Centre for European Perspective, 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) , Northern Macedonia have organised a three day training titled “Learning Compass – teacher training for work with children with disabilities”.

The event included the participation of three Slovenian trainers (Mr. Marko Strle, Mrs. Anica Mikuš Kos and Mrs. Tamara Velikonja), who prepared presentations and discussions on various topics for 25 participants, teachers and special educators from North Macedonia. All the activities took place from September 9th to September 11th in a digital platform, that enabled all the participants and trainers to exchange ideas, best practices and their experience.

The topics of the first day included two lectures by Mr. Marko Strle, presenting Inclusion as a speciality of normality and problem-based learning as a starting point for collaborative learning. The afternoon sessions included the presentations prepared by Mrs. Anica Mikuš Kos on School failure and it´s impact on children, followed by an open discussion concerning the activation of resources for helping children with school disabilities.

The program activities of the second day began with a presentation on Specific learning difficulties and their psychosocial accompaniments, followed by a lecture on Hyperactivity & Attention Disorders (ADHD), both presented by Mrs. Anica Mikuš Kos. The afternoon sessions included a open discussion prepared by Mr. Marko Strle on the topic Adaption of learning and teaching in educational work with children with special needs, followed by a lecture prepared by Mrs. Tamara Velikonja on the origins and role of conflict in the psychosocial development of children and adolescents.

The topic of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the school system was involved in the overall discussions of the training as well as the training format that enforced the use of digital resources. The third and final day also included specific topics, presented first by Mrs. Anica Mikuš Kos discussing Childreen and school in time of Coronavirus disease, followed by a presentation by Mr. Marko Strle on Distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The continuation of the days program included an open discussion on Individualized Educational plans, identifying and addressing anxiety in learning and a lecture on creativity as an element of an inclusive society presented by Mr. Marko Strle. The last discussion of the training was prepared by Mrs. Tamara Velikonja on the topic of Supportive school environment.

The training officially ended on Friday, with closing remarks and a certificate ceremony that was implemented in an innovative digital manner, whereas the ties and connections among teachers and experts from North Macedonia and Slovenia will continue in a network that will enable them to share best practices and work experience in the future.

The Learning Compass program will also continue with an informative meeting for decision makers in North Macedonia (school principals, local/regional/national school system representatives and other guest speakers) and a training implemented with teachers in Bosnia and Herzegovina in the following weeks.

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.