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Centre for European Perspective is together with Center for Communication, Hearing and Speech, Portorož, NGO Association for psihosocial and pedagogical assistance and education – REZJA (Združenje za psihosocialnu I pedagošku podršku I edukaciju – REZJA) , Severna Makedonija, organizing a three day training titled “Learning Compass – teacher training for work with children with disabilities”. The global COVID-19 pandemic has introduced high health/security and also logistical challenges for international projects. The activities of the event will therefore be implemented with the use of digital tools and quality cooperation. The digital adjustment is becoming a part of every day teaching practices in classrooms and schools worldwide, that is why the activities will also offer the opportunity for the discussion of synergies, good practices and the exchange of experiences in the education process on longer distances.

The training will start with a three-day workshop between September 9th and September 11th where three Slovenian experts will be holding lectures and interactive workshops on teacher training for work with children with disabilities. The activities will be concluded with a digital informative session for stakeholders, that will be held on the 21st of September.

Short info about the project:

In the countries of the Western Balkans, the knowledge of experts and especially teachers about children with special needs and ways of pedagogical work with them is still very lacking, on the other hand, Slovenia has a great deal of knowledge and practical experience in this field. The similarity of school systems, the historical and geographical connection and the linguistic proximity of most Western Balkan countries facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience from Slovenia to other countries involved in the proposed project. The project will provide Slovenian knowledge and experience in the field of education and assistance to children with special needs in the Western Balkan countries. The project will in two years and four countries:

  • Contribute to improving the situation of children with special needs in primary education;
  • Contribute to the development of the school systems of the countries involved;
  • Strengthen links and cooperation between teaching staff and educational institutions (involved in the project) of the Western Balkan countries and contributed to the peaceful coexistence in the region.

The project will educate 20 experts in each country (special educators, educators, school counselors) from the countries involved:

  • to work with children with disabilities within school systems;
  • to disseminate basic knowledge about children with special needs among primary school teachers;
  • to implement acquired knowledge of helping professionals with special needs work and to educate primary school teachers about the needs and approaches of children with disabilities.

Initially, the project has established cooperation between the Centre for the European Perspective, Slovenian experts working with children with special needs, local decision-makers (competent ministries and school leaders) and local actors working in the field in the target countries. All stakeholders will be involved in preparing an analysis of the current state of inclusiveness of school institutions and working with children with special needs. The analysis of the situation will show where the greatest needs for the transfer of Slovenian good practices are. Content for 3-day workshops will be prepared with participants from four countries (Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina). The 3-day workshops will receive 20 teachers from each country through active lectures and workshops. Two teachers from each country will be further tasked with preparing the so-called Train the Trainer (ToT) workshops, which they will jointly conduct at their school for at least 10 additional teachers. As a result, 40 one-day workshops will be organized to train at least 400 additional teachers.

First activities of the project were conducted in Durres, Albania, between 5th and 8th September 2019, whereas an additional training will be conducted in Bosnia and Hercegovina in 2020 in cooperation with the Association for human rights and social inclusion- SOCI.

Within the framework of the project, a publication will also be prepared, which will analyse the situation in the target countries and, based on the workshops carried out, the analysis of primary and secondary sources and Slovenian experience, present concrete proposals for improving the situation of working with children with special needs in primary schools.

Through meetings and regular briefing, the project will also involve decision makers (relevant state, federal, regional and / or local ministries of education and school leaders) who will be informed about the project and our activities.

Project is part of CEP’s program activities financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia in the framework of Slovenia’s Development Cooperation.