Diversity is a fact, it’s time to act!
If without additional support, adaptations or content the general teaching for a child does not contribute to the development of his / her potentials, that child belongs to the category of children with special educational needs (SEN).
The number of children with special educational needs worldwide is between 10 and 15 percent of the total number of children. In our country, due to multiethnicity, multilingualism, high poverty and social inequality, that percentage is even higher!
Classroom diversity has always existed, but has always been neglected, looking at the whole class of children as a single child with average abilities and interests. And the reality shows that:
- 10% of children are gifted and talented and need additional content;
- 4 out of 10 children in Macedonia have a mother tongue other than Macedonian;
- 1 child out of 54, or one child in two classrooms has some form of autism;
- 1 in 6 children during their childhood at least periodically have emotional or behavioral difficulties;
- 1 child in 10, or 2-3 children in one classroom have dyslexia or other learning difficulties;
- 1 in 20 children, or 1 child in each classroom has some degree of ADHD;
- 1 child out of 600, or in one of 20 classrooms has a child with Down Syndrome;
- 11 children out of a thousand, or in one of the 3 classrooms there is a student with intellectual disability;
- 1 child out of 345, or in every eleventh classroom there is a child with cerebral palsy;
- 5 children out of 1000, or in every sixth class there is one child with a certain degree of hearing impairment;
- 3 children out of 1000, or in every eleventh classroom there is a child with moderate or severe visual impairment…
The project “Inclusion for children with special educational needs”, funded by the Children’s Foundation “Pestalozzi”, supported by MES, BDE, part of the faculties in our country and local governments in the municipalities of Centar, Bitola, Stip, Tetovo and Veles and implemented by the association for assistive technology “Open the Windows” aims to change the belief that regular schools are a place of learning only for children with average abilities, skills and interests.
We are all different – we all deserve quality education!