necessary to: a) Teach the visually impaired students in Bhutan to learn how to utilise the computer as a helping aid. b) Teach those who are employed and those who have lost valuable opportunities in their professional career due to lack of knowledge in using the computer in their daily situation. c) Build up the competence of a national resource group who can sustain this activity nationwide to serve the needs of students as well as those in a vocational situation. d) Also establish a resource centre with the necessary equipment for running courses and for producing talking books according to expressed need.
To achieve this (1. b) above) it is necessary to give a resource group of five nationals intensive training for a period of 6 months. In addition time must be provided for the follow up work containing professional advice and the structuring of the organisation in which they will work. Simultaneously the group will teach students from class 1 onwards, work out curriculum and follow up adult employees and those without job with in-service programs.
The Norwegian Mission (Normisjon) is the Norwegian organisation providing funds through an approved application to Bistandsnemnda / NORAD.
MediaLT is the Norwegian consulting firm giving the education, defining the equipment to be purchased and giving advice about local instalment and utility.
The Royal Government of Bhutan, Ministry of Education, Department of School of Education in Thimphu is the responsible body for appointment of resource personnel and implementation of the activity.
The National Institute for the Disabled (NID) in Khaling will be the local resource centre where the administration is based.
2.1 THE COUNTRY AND THE PEOPLE
Bhutan is a landlocked, mountainous country bordering India in the west, south and east and China (Tibet) to the north. It is about 300 km long (east-west) and 150 km wide giving a rugged area of about 46,500 sq. km. The altitude varies from about 100 m above sea level in the south to the snow clad barriers of more than 7000 in the north. Gankhar Puensum at the Tibetan border is a peak at 7541 m above sea level.
Bhutan is a monastic country. King Jigmey Singye Wangchuck is the fourth Druk Gyalpo. His Majesty has recently started the process of handing the power over from a monastic to a parliamentary structure.
The majority of the populationare farmers. Many live in remote areas. Some have to walk many days to the nearest road or district centre. Local trade is expanding, whereas industry is still at a low level. The hydro-electric power plants, built by the Indian Government, are a major source of national income.
Until 1950 the education in the country was given in the monasteries. Since 1961 English has been the medium language in schools besides Dzongkha, the national language. There has been an accelerating development in many fields of society: education, health, rural development and communication. The percentage of the educated young generation has increased considerably.
The major employer is the Government. Private enterprises has not yet developed to an extent that it can absorb available jobless people. The competition on the job market has increased. The number of educated and unemployed is also increasing. This is a reality which affects the future life of the visually impaired.
2.2 WORK FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED - BACKGROUND
Norwegian and Swedish mission (The Norwegian Mission and KMA) has since 1965 been in close cooperation with the Royal Government of Bhutan about the development of health work and work for the visually impaired. The Norwegian Mission, hereafter called NM, offered personnel to KMA for building the school for the visually impaired in Khaling, starting in 1972. The school was handed over to the Government in 1987 and later expanded from a school to the National Institute for the Disabled (NID).
One of the teachers at NID, himself being blind, has during the last couple of years taken the initiative to propose an upgrading of the computer based qualification for the visually impaired. The link has been established with the firm: Media Lunde Tollefsen A/S (MediaLT) which has an international reputation for teaching the blind and has considerable competence in developing and adjusting the computer technology and program being a useful tool for the visually impaired in their situation, whether vocational or private.
During a visit to Bhutan in September 2004 it was expressed by representatives from the Education Department that improvement of knowledge in the use of computer by the visually impaired is needed and also in line with the Government plans.
3.1 Population profile and project area characteristics
The estimated population of 690,000 (2001) is most likely too high. A new census was held on 30-31st May 2005. People live scattered in the valleys and slopes which can provide a livelihood. 66% are farmers. The urban population is increasing and is estimated at 21%.
