Parents of Children with Special Needs Ask for More Classroom Assistants

By 15 September 2019

ZAGREB, September 15, 2019 - The civil society initiative called "School for All" on Saturday held a protest rally in the centre of Zagreb, demanding the hiring of a higher number of school assistants who can help children with disabilities to be better included in education.

Participants in the protest warn about some of deficiencies in the school system, and said that hundreds of children were left without their classroom assistants at the beginning of this school year.

Some of school assistants who joined the protest rally complained about the disrespect of their labour rights. The hiring of a large number of school assistants is being funded by EU funds, however, they claimed that certain units of local authorities violated their rights and paid them less than agreed.

In attendance at the protest were three presidential hopefuls, Ante Simonic, Katarina Peović and Ivan Pernar.

Education Minister Blaženka Divjak said a few days ago that the number of licences issued for assistants for this school year was three times as high as five years ago.

Also, this year there are 1,000 more approvals for the hiring of school assistants than in the previous school year.

Therefore, she believes that it is necessary to make an expert analysis "of this explosion of the number of assistants".

The minister noted that a rule book was also prepared for the first time for regulation of the status of classroom assistants.

Applicants have to have at least secondary education and are supposed to pass the training that will enable them to help disabled children while they are at school.

More education news can be found in the Lifestyle section.