Serbia, June 2022 - At Economics and Trade Secondary School, they know that a
child’s right to inclusive education does not stop with health difficulties and
developmental disabilities. That’s why Rade and Mihajlo are part of the class.
Their friends help them with wheelchairs.
going well at school. I’ve been accepted [by my peers]. I’m grateful for that.
I thought they wouldn't accept me, but I was wrong.... I have the best
For Rade, the most important thing is that they are
all together. “They’ve learned how to behave towards me. We should always
help and never reject each other. We should always help each other out.”
Their school friends took some time to learn how to
establish a relationship with them. Rade’s best friend, Alisa, says that he is
proof that anything is possible – when you have support.
is no need for them to get the impression that they’re any different from us.
We’re all the same. And regardless of their problems, they’re children just
Parents and caregivers say that the progress is more
memory is better. His vocabulary is better compared to when he was staying at
home. We’re involved as partners, with
both teachers and children. We’re doing everything we can to ensure good
results for children," says foster mother Ruska.
is a student at the Economics and Trade Secondary School in Zajecar, in eastern
Serbia. He never missed a single class. He is in the
running to be class valedictorianHe has a talent for cooking and is developing his
culinary skills during practical lessons. Most of all he likes baking bread
spread the oil, make the dough balls, put the cheese, cut it on top, roll it,
put it on a baking tray, put the sesame seeds. Then I wait for it to rise and
then put it in the oven. My best friend, Nemanja Jovanovic, taught me how to do
that”Dusan explains the
is glad that he was able to teach him something, but says that Dusan taught the
entire class about tolerance and responsibility. “My
heart is full when I see that he implemented what I told himand he always thanks me.
But we also learned a lot from him – most of all to study hard, improve our
grades and go to classes regularly."
she was worried about how he would be accepted, Dusan’s mother is happy,
because she knows that she can count on everyone’s support at school.
had an individualized education plan. He had lesson plans for each subject and
his friends helped him."
Ilic, the school pedagogue, explains that they make plans in cooperation with
parents. “All of our students are different. No one’s difficulties and
needs are completely the same. We must be ready to support each of them
individually to help them, to support them, and to make sure the plans are in
line with their capabilities.”
are more than twenty children who need additional support in this school. And
each one of them is included in group and team work. If possible, they are also
included in project teaching, extracurricular and sports activities.
Milkic, a teacher, believes they are on the right track to additionally improve
inclusive education. “Inclusive education is not only for
children who have a problem. It’s intended for all children – because they’re
fulfilling their goals when interacting with other children."
the Economics and Trade Secondary School in Zajecar, they have ten years of
experience with inclusive education. This is one of the 200 schools that will
be included in the Learning Together Project, implemented by the Ministry of
Education, Science and Technological Development, the Delegation of the
European Union to Serbia, and UNICEF. The aim is to provide support
to institutions, schools, teachers, communities in order to ensure quality
education for every child.
Arunovic, a homeroom teacher in the school, says that individual education is everyone’s
business in the school. “Yes, all employees, all teachers, not only
homeroom teachers or subject teachers. We’re trying to include students in all
activities, both in classes and extracurricular activities. We are developing
their peer learning and group work skills, so that they can help each other,
socialize more, be in touch with each other.”
hopes he’ll stay in touch with his friends, even after they finish school. He
is also hoping to get a job in a hotel, so he can show off his skills and bake
a cake for his friends.
Source for photos used: UNICEF Serbia/2022/Zivojinovic