Infant mortality was once the highest in the world at 142 per thousand births. By 2001 it was reduced to 60.5 per thousand. General health care has increased considerably. 78% of the population has now access to a staffed Basic Health Units within a two hour walking distance. One result of this facility has been an increase in the population of 2.5% in 2001.
What consequence an improved health care will have for the survival rate of the handicapped new born in the country remains to be seen. There is little doubt that many of these, including visually impaired, expired as infants and young aged children in earlier days when today's level of health care was not accessible.
Buddhism is the dominant religion in the interior whereas Hinduism is the religion among the Southern Bhutanese (of Nepali origin).
3.2 Problems and needs
Firstly, there has been a problem to inform parents of visually impaired about NID in a country where remoteness cause isolation and unawareness of the educational possibility. A challenge is therefore to give information about the presence of NID and what it can offer. Another challenge is to present information which might be available at the district offices. So far, however, the registered information has not been very reliable. There is now a hope that the census in May 2005 will give valuable information.
Secondly, electronic equipment like the computer has during the recent years generally become standard equipment in official and private use in Bhutan. From 1973 the visually impaired was given training in typing as part of the vocational training in Khaling along with the normal school subjects. The purpose was to have a chance to get employment as typists. Up to some years ago this was successful. However, as the computer is now generally in use, the visually impaired employees have not been given the opportunity to follow the course of general, technical development. The need for knowing how to use the computer as a helping aid has become evident for both students and for the visually impaired employees in different sectors.
3.3 Causal relationship
There is a parental unawareness of the potentials the visually impaired in Bhutan represents. This is naturally related to lack of knowledge about what this group can achieve with the necessary educational input. There is also a lack of knowledge about how and when a person is qualified to be registered as blind and partially sighted, - the consequence being that there are no reliable statistical records available as a source of information. There is an understandable link between the lack of expectations to what the visually impaired can do and the interest in seeking education or registration.
However, this attitude is changing. To day the administration of NID has experienced that a child came to be admitted but his sight was fairly good and he could not be classified as visually impaired. As time goes on people in even the remotest villages will know about the value of education for sighted children. This will also have a bearing effect on the visually impaired and those with other handicap.
3.4 Identification and delimitation of the problem
The responsibility of identification and registration rests mainly with the parents, the health units and the local authorities. As knowledge about NID increases a greater number of visually impaired children will be known. However, as the project's target group are the visually impaired children in school age there will definitely be a large number of older people who will not get the same opportunity, and more so as a basic knowledge in English is a condition for using the computer.
Even though this project is not aiming at a broader user group than those with a basic knowledge in English, one result of the general knowledge about the visually impaired population in Bhutan during the project period might be to point out the needs and ways of helping also the user group who has passed school age.
3.5 Identification and assessment of already existing initiatives
Except for the educational institution in Khaling, NID, and the neighbouring schools (Lower and Higher Secondary School) where visually impaired students are integrated, there are no other place where a complete curriculum teaching course aiming at the general exams is offered.
Drak-Tsho Vocational Training Centre for the Disabled in Thimphu is a private institute serving disabled generally on a daily basis. The centre provides occupational training and production of handicraft items. Those admitted are day-scholars and get valuable help mainly in developing their tactile skills. Drak-Tsho is a valuable supplement to the ordinary schools in the capital Thimphu for a varied group of handicapped children including some with blindness and low vision.
The Ministry of Labour and Human Resources is the governmental section which cares for the vocational situation of citizens who needs special backing and administrative structure in their job situation.
However, none of these two institutions are meeting the educational need of the visually impaired on a long term basis. Neither is the use of computer in use as a helping aid, even though it might be useful additional equipment.
4.1 The local people's attitudes and expectations
The School for the Blind in Khaling started in 1972. Before this the question of educating the visually impaired was not conceivable for most people. People were hesitant in sending their visually impaired child to a school. This was considered to be suspicious since the visually impaired children in any case were unable to learn anything according to the general attitude. This has changed.
