The Heart for Children will support 11 projects aimed at educating teaching assistants
A total of 13 projects applied for the call, and the evaluation committee decided to support 11 of them. A grant totalling 50,000 euros will be redistributed to them.
Teaching assistants play a key role in inclusive education, so it is important to offer them a variety of learning opportunities. Heart for Children, Ringier Axel Springer’s charity project managed by the Pontis Foundation, recently announced a grant call for organisations called Assistants in Inclusive Education, in collaboration with Dedoles. Its aim was to support projects of local organisations focused on the education of teaching assistants to increase their competencies in the field of an inclusive approach to education.
A total of 13 projects applied for the grant. The evaluation committee supported 11 of them. A grant of 50,000 euros will be redistributed to these organisations. “It is important that all children have the same chance for a good education, regardless of their health disadvantage, special educational needs or social background. As a mother of a child with special educational needs, I know how important it is for assistants to have the necessary skills. It is also important that the teachers understand the role of assistants and, together, they set up the best possible cooperation, which will benefit not only children but also society,” says Jana Hrubcová, Sustainability Manager at Dedoles, who evaluated the submitted projects.
According to Michal Maruška, who runs Ringier Axel Springer, the current call has shown what bothers children in the field of inclusive education. “I am glad that, thanks to the support of a strong partner, Dedoles, we have been able to select projects that will improve education and thus the future of many children.”
Some of the supported projects:
Early Intervention Center KOŠICE: Supporting Inclusive Education through Educating Special Assistants
The centre sees the education of assistants as a key area in the transformation of traditional education into an inclusive one. From its previous experience, the organisation considers change, information, skills and comprehensive support to be priority areas in the education of assistants and other actors. So far, the project has focused on identifying the actors of change in education and defining what information, skills and support they need. In the coming period, the organisation wants to focus on finding answers to the question of how to pass on information, build skills and provide support. As part of this grant programme, the centre wants to create and test online tools for assistants to share information and provide support.
Bodkáčik, Association for Families, Children and Youth with Skin Disease of the Slovak Republic: You Can Do It Despite the Disadvantages
The project aims to improve the lives of children suffering from psoriasis, eczema, atopy or acne and improve how schools communicate and approach them. The association will focus mainly on supporting an inclusive approach and educating workers. It will also work with teachers, for example, in kindergartens, to look at children with disabilities from a different perspective and be able to help them more. Thanks to an inclusive approach, these educators will have a positive effect on both children and parents, which can lead to the elimination of neuroses and tensions, which will then enable children to advance in education. The association plans to hold a seminar, and webinar, provide consultations and organise community activities.
Institute of Dialogue Practices: Alka in Multidisciplinary Practice for All
Through the project, the institute wants to gain expertise in the multidisciplinary inclusion of children and pupils. It is a multi-level training that prepares teaching assistants and a support network of other mentors and coordinators of longer-term inclusive support, across interdepartments, institutions and all levels of support. This network of assistance will extend to communities where families live in difficult life situations. The aim of the project is to build a stable basis for inclusive change and a long-term sustainable process of innovation in the development of key competencies of teaching assistants.
“The mere presence of a teaching assistant at a school does not necessarily guarantee that children will receive the necessary support. That is why the call for Assistants in Inclusive Education, aimed at educating teaching assistants, is so important and valuable. Thanks to the supported projects, dozens of them will receive quality training and preparation, which can significantly help them improve their work with children. Many projects would deserve stronger support from the state so that quality education is given to as many people as possible who work with children with diverse needs,” says Michal Rehúš from the Centre for Educational Analysis, who was also an expert evaluator in the project.
The evaluation committee:
- Jana Hrubcová (Dedoles)
- Michal Maruška (Ringier Axel Springer Media)
- Michal Rehúš (Centre for Educational Analysis)
- René Skácal (State Pedagogical Institute)
The following persons attended the meeting of the committee without the right to vote:
Martina Čápová, Pontis Foundation