Towards the inclusive classroom in Kosovo

Towards the inclusive classroom in Kosovo

Published: Jun 14, 2022 Reading time: 4 minutes

A very crucial pillar of inclusive education is to ensure that all teachers are prepared to teach all children. Teachers are agents of change who with the right approach can enable children to succeed. Inclusive education stands for all the children in the same classroom, and this is what "Education for all" project is trying to promote through activities such as training of primary school teachers on Inclusive Education concept and practice.

Mirvete Morina is one of the teachers engaged in the project. She said that Inclusive Education Training has helped her to gain new knowledge in terms of how to approach children with special needs. “I really liked that the inclusive education training included modules such as approach to children with special needs and communication, classroom climate, cooperation with parents, the topic of bullying in schools. I try to use these practices gained in the training to ease the work with children that need additional support, but I also cooperate with my colleagues for the overall benefit of the school,” Morina concludes.

The project worked towards increasing the capacities of the partner civil society organizations regarding inclusive education by cooperating with PIN’s Varianty education program from the Czech Republic.

"Trainers of Varianty have provided training of trainers to the partner organizations and these certified trainers are training teachers from the 8 targeted schools and two learning centres. The purpose of training is to increase the capacities of teachers by teaching them new methodologies of working with children with special needs and from minority communities, as well as the communication with children and their parents, and how to identify and prevent bullying," explains Njomza Emini, Project Manager in PIN Kosovo. "We are quite pleased that Inclusive Education Training is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation whereby contributing directly to the sustainability of the project after its ending," claims Njomza.

Biljana Jorgić is an educator for preschool groups and she works in school "Miladin Mitić" branch in Preoc which is attended by children from different communities. She says that having in mind this mixed structure of children from Serbian and Roma communities, the training helped her a lot in her work with children.

"My approach to them now includes consideration for the specific settings they are coming from, their material status and their parents’ education, which unfortunately is not high. I try to prepare this preschool group for the first grade and further education – to make it more accessible and easier for them."

She explains that Serbian language is not a mother tongue for most of the children, which makes it difficult for them to follow lectures later in school. 

"It is much easier to work with the mixed group as they master the language quicker in communication with friends. It is different when I am alone with them," Jorgić concludes.

Training for teachers included practical guidelines for working with children with special needs and Jorgić said that she wished she knew some of the things some years ago when she was working with a Down Syndrome child.
“I would have done some things differently for sure. You just have to know how to approach a child, to make them feel included and to show other children how to accept them as equal. The training improved my work and my colleagues’ as well.”

Managements of the schools have benefited from the project and Arsim Bejtullahu, Director of the school "Abaz Ajeti" claims that having the opportunity to be part of the "Education for all" has been a true privilege for the school. “All of the teachers have welcomed the project and started to increase awareness of taking care for children with special needs.” Moreover, he highly esteems the Internship Program as it has benefitted the children with special needs, teachers and the school in general, including himself.

“In our school we have 10 children with special needs that are being assisted by one teaching assistant, but now she has the support from a psychologist, pedagogue and speech therapist that come to school once a week and it is a huge help for us,” Bejtullahu adds.

PIN’s project “Education for all” provides trainings for teachers and other staff and procures didactive tools to eight beneficiary schools in Kosovo in six municipalities - Prishtinë/Pristina, Gjilan/Gnjilane, Fushë Kosova/Kosovo Polje, Graqanicë/Gracanica, Lipjan/Lipljan, and Obiliq/Obilic.

The project “Education for all – Fulfilling the Rights of Children and Adolescents with Special Needs and from Vulnerable Communities,'' is funded by the European Commission – European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) and is co-financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. It is implemented by PIN and two local partner organizations – The Ideas Partnership and Autizmi Flet – in six municipalities of Kosovo.
Author: Maša Živojinović

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