At the end of the introductory period of 10 years there were 18 students at the school. As information about the relevant education of the visually impaired was gradually known, more students were also admitted. But even at this stage parents in remote places need to be convinced that their blind or partially sighted child will benefit from the education offered in Khaling.
4.2 Governmental plans, attitudes and expectations
The Government has already a curriculum for computer training as a subject for class 9 and 10 in the ordinary schools. As the computer to day is used in offices, hospitals, hotels, stores, shops etc. the computer is accepted as a necessary helping tool in various fields. There are already many who have their special qualification in ICT (information and communication technology) and computer subjects. To make way for the visually impaired to learn and use the computer is therefore a natural effect of the general development provided they are given the tools and the instructions of how to use it. Representatives from the Education Dept. have also expressed that this should be a subject as part of the educational plan.
Hence, the government warmly welcomes a project which aim is to familiarize the visually impaired with the computer. During the pre-project travel (May 10th - 25th, 2005) expectations to this project was emphasised by government representatives.
4.3 The legal, bureaucratic and political context
The responsible governmental body is the Department of School Education under the Ministry of Education. Department of School Education is the biggest department in the ministry. Part of this serves the work for the minority groups like the deaf and the visually impaired.
The project relates to this Department and to the National Institute for the Disabled (NID) situated in Khaling. This was earlier named The School for the Blind and Zangley Muenselling (meaning: the light which shines in darkness)
4.4 Geographical and climatic conditions
Bhutan is a mountainous country situated on the eastern slope of the Himalaya range. It is a rugged country with steep mountain slopes, high ridges and deep valleys. To move from one place to another can therefore be a straining matter. Road-building is for the same reason difficult as frequent landslides cause considerable difficulties. This topography has caused areas to be isolated from each other through past times causing difference in dialects, languages and in seasonal work.
Bhutan is an area where the monsoon clouds from the south condense and give considerable rain from May to September. During this period roads and paths are often blocked. The isolation caused by the rugged topography is often an obstacle for spreading information about the possibilities the visually impaired have in life through education. This, however, is rapidly changing as construction of roads and telephone lines are being built to reach out to remote villages even though much work remains. As the health work is also intensified at village level those with weak eye sight are more often discovered today compared to earlier times.
4.5 Economic situation
The Indian government has in recent years built big hydro electric power plants. As the revenue earned from production of electricity reaches the cost price for the plants they are transferred into Bhutanese ownership. These are now a main source of income for the country. Besides this the Indian government provides considerable support to pay for the general running costs and developmental expenses. In addition Bhutan receives aid through various bilateral agreements with other countries and UN. Private organisations are also running development projects in many sectors. Tourism is an expanding activity. Private enterprises and companies have not yet become a major asset in the national economy.
The running cost of the governmental activities through ministries and departments derive mainly from the sources of income mentioned here. This means salary to necessary staff is covered including the resource group of this project. However, the expenses for the training, travel, equipment, facilitation of the rooms to be used has to be paid by the project. There is no doubt that the government is a reliable recipient of this project provided the financial base and the logistic structure at the initiation stage are in place.
5.1 General assessment of possible short-term and long-term effects of the project.
It is expected that knowledge in using the computer will open many possible avenues for the visually impaired:
a) The knowledge will make the job market accessible for the visually impaired. Without this aid they are excluded from many relevant and potential posts.
b) Through internet there is access to sources of information.
c) Through internet the visually impaired will be able to communicate with the outside world in an open, unrestricted way and as such bring the person out of the isolation which many experience as a depressing situation.
d) The computer is a tool which release the visually impaired from having to use the Braille machine and thus express him/herself freely to those who do not read Braille.
e) The knowledge will raise the awareness for educating the visually impaired, as knowledge in English is a basic condition for using the computer.
f) As the computer generally is regarded a complicated device mastered by the few, it will have an impact on the general attitude of what the visually impaired are able to do when they can use it in a productive way.
