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Inclusive education in Montenegro

Published date: 16.05.2005 14:15 | Author: Obrazovanje djece sa posebnim potrebama

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Project "Inclusive education" began in 2003/04 in Montenegro. Author of the Project is Montenegrin Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with UNICEF, Save the children and NGO sector.

At present, this project includes 21 schools and 81 children with special needs. The idea on inclusion of children with special needs into formal system of education began in 1998 in Montengro, with a pilot project "Integration of children with special needs into regular kindergartens" realized in cooperation with the British NGO "Save the children" in a pre-school institution. This was for the first time in Montenegro that children with special needs entered regular kindergarten, played and learned together with other children.

Law on Education of Children with Special Needs for the first time came into force in 2004. We believe that this legal framework is a precondition for the success of this project.

Inclusive education in Montenegro is based on the principals of "equal opportunities" and "freedom of choice in accordance with individual abilities". This implies that our country took responsibility for guaranteeing equal rights in education of every individual, irrespective of their physical or psychological constitution, giving opportunity to each child to express their own possibilities. According to these principals, every child should be given freedom of choise: different contents, different ways of learning, different forms of working. New concept of education in Montenegro implies all these principles, presented in "The book of changes" as well as the principals of international Conventions on child rights and Convention against discrimination of students in education.

In this respect, five "mobile teams" have been organized in the Republic, in order to provide support to schools, parents, health care institutions in the education of children with disabilities. This implies many things like: adjusting school areas in order to enable access for this children to school facilities, necessary training for teachers, providing appropriate materials and conditions to meet the needs of children with handicap. This process is still very complex and demanding, taking into consideration that we still do not have a proper data base for children with handicap in Montenegro.

Some of the key partners who participate actively and provide support to this project in Montenegro are: Government of Finland, OECD, COSV, UNICEF, Save the children, NGO sector in Montenegro and others as well.