The project “Teaching assistant” presents overall initiative of City of Kragujevac to influence the problems in education of children and youth from marginalized groups, as well as children with stressed need for special support in educational system (children with special talents and skills). The project functions on several levels at the same time, more precisely gives/provides support for children from vulnerable population categories in their education, provides improvement of the quality of teaching process, supports and develops particular skills and knowledge in children who have affinities and interests for expanding their knowledge in regular and extracurricular activities.
Moreover, the project strives after significant improvement of institution capacities for promotion of local educational policy for children and young people with special needs, for support during their education, and with constant tendency of already established partnership between local self government, schools, MPS-School Government of Kragujevac and local NGOs.
The program is focused on children and schools particularly, which will have, through the project activities, the opportunity to promote their knowledge in work with children, with provided support in professionally-pedagogic work. Another segment of work with schools is related to the making of closer cooperation of schools, partners in the project, and implementation of the activities from the adopted Local Action Plans (LPA for children; LPA for Roma and internally displaced persons) into regular school programs.
In its basis, the project “Teaching assistant” relies on the positive experience from the project “Roma’s assistant”, which had very good response among elementary schools in Kragujevac (at the level of School Government of Kragujevac 5 elementary schools got Roma’s assistants, while all together 8 schools were interested in the project). In the middle of 2006 Ministry of Education accepted very important initiative in the field of inclusive education, more precisely the project “Roma’s assistant” had been started, which represented very positive model of good practice in including a new type of educator, who had an important role in giving support to Roma and other children in educational process, as well as significant role in connecting Community of Roma with school. By improving this already tested model of inclusive work, with expansion of action on several target groups (children whose families have IDP status; children from foster homes; children who show special talents and skills), wider approach in implementation of inclusive model of work is being achieved, adapted to the needs of all direct beneficiaries in the project.
The project “Teaching assistant” is realized in the partnership of Kragujevac City, Social Service Center “Solidarnost” in Kragujevac, and Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia-School Government, and its aim is to provide professional-pedagogic support to schools through implementation of supplemental and additional teaching programs meant for children from marginalized groups and for children with stressed need for special support in developing their talents and skills.
Realization of the project has begun in 01.10.2008.
To provide availability to high-quality education for the children and young people who are, because of their ethnicity, social deprivation, mental capacities, as well as unsatisfied needs for acquirement of grater knowledge, discriminated or segregated.
1.2 Improving of the quality of teaching process by implementation of inclusive methods in vocational-educational work
1.3 Providing of professional-pedagogic support to schools for work with children from marginalized groups and children who have stressed need for special support in developing their talents and skills
- 5000 students from elementary and high schools
- 150 professors from 32 elementary and high schools in Kragujevac
- 150 assistants/unemployed persons registered at National Employment Service
- 22 000 students from 22 elementary schools and 10 high schools
- 1722 teachers from 32 elementary and high schools
- Wider local community
Within the activities of monitoring and evaluation, educators conducted a poll among mentors and assistants to establish their assessment of project's success in relation to the questions significant for the realization of the Project’s aims. The poll has been conducted among 21 mentor and 27 assistants who were able to, on the scale from 1-4, express their agreeing with certain claim.
For the mentors:
- Engaging of the teaching assistants had particular importance for some groups of students in helping them to adopt efficiently knowledge and skills
- Students accept gladly direct work with the assistant
For the assistants:
- Under the mentorship of the teacher who supported my work I acquired new practical knowledge and skills which can be applied in my future work
- During my engagement in school I had the opportunity to attend the meetings of the Professional Teachers’ Council, as well as sessions of the Teachers’ Council
The mentors showed agreeing in total at level 3,79, and assistants at level 3,73.