5.2 Clarification of what consequences the project may have for the environment
The project will have no direct effect, positive or negative, on the environment. The ultimate consequence, however, is positive when knowledge about the environment is more easily accessible via internet. The awareness will naturally be raised about the importance of taking care of the environment.
5.3 Clarification of what consequences the project may have for the life situation of women
The social structure in the interior of Bhutan is generally not patriarchal as is the case in many Muslim and Hindu cultures (the superior authority given to the male member of the family is seen more clearly among the Southern Bhutanese though). Hence, the life situation of women is not negatively affected by the cultural tradition as in many other countries.
The result of the project is gained mainly through education. As education is open for both sexes the benefit will be equally shared and the women will have an equal access to the benefit from using the computer academically as well as practically.
5.4 Clarification of what consequences the project may have with regard to marginal groups
In this case the visually impaired is a marginal group. One can hope that the mere use of computer among one of the marginalized groups will raise the awareness and access for others (deaf and other handicapped).
6.1 Description of the target group
The target group contains the visually impaired from any part of the Kingdom of Bhutan. Visually impaired are those who because of reduced vision are unable to read what is printed in an ordinary newspaper or book. Hence, the distinction is not based on practical consequences like looking after cattle, cooking food or walk independently around.
7.1 The pre-eminent long-term goals of the project
Kuenga Chhoegyel is blind and an earlier student at The School for the Blind in Khaling. He is now a teacher at the same place. He has given his opinion to this point: "While the sighted receive most of the information through eye sight, the loss of eye sight leads to a vital information deficit. As the computer is precisely a device designed to work with all kinds of information, it is no wonder that the idea to use it for visually impaired persons as a very efficient compensation aid came quickly. Many people have realized that computers can become a real breakthrough in bridging this information deficit, if adapted properly to the needs of the visually impaired users. This adaptation, usually called "Access Technology" has been developed extensively over a period of many years. Thanks to the technology it is now very difficult to imagine visually impaired persons playing, studying and working without computer.
In our current situation, some knowledge of computer use is important for all of us. But, visually impaired people in particular are those for whom this knowledge can lead to a new and a better life. It is very clear, then, that all visually impaired persons should sooner or later start using computer. "
7.2 General objectives and intermediate objectives of the project
a) The general objective is:
(i) - to educate the visually impaired students and adults in Bhutan in using the computer to provide for an easier communication with friends/other students and with teachers/superiors; to use internet as a source of information and communication and to obtain access to the job market.
(ii) - to ensure the visually impaired a viable participation in the society and remove obstacles for using their work capacity.
b) The intermediate objectives are:
(i) - to give a resource group (5) the necessary qualification in using and maintaining the computer hardware and software equipment to an extent which qualify for sustainability
(ii) - to give present visually impaired students (48 in 2005) education in using the computer
(iii) - to give those visually impaired employees (32 in 2005) who have a basic knowledge in English and using the keyboard teaching in how the computer can be used in their profession.
7.3 The principal project activities
a) The activity's content
The main content of the project are two: 1) Provide education and transfer of knowledge to students about using the computer as a productive aid for the visually impaired in Bhutan, and b) follow up the employed visually impaired using the computer to support their professional challenge.
b) The scope of the activity
The activity will be sustainable. A main purpose is to give a smaller resource group (5) competence, knowledge and experience to carry on with the activity as part of the education curriculum and as part a vocational training and professional follow up effort. The education/training will be given by the external company MediaLT in Oslo. Part of this has to be executed in Norway. MediaLT gives the following reason for this:
In our opinion it is necessary that the first part of the ICT-training of the resource group is carried out in Norway. This opinion is based on the following arguments:
(i) Visually impaired persons are dependent on assistive devices and software to use a computer. Except from one blind person in Bhutan, who has some basic knowledge in the usage of assistive devices and software; the five resource persons will have no experience or knowledge in this subject. Therefore we have to start at a very basic level, where the students lack the basic concepts and the basic understanding of how it is possible for a visual impaired to use a computer. In cases like this it is our experience that it is an advantage if the introductory teaching is carried out in a situation where the equipment and software already is installed.
