In September 2017, Bosnian parents of children with disabilities campaigned for improved educational opportunities for their children. Despite the parents’ efforts, children with disabilities were denied schooling in 2018 by authorities in Sarajevo. Due to lack of funding and resources, 150 children are now out of school, Global Voices reported in September 2018.
When the education ministry declined to fund education for children with special needs, only four days before the school year was to begin, families were left distraught. Without funding, Bosnian educators cannot provide schooling children with special needs,. They also are unable to train teachers in the best techniques to support difficult behaviors and the importance of inclusion in education. This furthers the segregation of children with disabilities in Bosnia, inhibiting them from reaching their greatest developmental potential. Lack of funding prevents these children from regular social interaction with typically-developing children, which has been shown to foster language-, physical-, emotional-, and cognitive- development in children with special needs.
This story has received little to no news coverage in English-language sources. In September 2016, Human Rights Watch reported that Serbian children with disabilities were being denied access to schooling. In both cases, at issue is whether children with disabilities have the opportunities that schooling provides—to learn, to make friends, and to interact with peers and teachers.
Source: Filip Stojanovski. “Despite Parents’ Campaign, Bosnia Denies Schooling to Children with Disabilities,” Global Voices, September 7, 2018, https://globalvoices.org/2018/09/07/despite-parents-campaign-bosnia-denies-schooling-to-children-with-learning-disabilities/.
Student Researchers: Samuel Hanson, Ashley Lozon, Colleen Magill, and Lauren Pedrotti (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (Sonoma State University)