The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in cooperation with UNICEF and other partners, once again initiated a campaign to enroll children from vulnerable social groups into mandatory education – the preschool preparatory program.
Ministry data on child coverage by mandatory education shows an increase in the general population, but still an insufficient coverage of children from vulnerable social groups, both regarding the preparatory preschool program (PPP), as well as primary education.
The inclusion of all children in the preparatory preschool program supports the achievement of the rights of the child to quality preschool education by way of gaining various experiences and opportunities for play, study and participation in joint activities, facilitates the child’s movement on to the next level of education and achieving continuity in the educational process.
The Ministry has, by way of the competent school administrations, called on all preschool institutions to actively partake in this process during the first months of the school year of 2015/16, to map partners in the local community, organize joint meetings and agree on activities to be implemented by every institution and organization, to draft an operational plan to increase the enrollment of children from vulnerable groups in the PPP and implement planned activities in cooperation with partners.
The Social Inclusion Group and Preschool Education Group of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development, in cooperation with UNICEF, REF, the Association of Pedagogical Assistants and other partners, have prepared printed promotional – informational materials for parents containing information regarding enrollment procedures, the importance of attendance for the preparatory preschool program and primary school and their mandatory nature. Flyers and posters have been printed in the Serbian and Roma language.
The professional associations: Alliance of Associations of Educators of Serbia, Association of Expert Associates and Associates of Preschool Institutions of Serbia and the Board of Directors of Preschool Institutions of Serbia participated in creating the campaign and support it providing a contribution to identifying and promoting good inclusive practice examples.
The implementation of the campaign, in addition to UNICEF, is supported by: Roma Education Fun, Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), Open Society Foundation, OSCE Mission to Serbia, Red Cross of Serbia, Office for Human and Minority Rights of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the National Council of the Roma National Minority, Association of Pedagogical Assistants of Serbia and the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia.
A brochure on enrollment in the preschool preparatory program can be found HERE.
A brochure on enrollment in the first grade can be found HERE.