On December 4th, Karin Dom hosted a discussion meeting along with the National Network for Children and members of the network from the region, on the topic of “Early Preparation and Prevention of Dropping Out of Children at Risk from the Educational System”.
One of the suggestions, discussed by the participants was for “the expense standard for a child with SEN to be increased and for it to be the same, no matter if the child is part of the mainstream school system or it attends a specialized kindergarten”.
The lack of social assistants was among the pressing matters. “At the moment of admission to kindergarten, it is most important for the child to have a social assistant who will help the child to adapt”, a principle of a kindergarten shared. Unfortunately, practice shows that in Varna 120 assistants support 150 children and the needs are far greater. In addition, the low payment and the difficulties that come with this profession make it very unattractive and are the reason for the turnover of employees.
Another setback in the inclusion of children is the architectural environment – lack of ramps, suitable restrooms, difficult to access outdoor space, lack of flexibility with the classrooms for a child with motor problems and resource room. Often, the accessibility of the environment doesn’t depend only on the state but also on the decisions made by the school or kindergarten council. Their activity and motivation are the main factor for providing an inclusive environment for children with special needs.
The discussion included representatives of Varna Municipality, Resource Center – Varna, day care, kindergartens and schools, State Agency for Child Protection, health mediators, NGO, providers of social services and parents. The suggestions of the participants at the meeting will be summarized and presented to all the parties, with the goal of achieving a better coordination and more effective use of the available resources.
The event is part of the project “Developing the capacity of Karin Dom for organizational and financial stability” and is funded by the NGO Programme in Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014 – www.ngogrants.bg