President Stevo Pendarovski visited today in Gostivar the family of Embla Ademi, as well as the primary school “Edinstvo”, where Embla attends classes.
He talked to Embla’s parents about the challenges she and her family face on a daily basis, focusing on opportunities to their overcoming. Pendarovski encouraged and supported the parents in their fight for the protection of the rights of children with atypical development and welcomed the Ombudsman’s quick reaction and the decision of the Commission for Protection against Discrimination to open a procedure in the case of Embla.
The President stressed the importance of complying with the legal provisions of inclusion in education, emphasizing social responsibility, especially to vulnerable groups.
The President said that the behavior of those who endanger children’s rights is unacceptable, especially when it comes to children with atypical development. They should not only enjoy the rights they deserve, but also feel equal and welcome in the school desks and schoolyard. It is our obligation, as a state, but also as individuals, and the key element in this common mission is empathy. It will help children like Embla, but it will also help us learn from them how to sincerely rejoice, share and be in solidarity, the president added.
“We are all equal in this society. I came here to give my support and to raise awareness that inclusion is a basic principle”, President Pendarovski said.
The President referred to inclusiveness as an aspiration that should not remain only declarative, but through practice to use the potentials of people with atypical development. Prejudices in that context are the main obstacle to building an equal and just society for all, he said.
The President added that the line ministries and competent institutions have a legal and moral obligation to provide inclusive education, in which the main focus is on developing skills and abilities in children with different developmental processes, emphasizing the need to sensitize the public on these issues.