By professional lectures given by Rijeka psychologists and psychotherapists in the City Hall, the conclusion of the project cycle “RInclusion – Model of the City of Rijeka providing support to students with difficulties” in school year 2022/2023 has been marked.

The implementation of the “RInclusion – Model of the City of Rijeka providing support to students with difficulties” project aims to contribute to social inclusion and integration of pupils with developmental difficulties in regular schools and special educational institutions founded by the City of Rijeka, by providing teaching assistants. Teaching assistants are personally and intensively engaged in helping with any physical and communication challenges that students with disabilities face and are an irreplaceable link between students with disabilities, their peers in the class and their teachers.

As early as 2008, the City of Rijeka, although it was not prescribed by legal requirements, among the first cities in Croatia, started recruiting teaching assistants by employing six of them who were financed from the city budget. The city did so led by the idea of and the increasing need for inclusion in education which would give all children the same chance in the future.

deputy mayor Sandra Krpan

In order to secure additional, larger funds for the employment of teaching assistants, the City also applied for EU funding. In 2014, the project “RInclusion – Model of the City of Rijeka providing support to students with difficulties” was approved by the European Social Fund and since then has been co-financed by the EU. The same year, the largest number of teaching assistants was employed, namely, since then, the needs for assistants expressed by experts in the elementary schools of the City of Rijeka have been monitored.

In this school year, the City of Rijeka provided overall 78 teaching assistants who work with about 90 students with disabilities. Out of this number, the work of 63 teaching assistants was provided through the EU project “RInclusion”, and funds for the work of 15 more assistants were provided in the city budget.

The total value of the “RInclusion” project, which provided 63 teaching assistants in the current school year, amounts to EUR 378,817.89 (HRK 2,854,013.40), of which the amount of EUR 329,876.44 (HRK 2,425,911.39) was provided through EU funding, while the remaining amount was provided by the City of Rijeka.

The city of rijeka provides significant funds for teaching assistants through EU funds

In addition, the City of Rijeka provided EUR 50,312.75 (HRK 370,000.00) in the budget for the work of 15 additional teaching assistants.

Also, for the purpose of increasing the salaries of assistants, the City of Rijeka provided additional EUR 132,731.61 (almost HRK 1,000,000.00) in 2023.

The City of Rijeka is currently waiting for a new public call to be published within the ESF.

“With the new public call, we hope to provide, according to some announcements, more generous funds for the financing of teaching assistants in the coming school years,” said deputy mayor Sandra Krpan.

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