DAISY textbooks in Montenegro among the best innovative practices
of inclusive education in the world
The initiative to introduce DAISY textbooks into inclusive education in Montenegro has been identified as one the 75 best innovative practices in the field of inclusive education at this year’s Zero Project 2020 Conference, an international summit on inclusive education and communication technologies
VIENNA, AUSTRIA, 20 February 2020 – The initiative to introduce DAISY textbooks into inclusive education in Montenegro, launched six years ago by UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, in cooperation with the Bureau for Textbooks and Teaching Aids, the “Podgorica” Resource Centre for Children and Young People, the Bureau for Education and the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, has been identified as one the 75 best innovative practices in the world in the field of inclusive education at this year’s Zero Project 2020 Conference, an international summit on inclusive education and communication technologies, which gathers several hundred experts in this area from across the globe.
Every year, Zero Project identifies and globally promotes the most innovative policies and practices for improving the lives of persons with disabilities.
Montenegro is the first country in the world to start to use DAISY textbooks systematically in its inclusive education system. The textbooks are in the audio-visual DAISY format and are intended for all children, but are especially beneficial for pupils who have difficulty reading printed texts.
It is the responsibility of every society to provide quality education for children with disabilities, as well as for all children in general. This is also the objective of this initiative, because the introduction of DAISY textbooks enables children and teachers to use quality teaching aids. In order for the initiative to be successful and implemented in a high-quality manner in all schools, it is necessary to enable additional systematic efforts and investments by all partners.
Primary school children currently have DAISY-format reading books in grades 4 through 9, with history textbooks available in this format as well. Teams of teachers in 70 primary schools in Montenegro have been trained to use DAISY textbooks.
According to Tamara Milić from the Ministry of Education, 366 teachers in primary schools in Montenegro have been trained to use DAISY textbooks.
There are several different textbooks available in this format. Most importantly, the initiative has arisen out of a strong partnership between the Ministry of Education and UNICEF, along with other competent institutions. This type of textbook undoubtedly boosts self-confidence in children, while making the teaching process different and interactive.
Sanja Krivokapić, the mother of a child with visual impairment, indicates that her boy is learning more independently thanks to DAISY textbooks. “Previously, I would read everything to him. I would repeat a lesson 10 or 20 times so that he could memorize it. Now, I just let it play and he listens to it independently, which gives me some free time as well,” Sanja explains.
Due to visual impairment, Aferdita Berišaj is familiarizing herself with the world of literature by listening to books instead of reading them. “I learn faster and better this way. When I read on my own, I get headaches and my eyes get irritated. It is more practical for me to listen and create images, which enables me to analyse and even retell it all with no problems,” Aferdita says.
UNICEF will continue to support innovative practices to improve the quality of education for every child in Montenegro.