The Special Elementary School “D-r Zlatan Sremec”-Skopje for children with intellectual disabilities was opened on 28.08.1972 by the great Macedonian humanist dr. Ljupcho Ajdinski. The school is one of the four public schools for students with intellectual disabilities in Macedonia and it enjoys high rating and recognizable image. Today the school provides education for 106 students with intellectual disability, students with multiple disabilities and students with autistic spectrum disorders aged 6 to 18 years. The students are distributed in 16 departments in the central school and 10 dispersed units at mainstream schools on the territory of Skopje, which count up to 5-7 students per unit. The working team is composed from 37 special educators, 4 teachers on subject (music education, tehnical education, ICT and physical education) and professional service that consists of psychologist, speech therapist, special educator and rehabilitator and social worker. The students learn by addapted curriculum that the Bureau for Development of Education (BDE) requires with the exception of foreign language, physics and chemistry. Besides the mandatory classes the students are included in extracurricular activities, such as performances, creative workshops, school visits, walks, picnics, etc. The school has at its disposal a room for sensory integration, snoezelen room and an outdoor playground with big school yard. In working with the students educators use combination of different kind of methods to meet the childrens’ needs and to use their educational potental. The visual aids that are used are mostly independently manufactured or procured using contacts and online resources. The school is always open for cooperation with the local government and successfully collaborates with many schools, kindergartens, governmental and non-governmental organizations and associations. Professional development of the entire educational staff and therapists is accomplished through visits and participation in seminars, trainings, conferences, study visits, symposiums in the country and abroad.
Activities and experience in relevant areas
Special Primary School “D-r Zlatan Sremec” follows program activities of Ministry of Education and Science and has some specific programme activities. This following year organization will work on improvement of quality of teaching, modernization of teaching by providing new materials and teaching devices, proffesional development of teachers in working with children with autism spectrum disorders and strategies for better organization and planing of work. At this point, considering the fact that in our country, special schools are transforming into resource centers who will provide support to the inclusion process in the mainstream schools, one-third of the students in the school are with severe form of autism spectrum disorder. Our teachers need additional trainning, sharing of foreign experience as well as additional direct help in the classroom. The school permanently looks for ways of modernization in order to increase the quality and quantity of teaching process. Special educators are always ready to answer to challenges imposed by the modern educational practice, and through new teaching methods try to improve the educating in general, and with that the overall motivation for learning by the students. Concerning the fact that continuous professional improvement of the staff is inevitable we would like to upgrade and broaden our capacities as experts in areas that we consider important for our students in order to contribute and reassure quality educational process aiming towards fulfilled, meaningful and applicable set of skills and knowledge. The team included in the application is composed of: ◊ Marija Deletikj: - Team Coordinator, - Special educator and rehabilitator - Assistant practitioner for developing adapted curriculum for special schools Bureau for Development of Education of Republic of Macedonia, - Advocacy for promoting rights of children and youth with special needs in R. Macedonia for over 10 years as a volunteer involved in the NGO sector, - Practitioner individual and occupational therapy, - Trainer/lecturer on early detection of developmental disabilities in children. ◊ Roberta Mitrevska: - Special educator and rehabilitator, - PhD in Public Health from the Faculty of Medicine in Skopje, - Assistant practitioner for developing adapted curriculum for special schools Bureau for Development of Education of Republic of Macedonia, - Individual and group treatment of children with disabilities and autism, - Author and co-author in numerous scientific publications/works and books in the country and abroad, - Advocacy for promoting rights of children and youth with special needs in R. Macedonia for Trainer/lecturer on early detection of developmental disabilities in children, - over 15 years as a volunteer involved in the NGO sector. ◊ Milica Serafimovska: - Special educator and rehabilitator, - Montessori Teacher (for children with development dissabilities 3-6 years), - Trainer in the accredited program “Work in a classroom with students with special needs”, - Individual and group treatment of children with disabilities and autism, - Volunteer – helping and supporting families of children with cerebral palsy.