Project financed with the support of RO10-CORAI, 2009-2014 EEA Grants funded program managed by the Romanian Social Development Fund.
In August were held two major events under the” MASPA” project – Measures to promote non-discrimination and social inclusion in schools, community and employment for people with autism, focusing on Roma communities, project implemented with the financial support of RO10-CORAI program, financed by the SEE 2009-2014 Grants and managed by the Romanian Social Development Fund.
Romanian Angel Appeal Foundation and its partners, the General Directorates for Social Work and Child Protection from Arad and Galaţi held (starting with 23rd of August) the Course “Methods and techniques of inclusion of students with disabilities – Adapting Curriculum” for teachers from mainstream and special schools from Galaţi, Bucharest and Arad. Lasting 5 days, the course was organized in this 3 cities (Bucharest, Arad and Galaţi). 60 teachers (normal teachers and support teachers) have been trained.
The course package included practical information on the process of adapting curriculum, but also applications to support participants in adapting teaching materials. The course will be followed by a period of 1 month of practice, which consists in preparing a teaching portfolio that will be uploaded to a secure electronic platform. This portfolio will be evaluated by two trainers who will provide personalized feedback. Those two accredited trainers, Iolanda Sztrelenczuk and Gabriela Pop, are teachers with extensive experience in teaching in mainstream education and expertise in terms of special pedagogy and interaction with children with ASD.
The second implemented event of the project was represented by two roundtables organized on Wednesday, 24th of August, in Bucharest and on Thursday, August 25th, in Galaţi and the theme was “Sustainable methods for school integration of children with autistic spectrum disorders and Roma” .The meeting was attended by three guests from Iceland: a representative of the Ministry of Education and two consultants in special education, having professional experience in the formulation of sustainable policies for the integration of children with SEN (special educational needs) and running educational programs for integration of children with autism and other disabilities. The Icelandic experts had presented policies for integrating SEN children in Iceland and also the model of special units (special classes) for the integration of children with autism in the mainstream schools. The meeting was also attended by representatives of school inspectorates, institutions of mass and special education and non-governmental organizations active in this field. The presented information at the beginning of the meeting were based on an exchange of ideas and experiences on how to realize the integration of children with autism in Romania, the problems faced by people involved or affected by this process: teachers, students, parents etc. and reliable solutions.
The Romanian participants in the two events appreciated that the integration of these children with SEN in mainstream schools would be much easier if there were a large number of specialized teachers in the classroom. Also all those present agreed that local efforts are made by teachers with direct support from parents of children with SEN (incorporated or local NGOs) but it needs support from central authorities (national Ministry of Education) to oversee the implementation of existing legislation or improve the legal provisions, A.I. integration of children with SEN not to be an superficial one.
Encouraging was the speech of the three Icelandic experts, who explained to those present that the situation in Iceland in the education system about 20 years ago was a similar one. Dedication, perseverance and determination teachers have made the current changes.