Through extracurricular activities to inclusion of out-of-school children

Thirteen primary schools from nine municipalities in North Macedonia regularly organized extracurricular student activities in the period from April to June 2019 within the Inclusion of Out-Of-Children in the Education System Project, supported by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation. Such activities will facilitate the inclusion of students in the education system – students who have left the educational process early, as well as students who did not start their education on time.

More than 500 students from the lower grades participated in a series of team games, workshops, visits to natural and cultural landmarks, art exhibitions, bazaars and humanitarian actions. Part of the activities were attended by the parents of the students. Direct parental involvement and cooperation is of great importance to them in order to perceive the importance of keeping their children in the education system, as well as finding common solutions to the challenges that students face.

Since this is an extremely vulnerable category of children who are at risk of leaving school again, an appropriate approach should be taken by the teaching staff to keep these children in school. That’s why, before starting the implementation of the activities, the teachers were trained to build an inclusive atmosphere in the classroom, strengthen the students’ self-esteem and encourage active participation and teamwork.

With the support of the project, 109 children have enrolled in school so far – some of whom started their educational process with a delayed enrollment, whereas others returned to school again. By creating conditions that will contribute to additional motivation among students to get involved in the educational process, their attendance is expected to improve.

In the next school year, within the project, a second cycle of this process will be implemented – training of teachers and organizing activities for students and parents, with the addition of several new schools that will also be included.

This activity is part of the Project for inclusion of out-of-school children in the education system, financed by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science.