(ii) To ensure sustainability we believe that it is very important that the resource group take an active part in both the planning and the installation of the ICT-equipment and software in the computer centre. The management and the maintenance of the computer centre will after the project-period be handed over to the resource group, and it is our task to prepare them, so they are able to take this responsibility. On this background we think it is a necessary condition that the first part of the training is carried out in Norway. We have to lift the resource group up to a specific level of competence to be able to take part in the planning and installation of the equipment and software in the computer centre. We have estimated that 6 months training in Norway is necessary to reach this level.
(iii) Part of the training is to familiarize the resource group with the opportunities and choice of equipment. This is not possible in Bhutan. In Norway we can show the resource group all the assistive devices and software that are available on the market (also for other groups of disabilities), and we can give them the necessary knowledge about this devices and software. The resource group needs this competence when they in the future shall choose the most adequate equipment to use in Bhutan and to advice their students in this matter. Further, it is essential that the five persons in the resource group fulfil certain criteria for being selected to get the training. The following conditions are essential and here suggested by teacher Kuenga Chhoegyel of NID:
(iv) The trainees have to be recruited from the stock of active teachers and not from the administrative staff. This is to provide a maximum contribution after training. If the group consists of teachers and personnel from the administration there will be a diversity in motivation and background which will give a diverse outcome. When all the trainees are from the same profession (teachers) there will be a greater unity in the responsibility of job performance.
(v) The trainees must not be diverted from their job once he/she has been trained.
(vi) The person must not be diverted from the job once he/she has been trained.
(vii)The trainees must not take part in other projects. This is to fully utilize their knowledge in a particular project. (If a person works in two projects, he may not be able to contribute properly in any of it)
(viii)Upon return, the trainee must serve the institute in the IT section for a minimum period of 5 years. Through our past experience we have had people who went for our institute and upon return were transferred elsewhere.
(ix)The nominee must have equal interest in working for the blind; have interest in access technology and assistive technology for the blind.
(x)The MOE must make the trainees to sign so as to fulfil those criteria's.
c) The target group for the activity
The visually impaired in Bhutan is the target group, i.e. students and adults with or without a job. It might be an aim at a later stage to include those who dropped out of school and who would master to use the computer.
d) The area or place which will be affected
Candidates for the training course are citizens of the kingdom of Bhutan who will benefit from getting educated in using the computer.
e) When the activity will be completed
The project activity will be carried on all through the project period. The last 6 months, however, may be dedicated a self-going period as a trial run before the project is closed down and the activity formally taken over by the responsible authorities in Bhutan.
7.4 The time frame
Provided the application is granted and the funding for it is available a five years period is needed, i.e. from January 2006 to December 2010.
The teaching and transfer of competence to a resource group (5 persons) is planned to take two years, i.e. half a year in Norway and thereafter in Khaling, Bhutan. Part of this may be done by extension communication.
Three years is given for the resource group to start teaching the students in school, in- service training for the adult, working on curriculum for all classes, and production of recorded books. The private company MediaLT will be responsible for the teaching.
8.1 General strategy
The project does not have a character of investment but rather transfer of knowledge and competence to local people. The basic strategy is to lift up the knowledge in using the computer to a level from which they themselves will be responsible for expanding and developing the use of this devise as a helping tool for the visually impaired. This will be achieved by education channelled through the governmental school structure and through direct contact with the adult visually impaired who will benefit by using the computer in their daily life. As this education can be integrated in the only school for the visually impaired in the country, NID, the total number of these children/youths will be reached as the resource centre is to be put up at NID.
