Definition of the Target Group(s)
Children and pupils with special education needs may be trained at the following specialized kindergartens and schools:
- kindergartens with speech therapists from 3 to 7 years of age;
- schools for children with visual impairment from I to XII class;
- schools for children with hearing impairment from I to XII class and schools for children with intellectual disabilities from I to VIII class;
At special schools for children with visual impairment, with hearing impairment, and mentally retarded children classes may be formed for children with multiple disabilities.
Special kindergartens and special schools are functioning as institutions in liaison with other kindergartens, schools and other service units within the system of national education, with specialized institution for children, with parents, guardians or trustees and with society.
Activity of specialized kindergartens and the specialized schools is directed towards education and training ensuring successful social integration and professional realization of children and pupils with special education needs in the environment of general education.
Vocational education and training can be opened at special schools for students with visual impairment and for children with hearing impairment classes, provided that there is no other school which can provided that kind of training in the area.
Special schools can open classes for partial acquisition of a profession or for acquisition of a first degree professional qualification for students who have completed the 8th grade at these schools. Specialized schools also organize education for students with intellectual disabilities until 16 years of age, who are accommodated at the homes for intellectually disables juveniles. Training of intellectually disabled juveniles may be pursued at the same home after preliminary coordination with the regional inspectorate on education and with the headmaster of the home.
Schools with children and pupils with visual and hearing impairments can open specialized classes in arts and sports. Schools with children and students with visual and hearing impairment provide resource assistance to integrated children and pupils with special educational needs.
Admission Requirements and Choice of School
Guidance of children and students at specialized kindergartens and special schools is performed by the Complex pedagogic assessment teams at the regional inspectorates on education and by an Expert committee at the Ministry of education, Youth and Science. Guidance of children and pupils toward specialized kindergartens and specialized schools is performed after having exhausted all possibilities for integrated education and with explicitly expressed willingness in writing on behalf of the parents. Assessment and guidance of the children and students towards certain type and form of education may be appealed before the Minister of education, youth and science.
The list of children and pupils who may be trained at specialизед kindergartens and schools is approved by the Minister of education, youth and science. The Order of the Minister of education, youth and science regulates only the right but not the obligation of the children and students to get trained at special kindergartens and special schools. Parent’s choice plays a decisive role.
Age Levels and Grouping of Pupils
Legislation ensures equality for pupils with special needs concerning their transition from one stage of education to another. The goal is for these students to meet the state educational requirements for learning content of class, stage and level of education. In case they fail to meet them they are entitled to continue their training on individual educational programs.
After finishing primary school pupils who have met state educational requirements for learning content can major at the high school stage of secondary education at schools of general education or for acquisition a degree of professional qualification at a vocational school. Pupils with special needs who cannot meet state educational requirements may also major their education at non-specialized classes at schools with general education or at vocational schools for acquisition of a first degree of professional qualification while training on individual educational programs.
Students at specialized schools where training for children with moderate and severe intellectual disabilities (as well as for students with multimple impairments from grades I to IV) do not repeat classes.
Education at specialized schools is conducted through typical syllabuses and a special curriculum approved by the Minister of education, youth and science
Typical syllabuses of the school for children with visual impairment and hearing impairment, including all educational subjects, studied by the pupils of the schools of general education and special subjects, related to the type of impairment or disorder of the pupils.
Curriculums on specialized subjects for children and students with impaired hearing include:
- individual formulation and development of verbal speech;
- development of speech, musical stimulations, phonetic rhythmic and motorics;
- speech and object activity
They are designed to support the overall development of children and pupils with impaired hearing, and providing help for achieving hearing and speech rehabilitation, and developing skills for independent life by means of total communication.
Curriculums on specialized subjects for children and pupils with visual impairment include visual support, orientation and mobility and useful skills, designed to support overall development of children and pupils with visual impairment by promoting compensation for the blindness and poor vision and for developing skills for independent life.
Only children and pupils with multiple mental impairments are trained аt schools for children with intellectual disabilities. Individual educational programs for children and pupils with multiple impairments focus on the following areas:
- general motoric development (fine and gross motoric skills);
- self-service skills;
- cognitive skills;
- speech-language development and communication;
- social skills;
- artistic activity;
- labor therapy;
- learning activity.
Teaching Methods and Materials
Specialized schools as well as schools of general education where children with special education needs are trained in integrated way by an order of the headmaster, establish teams consisting of: chairperson – teacher at the class and members:
- psychologist, and/or pedagogical consultant;
- resource teacher, teacher – special pedagogue;
- speech therapist;
- teachers on different subjects.
Parents or guardians and, if necessary, other experts also take part in the teamwork. The team evaluates educational needs and develops individual educational programs for their education, training and progress. These programs are approved by the headmaster of the relevant school.
Training of children and pupils with impaired vision is performed on the basis of textbooks, teaching aids and materials of Braille letters or larger font, or using a computer speech synthesizer. Braille’s textbooks and materials are provided free both for the pupils at special schools and the pupils with impaired vision, who are trained in an integral way in the framework of the environment of general education.
Syllabuses of special schools for children with impaired hearing incorporate learning of gesture-and-mimic language as auxiliary means. Textbooks for children with impaired hearing are also free.
Progression of Pupils
Assessment of children and pupils at specialized kindergartens and schools is carried out in accordance with the requirements set out in the individual programs for early influence and early rehabilitation of children with impaired vision and children with impaired hearing, in the curriculum on special subjects for children and pupils with impaired hearing, and for children and pupils with impaired vision at the state education requirement for the assessment system, time-frames, responsible institutions and necessary funds as well as indicators for performance assessment of the goals.
Pupils who have finished VIII class of a specialизед school may continue their education in the IX grade of schools which organize vocational education in part of a profession or in profession for acquisition of first degree of professional qualification, IX grade of non-specialized class at secondary schools of general education or high schools on individual educational program. Pupil guidance is performed by the complex pedagogic assessment team at the relevant regional inspectorate on education.
In cаse of successfully passed examination, schools for children with impaired vision or hearing issue certificates for a complete grade, level or degree of education which are identical to certificates issued by general education schools. They allow their holders to continue their education without any restrictions.
Schools for children with intellectual disabilities can only issue documents for a completed grade, which allows them to pass on to the next grade. After 8thgrade they can continue their education in a non-profiled class in a general education school and following an individual program. Alternatively, they can enroll in schools, offering training for a partial acquisition of a professional qualification or a first degree of professional qualification.