EDUCATION REFORMS AND PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS Summary It is believed today that education is the key field of social activity which should be the initiator and relizator of the idea of inclusion through joint education of children with special needs and other children and this is called inclusive education. During the previous years, much has been done in the World regarding this issue; accordingly, in 2002, the Ministry of education and sport established an expert group for the reform of education of children with special needs. True, in our environment there is a certain resistance towards the term: persons with special needs. Thus, the author suggests different term in compliance with the so-called social model of disability which is: persons who need a special social support. The current education system in Serbia is organized in three basic ways: special education in special schools for children with handicap in development, special education in special classes of regular schools which children with the same type of disability attend and regular education in the same class with other students (intergration) but without systematic support and adjustment to special needs of students due to which their marks are bellow the average of other students. Separating children with special needs from their families and providing accommodation for them in isolated institution and homes that are part of special schools, most often has bad effects and is less economical than when a child stays with his/her family to which professional and financial support should be provided. In the new conception of education of students with special needs in Serbia, the activities regarding this reform can be divided into four segments: 1. Making the strategy for reform of education of students with special needs; 2. Providing institutional and legal framework for conducting the reform; 3. Preparation of schools, staff, curriculum, Defectology faculty reform, preparation of social environment and public opinion and similar; 4. New model of education implementation in the practice with the transitional period of sporadical application, piloting etc.
Key words: persons with special needs, special education, reform, inclusion, integration, disability, social model, persons who need a special social support.
* Stručna rasprava “Reforme i lica sa posebnim potrebama”, koju je organizovao Fond za unapređenje demokratije “Ljuba Davidović”, Beograd, 23. mart 2004.