Students with disabilities integrated into regular elementary school classes are supported by teaching assistants. In accordance with budgetary possibilities and the idea of inclusive education, the City of Rijeka was among the first cities in the Republic of Croatia to support the inclusion of a large number of teaching assistants to work with children with disabilities.
The City of Rijeka has been financing and professionally monitoring the work of teaching assistants since school year 2008/2009, and from school year 2014/2015 funds for the employment of assistants are provided under the European Social Fund, and, as all these years, from the budget of the City of Rijeka as well. Namely, all students have the right to quality education, including students with disabilities who represent a particularly vulnerable group.
In elementary schools in Rijeka, about 545 students with disabilities are currently integrated into the regular educational system. Some of these students, in addition to mastering the curriculum, have a number of other needs that the teacher is not always able to meet. It is to these students that we want to provide a teaching assistant, which will contribute to the quality of integration in the classroom.
Teaching assistants provide direct support to students, and indirect support to teachers and other students in the class. The inclusion of teaching assistants increases social inclusion and facilitates the integration of students with disabilities in schools.
For many years, the City of Rijeka has been providing funds for Roma assistants, as well as for an assistant for students belonging to the Roma national minority, who helps students of the Roma national minority in mastering school materials and writing homework. This form of support for students and their families facilitates their integration in school and its understanding and acceptance.