The Education Act for Children with Special Educational Needs regulates the educational activities for children with special needs. According to the law, students with special needs have access to “timely guidance”, “individual approach” and “technical assistance”, in schools, at the resource centres or when interacting with the experts from the “mobile services”. Mobile services are not settled in any institutions, and they are doing upon the request from school or resource centre, but they are coordinated by the Bureau for Education Services . Inclusive education and access to equal chances are supported.
The Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities was enacted in 2008 with the aim to provide equal access on the labour market for people with special needs. A programme for disabled people has been implemented by the Government of Montenegro, financial incentives were provided, and specially-designed job fairs have been created. Positions in public organisations have been provided, however, the category of long-term unemployed also includes disabled people. For the senior year students in secondary schools, the Individual Transition Plan (ITP) for the transition from secondary school to university is implemented, the ITP-3. It consists of the following segments:
- information about students which is of importance for the assessment and planning;
- information regarding the selection criteria of each university (achievements, adopted knowledge and skills);
- a support plan for the adjustment recommendations for university, when one succeed to enrol (steps, envisioned activities, elaboration of activities and recommendations, responsibilities, duties and timeframe).
Furthermore, the ITP-3 team consists of:
- the student;
- a representative of the school management;
- a classroom teacher;
- an expert associate;
- the parent
- a CIPS advisor.
In their meetings, team members analyse the applied methods, forms of work, aids, didactic means and adjustments made; they also analyse the requirements, abilities and students’ need for further education. Parents are included in the assessment of students’ achievements, interests, needs and motivation, for the purpose of making an adequate and rational choice of a faculty.
Resource centres (e.g. from Kotor and Podgorica) proved to be important associates. They assess retained potentials, skills and styles of learning and communication. They help recommend measures prescribed in the law on higher education, for further adjustments and organisation of the teaching process in faculties in line with needed requirements:
- teaching in sign language;
- use of assistive technologies;
- organisation, mode, implementation, form and course of teaching;
- adoption of subject matter during knowledge testing best suited for students.
Advisors of the Centre for Information and Professional Counselling (CIPS) have a role in providing information and advisory services. They cooperate with school expert services during the assessment of personal and professional characteristics of students. They help in making comparisons and adjusting students’ personal characteristics to faculty criteria requirements. They provide information on students’ accommodation, scholarships and employment possibilities, etc. Some NGOs, such as the Association of Young People with Handicaps of Montenegro (UMHCG), are useful associates as they cooperate with the Student Counselling Bureau. This bureau provides students with support, information and assistance with faculties’ enrolment (principle of affirmative action and/or gathering and submission of the necessary documentation), with acquiring accommodation in students’ dormitories, as well as with student loans and other forms of assistance that facilitate studies.
The section draws upon the Guidelines for Career Guidance and Counselling for Students and Young People with Special Educational Needs (2018) produced by KulturKontakt Austria, Staze Montenegro & Speranţa Centre Republic of Moldova.
Association of Young People with Handicaps of Montenegro (Udruzenje mladih sa hendikepom Crne Gore). http://www.umhcg.com/
Bureau for Education Services. http://www.mps.gov.me/en/organization/institutions/86651/355.html
KulturKontakt Austria, Staze Montenegro & Speranţa Centre Republic of Moldova (2018). Guidelines for Career Guidance and Counselling for Students and Young People with Special Educational Needs. https://www.peopleandskills-danuberegion.eu/wp-content/uploads/Guidelines_EN_FINAL.pdf
Ministarstvo prosvjete (Ministry of Education) (2017). Education Act for Children with Special Educational Needs. http://www.mps.gov.me/biblioteka/zakoni
Ministarstvo prosvjete (Ministry of Education) (2017). Law on Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities. http://www.mps.gov.me/biblioteka/zakoni
Resource centre from Kotor. http://resursnicentarzasluhigovor.me/mn/
Resource centre from Podgorica. http://www.resursnicentarpg.me/
The Employment Office of Montenegro (n.d.). Centres for professional information and counselling. http://www.zzzcg.me/cips/