Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Recognition in Programmes for Children with Special Needs

Academic journal article CEPS Journal : Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal

Recognition in Programmes for Children with Special Needs

Article excerpt

Introduction

Slovenia is included in European and global processes of inclusion. The formal framework for the inclusion of children with special educational needs (hereinafter referred to as children with SEN) in primary school was given with the Placement of Children with Special Needs Act / ZUOPP / (2000) (hereinafter referred to as the Placement Act). The current Placement of Children with Special Needs Act / ZUOPP-1 / (2011, 2012) and the Rules on the organisation and work methods of commissions for the placement of children with special needs (2013) (hereinafter referred to as the Rules on the work of commissions) provide as a rule, for children with minor mental disabilities, an education in an adapted basic school programme with lower educational standards (hereinafter referred to as LES) (Rules on the work of commissions, 2013, Article 9), and for children with moderate, severe and profound mental disabilities an education in a special programme (hereinafter referred to as SP) (ibid., Article 10). The most diverse and the largest is a group of pupils who receive educational programmes with adapted implementation and additional professional assistance (hereinafter referred to as APA) (ibid., Article 7). The APA programme is implemented in regular classes (the Placement Act, 2011, Article 18, paragraph 2). The adapted LES programme is implemented in primary schools in regular classes and classes with adapted programmes and in schools that are established and organised for the implementation of these programmes, as well as in institutes for the education of children with SEN. The SP is implemented in schools and extra classes near schools that are established and organised for the implementation of adapted educational programmes and SP education, institutions for the education of children with SEN and social care institutions (ibid., Article 18, Item 4).

Hocevar (2010) shows the indicators of inclusion in Slovenia, which must be take into consideration, are the methods of evaluation and promotion (standards of knowledge), financing methods, school culture and climate (the need to introduce counselling for teachers, pupils/children with SEN, peers, parents, environment), legislation that regulates the field of special needs (difficulties in implementing the Act) and teacher training (the need for training about children with SEN in all profiles of future teachers). In the analysis of the education of children with special needs in Slovenia, Opara et al. (2010) highlighted the problem of the network of institutions for the education of children with special needs, the lack of adequate staff, especially the special teachers and rehabilitation teachers for different types of deficiencies. In primary schools with adapted programmes, the importance of their transformation into professional and support centres was emphasised. Fields to which attention must be paid are the help for children with SEN in the preschool period, the integration of different disciplines and the overhaul of lower vocational education, which is decreasing in importance (Opara et al., 2010). The same authors (ibid.) identify the lack of authority which would provide and coordinate the process of the education of persons with special needs. They propose a new definition of placement procedure, the elimination of ambiguities and shortcomings of the legal bases and documentation, and further projects on simultaneous implementation of the adapted programme with a lower educational standard and an equal educational standard (Opara et al., 2010).

Furthermore, the provision of the legislation that allows transitioning between programmes (Placement Act, 2011, Article 17) is not carried out in practice. In the framework of the 'Stimulating Learning Environment for Ensuring Equal Opportunities in Education' project, the National Education Institute Slovenia (NEIS, 2015) has prepared a questionnaire for the involved primary schools with an adapted programme on the transition of children with SEN from the LES programme to the regular educational programmes. …

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