What is Integrated Education?
Integrated education is a model of education which enables successful integration of students, parents and teachers from different ethnic communities through a modern upbringing and educational process.
Integrated education is a contemporary educational model that fosters, encourages and integrates multiethnic values, bilingualism at the same time promotes and supports partnership relations between students, teachers and parents, encourages community participation through establishing harmonious relations based on respecting differences.
Integrated education in Macedonia
The integrated education concept was introduced for the first time in Macedonia by Nansen Dialogue Centre Skopje who have developed the Nansen model for integrated education by using international experience and expertise and by applying the integrated education model to fit the local context by including all the layers of the society.
Integrated education in Macedonia came as a result from the program for reconciliation which NDC Skopje implemented from 2005- 2008 in one of the municipalities affected by the 2001 armed conflict. As a consequence of the conflict, the biggest multiethnic school in which the Macedonians and Albanians learned was segregated.
In 2008, in the same municipality, the first integrated primary school was open, and after two years, conditions were created for the opening of the first integrated secondary school in Macedonia.
The programs for integrated education implemented in these two schools that included the students, their parents and the teachers demonstrated tremendous results in the process of integration and reconciliation in the municipality.
The Nansen model for integrated education was quickly recognized also from other municipalities and multiethnic schools.
The need for integrated education in Macedonia and the region is increasing due to the segregation trend of the multiethnic schools along ethnic lines.
The segregation of schools reduces possibilities for cooperation, socialization, communication among the students, teachers and parents, at the same time increases the possibility for growing of stereotypes, prejudices, fear from the unknown, intolerance and violence. The segregation of schools is often the reason of divisions in the society and ghettoization.
We are certain that through support of the Nansen model for integrated education we will contribute towards maintaining the status of the multiethnic schools in Macedonia and the region and from multiethnic to become transformed into integrated schools.
By increasing the number of the integrated schools in Macedonia and the region, we can expect positive perspective and development based on European democratic values.