Today we met with Handikos in Ferizaj, a leading non-government organisation in Kosovo, established in 1983. This promotes the rights of people with disabilities. Save the Children in Kosovo has built close working relations with Handikos, supporting eight community-based rehabilitation centres, aiming to achieve inclusion of children with disabilities into pre-primary and primary education.
In Ferizaj municipality there are 200 children with disabilities, and 47 of them visit and receive services at Handikos. This centre provides physiotherapy support, non-formal education and support for parents. Each child has their own profile with all information about their health since the day of birth. Every three months, an evaluation of development is provided.
During our centre visit, we were involved in a creativity class with the children. Together, we made a smile and presented it to the centre. Also, the physiotherapist made an interesting presentation and demonstration of how their specialists work with children. Physiotherapy is very important for the children with physical disabilities, supporting them for school. They are working on developing fine motor skills like holding a pencil, holding a book etc.
We also met with parents, as they were participating in an advocacy group meeting they had organised. Today, it was the second time they had met. The main themes of their discussions were the law on education, provision of transportation, the way they can address their messages to the government and laws on supporting the families of children with disabilities.
The parents hope that in the future, their needs will be supported by municipalities. This group plans to communicate with other communities and discuss issues regarding the law on healthcare of children with disabilities.
Later on, we visited one of the primary schools where inclusive education is being implemented. Tefik Canga school provides inclusive education in pre-primary and primary levels. In primary school there are eight children with different disabilities (grades one to five).
There are inclusive educators for the pre-primary class and inclusive teachers at primary level. They explained to us that children with disabilities attend classes with other pupils, and also they have individual schedules and classes in order to support them in school programme.
Save the Children in Kosovo provides training materials and supports inclusive teachers and educators. It is the first primary school built in Ferizaj city and the name of the school comes from the name of the hero Tafik Canga, of the Second World War. Today, it serves as an example of the implementation of full inclusive education in practice.