8.2 Strategy for user participation
The strategy is therefore based on building up a group of 5 persons from Bhutan who would be the bearing pillar in the project. They will get an advanced training in working with the computer and thereafter be the implementing body for teaching students and adults. They will formulate the curriculum as a school subject from class one onwards. Hence, the main responsibility for implementing the scheme rests with a selected group among the users. The user participation is therefore essential.
8.3 Strategy for cooperation with national and local authorities
The local educational authority is an integrated part of the responsible bodies for running the project. A preliminary agreement has already been signed by the Director, Department of School Education and The Norwegian Mission (see attachment). This describes the dispersion of the mutual responsibility for the implementation of the project. In addition to the understanding with the educational authorities at the departmental level, meetings have been held during the preliminary tour to Bhutan with the Principal and relevant staff at NID. These persons will in due course be participating in the project. The preparatory work is done in close cooperation with both contact points in Bhutan.
8.4 Strategy for involving and improving the situation of women
Female students and adults are included in the target group on equal terms as male. It is the responsibility of the education authorities to recommend to the parents of visually impaired girls to enrol their daughters at NID. At present this awareness has not been given much attention as the girls are less in number compared to the boys.
8.5 Strategy for ensuring sustainability in relation to the environment
No negative effect on the environment is expected to take place as a result of the project.
8.6 Strategy for coordinating and integrating the different components of the project
The components with the responsible bodies of the project are as follows:
a) Selection of the resource group: three at NID and two for working in West Bhutan (Paro).
Responsible: Staff at NID and Department of School Education.
b) The education of the recourse group, partly in Norway and partly in Bhutan.
c) Furnishing of room at NID for teaching and production with electrical and phone wiring and plug points and an internet connection.
d) Instalment of equipment (computers, etc.) in the rooms given.
Responsible: The resource group and MediaLT
e) Guidelines/curriculum for all classes and for the in service training groups to be worked out.
Responsible: The resource group with support from MediaLT
f) Teaching of students from all classes and in service groups, maintenance of equipment and follow up of adult employees.
Responsible: The resource group with support from MediaLT
The coordination of these components is worked out with a time schedule in a separate document: Progress Outline. The Department of School Education, the Norwegian company MediaLT and the staff at NID will fulfil their responsibility for running the project according to the agreed Progress Outline and according to an Agreement signed by Department of School Education and The Norwegian Mission.
9. PARTNERSHIP RELATIONS, ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
9.1 The different partners' roles
The partners in the project and their roles are as follows:
a) Department of School Education is the authority representing the Royal Government in Bhutan. This department is the signing body for any agreement related to the fulfilment of the project aim and its completion. The assigned person within the Department will receive copies of letters related to the project. Any major changes in the plans and particularly with financial implications will be channelled through the Department for its approval or comments. Questions of this nature will be addressed to NM.
The Department is responsible for the running of NID including the appointment of staff and their payment. NID is the central place for building up the project concept. The Department will pay the salaries for the resource persons who will be involved in the project.
b) NM is the signing body in Norway for any agreement related to the fulfilment of the project aim and its completion. NM is responsible for covering the financial cost for the project through its application to NORAD via Bistandsnemnda's office in Oslo. Major changes in the project will be addressed to Department of School Education.
c) MediaLT is the Norwegian company designated to implement the main tasks of transferring knowledge and experience to the recourse group with the aim to give the group members the necessary background for educating visually impaired students and adults in Bhutan in using the computer. MediaLT will also give advice about the computer equipment which is to be purchased. MediaLT relates directly to NID in matters concerning the education, equipment and follow up matters.
d) National Institute for the Disabled (NID) is the place where the teaching and eventually production of materials for the visually impaired (like talking books) will take place. NID is responsible for the building/room facility for setting up the necessary equipment and space for furniture, etc. A steering committee has been selected among the NID staff, - their task being to carry out the responsibility for the activity related to NID. NID communicates directly with MediaLT with copy to Department of School Education.
9.2 The organizational structure of the project
As mentioned above the responsible and equal bodies during the project period (5 yrs.) are the Department of School Education in Bhutan and NM in Norway. The subordinate bodies are respectively MediaLT and NID.
