President Stevo Pendarovski received today representatives of the Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives “Step by Step”.
At the meeting, held on the occasion of December 3 – International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the representatives of the “Step by Step” Foundation informed President Pendarovski of their activities aimed at building an open society that will provide opportunities for children to develop their full potential and enjoy their rights. They also informed about the current project “Be IN, be INclusive, be INcluded”, which is implemented at national level in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science, funded by the European Union. The aim of the project is to improve education opportunities for children with disabilities, their inclusion in the regular education process, as well as to strengthen their social and education inclusion. Through it, so far about 290 children from first and second grade receive monthly scholarships and some principals, teachers, pedagogues, psychologists and/or special educators are involved in professional development workshops. Also, the project envisages 40 primary schools to receive support/grants to improve accessibility and/or the learning environment. An equal number of tutors will be further educated to assist scholarship recipients in the learning process.
“Students with disabilities have the right to grow, develop and be educated together with their classmates. We, as a Foundation, invest immensely in education because we know that early intervention, early childhood development, education opportunities for every child lead to students who have used their full potential, people who not only received education but created their own future”, the members of the “Step by Step” Foundation said.
President Pendarovski said that the state and society as a whole must take constant care of people with disabilities. He welcomed the activities of the “Step by Step” Foundation and told them to continue to strive and work for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in education, but also in society as a whole.
“We should build the Macedonian society as a society in which there is equal space and chances for success for all. To show people with disabilities that we all have different abilities and we should live together with our differences”, President Pendarovski said at the meeting.
In this regard, President Pendarovski expressed unreserved support and readiness to join the campaign of the “Step by Step” Foundation, whose main goal is to raise public awareness and create an inclusive society and inclusive institutions.