Child rights

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

MODS Proposed Amendments to the Law on the Basis of the Education System

Statement by MODS

The Network of Organisations for the Children of Serbia (MODS) welcomes the initiative of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development to amend the Law on the Basis of the Education System in order to improve the existing legal provisions, eliminate problems in practice and harmonise the system of education in the Republic of Serbia with the system of education in the European Union and the modern world, thus responding most efficiently to the dynamic changes in our society, both in economic and in social fields.

Starting from the child's right to quality education that is inclusive and without discrimination on any basis, we expect that the Draft Law will substantially and practically allow children, pupils/students and adults with developmental challenges and disabilities to access all levels of education regardless of their own financial status.

Accordingly, it is crucial to establish and improve mechanisms to increase the coverage of children from vulnerable groups in preschool education, in particular before their inclusion in the compulsory preschool preparatory programme.

New legal provisions should be in accordance with the concept of inclusive education that is focused on children and their well-being, and that requires cooperation of all stakeholders in the education system, recognition of the importance and role of parents, and the development of mechanisms for greater participation of children. The introduction of special programmes and textbooks for children with developmental challenges is contrary to this, because changes and adjustments are to be made on an individual level and not at the level of textbooks.

On the basis of international conventions, the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Serbia, we believe that the introduction of special programmes for pupils with developmental challenges is not in accordance with the principles of inclusive education.

Legislation on education, in accordance with the standards of contemporary inclusive education, provides that changes and adjustments of the content of curricula are to be carried out at the individual level (for each child individually) and their purpose is to ensure adjustments in accordance with pupil’s individual needs, based on the Individual Education Plan (IEP).

Preschool education should be equally based on inclusive principles as primary and secondary education.

Parents are important in the education system and the legislative amendments must not reduce the participation of parents and their role in the management body, i.e. school board. It is necessary to develop a spirit of cooperation and equal participation of parents instead of insisting on the concept of obligations and sanctions.

The reduction of dropout rate and increase of the safety of children depend on cooperation between parents and schools, and on the offered measures and activities that involve various actors in schools before engaging external support and involvement of social welfare centres.

There remains a concern that these amendments may allow economic exploitation and child labour in schools, bearing in mind that the legal working age is 15 years.

Download: Proposal of MODS for Amendments to the Law on the Basis of the Education System
                Proposed Amendments to the Law on the Basis of the Education System
                Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on the Basis of the Education System

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Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action
Praxis means action