After the project period, however, the Department of School Education is the authorizing body and NID with its Steering Committee will care for the implementation of the educational component and for the follow up unit in West Bhutan.
9.3 The decision-making process
The basic agreements will be signed by Department of School Education and The Norwegian Mission. On general matters relating to equipment, travel, etc. which do not have great importance on the financial premise MediaLT and NID has the authority to choose and decide. When changes in planned expenditures or changes in implementing schedule results in altered budgets this has to be referred to NM/Department of School Education.
9.4 Procedures for operational planning, follow up and adjustment of goals, objectives, activities and means
a) The agreed Progress Outline is a binding schedule for the progress of the project. This may be revised by mutual and formal consent between NM and the Department. Goals and objectives will not be altered.
b) Eventual adjustment of project period, major change in volume of activity or means with financial consequences will have to be considered and decided by NM in consultation with Bistandsnemnda and Department of School Education
10. RESOURCE INPUTS
10.1 Investment in infrastructure, equipment, etc.
The investment cost needed to be covered for realizing the project is:
a) Travel cost for resource group coming to Norway and their expenses for boarding, lodging and pocket money during their stay in Norway.
b) Travel expenses for personnel from MediaLT for going to and from Bhutan, and their expenses for boarding and lodging.
c) Travel cost, boarding and lodging for In-service trainees attending the training course.
d) Expenses for teaching the resource group.
e) Cost of equipment for setting up the computer centre in Khaling.
e) Preparation of the room to facilitate for the necessary equipment at the computer centre in Khaling.
The investment cost during the project period are expected to be covered by an approved application to NORAD via Bistandsnemnda (90%) for financial support and NM (10%).
10.2 Plan for financing the running cost
The running cost, i.e. salaries to members of the resource group is to be covered by the Department of School Education both during the project period and thereafter.
After the project period there will be expenses for maintaining the equipment. This will have to be covered by the Department of School of Education.
10.3 Use of local, regional and national resources
The project is an integrated part of the structure of the Department of School Education. The activity may be linked up with the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources provided this is a beneficial channel for providing the computer training to adult visually impaired.
10.4 Manpower plan and plan for personnel development
The five members of the resource group are Bhutanese nationals. They will be selected on the condition of having a basic knowledge in English and a personal interest for a) working with the computer b) gain at least the knowledge contained in an advanced computer course. Thereafter they will be obliged to work within the project for a period of minimum five years. The refresher courses at a later stage will be the responsibility of the Department of School Education.
11. STRATEGIES FOR LOCALIZATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
11.1 Plans for how to sustain the project activities and ensure viability in the national context
a) The educational period will last for approximately two years. The members of the resource group will during this period gain an advanced level of knowledge in using the computer. Thereafter their teaching practice will be closely followed up by MediaLT to ensure that the standard is according to the expectation and plan. This standard will also relate to the curriculum level at all classes. During the five years project period ample time is given to ensure that necessary routine and knowledge is gained.
b) The preparation of this document, the definition of time schedule, the volume of time components and the definition of resources are all done in consultation with the Department of School Education to ensure a viable implementation in the national context.
11.2 Plans and time-schedule for the use of external personnel if any, and for the transferral of their functions to local staff
The planned aims for the intermediate components of the project and time needed is worked out in a document: Progress Outline. See attachment.
11.3 Plans for leadership development locally
The three computer teachers at NID will be an integrated part of the teaching staff headed by the principal at NID. Hence, the leadership role is in place. Their professional work related to curriculum standard will be adapted in close cooperation with the Department of School Education. Hence the leadership responsible for the academic standard is in place. The two computer teachers who will have a supporting role and based in West Bhutan will relate to the Department of School Education in their daily work. During the period of in-service training they will be together with the NID teachers. The technical advisor will be MediaLT. It will be important to develop a team structure among the group members rather than building up a leadership hierarchy.
11.4 Plans for organizational development and organizational building
The organization is already in place as the project is an integrated part of the structure under the Ministry of Education. Department of School Education will be directly responsible for the overall administration of manpower and payment of running cost. The resource centre in Khaling will, through its steering committee, recommend to the Department about priority of work, etc. Besides the steering committee is the nearest authority for the resource group.
11.5 Plans for how management and administration of finances will be taken care of before and after localization
There will be investments in the beginning of the project period in which the computer equipment will be purchased and the room will be furnished and prepared. NM will be responsible for financial reports in cooperation with NID. Department of School Education will pay the salary to the resource group members all through the period and onwards. After localization the management and administration of finances rests with the Department of School Education.
12. EVALUATION OUTLINE
12.1 Plan for review and evaluation of the project
a) The time table for the evaluation will be:
(i) Local evaluation after the 2nd year.
(ii) Local evaluation after the 3rd year.
(iii) Terminal evaluation after the 5th year.
(iv) Terminal evaluation after the 7th year.
b) Evaluation methods: The periodic aims to be reached for the defined periods is the background
c) Partners of the evaluation: MediaLT - giving instruction and having an advisory role, The steering committee - being in close contact with the implementing body, The resource group - being responsible for the actual work and therefore able to describe the obstacles and challenges, Representatives from the lower and higher secondary schools - being able to describe the adjustment of the visually impaired students related to homework etc., representatives of the user group in the West - for description of quality and efficiency, Department of School Education - being the overall responsible body, NM - being the body responsible to answer back to Bistandsnemnda/NORAD about the project result.
(i) Participants of the first local evaluation are: MediaLT, the steering committee, the resource group, representatives of the user group in the West.
(ii) Participants of the second local evaluation are: MediaLT, the steering committee, the resource group and one representative from the lower and the higher secondary school each, representatives of the user group in the West.
(iii) Participants of the first terminal evaluation are: MediaLT, the steering committee, the resource group and one representative from the lower and the higher secondary school, representatives of the user group in the West, Department of School Education and NM.
(iv) Participants of the second terminal evaluation are: MediaLT, the steering committee, the resource group and one representative from the lower and the higher secondary school, representatives of the user group in the West, Department of School Education and NM.
d) Feed back to project of results:
MediaLT and the steering committee are the two bodies which will be responsible for recording the results from the evaluation and activating the adjustments in practical terms. Copies of the results are to be sent to the Department and to NM.
12.2 Essential indicators for assessing progress in relation to goals and objectives
a) The first two years will contain:
(i) Teaching of the resource group (partly in Norway and partly in Bhutan).
(ii) The installation of the computers and the first trial experience for the resource group with the adjustment and familiarizing with the equipment.
(iii) The work on the curriculum for the classes will commence.
(iv) The first teaching period for the student will commence.
(v) The first in-service training course.
Indicators for the evaluation are:
(i) The IT certificate.
(ii) The efficiency and reliability of the equipment, electricity and phone line.
(iii) The approved curriculum for two classes.
(iv) Positive acceptance and interest in learning by the students to use the computer
b) The third year will contain:
(i) Teaching in all classes.
(ii) Curriculum for all classes completed.
(iii) Follow up on in-service trainees.
(iv) The second in-service training course.
Indicators for the evaluation are:
(i) The first examinations performed by students.
(ii) Active usage of the computer with report on problems and need for support by the in-service trainees.
c) The fourth and fifth year will contain:
(i) Teaching in all classes.
(ii) The third in-Service training course.
(iii) Support to in-service trainees.
(iv) Survey on school dropouts or other visually impaired who might benefit from learning to use the computer.
(v) Terminal evaluation.
Indicators for the evaluation are:
(i) Examinations performed by students.
(ii) Active usage of the computer with report on problems and need for support by the in-service trainees.
(iii) Result from survey on school dropouts.