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DAISY textbooks – more self-contained learning for children with reading difficulties

NIKSIC, 20 February 2018 – Montenegrin language is one of the favourite subjects of Aferdita Berisaj, a 9th-grade pupil at Mileva Lajovic Lalatovic Primary School. Due to a visual impairment, she can more easily comprehend the world of literature by listening to books, rather than reading them.

In order for her to experience literary works, she is aided by the audio-visual DAISY textbooks which are intended for all children, especially for children who have difficulty reading printed texts.

Aferdita Berisaj, a 9th-grade pupil with visual impairments, talks about the change that Daisy textbooks make in children’s lives - UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018

“I learn faster and better now. When I read by myself I get headaches, and my eyes sting and start watering. It is much better and more effective to listen and form images in my mind which I can analyse easily; I can even retell the stories,” says the 14-year-old who has been using DAISY textbooks since the 6th grade.

Her teacher, Nada Milovic, says that the DAISY textbook helps Aferdita to take on board the study materials faster: “When we were working on analysing a literary character, Aferdita got an A. After just one read, she did a very good breakdown of the character,” says Milovic, adding that the use of the DAISY format in teaching is being used by other students as well, helping them develop skills of careful listening.

“These children are born in the era of computers and games, they cannot be trapped with a book for half an hour to read it carefully.”

The first DAISY textbook in Montenegro was recorded in 2014 with the aim of improving the quality of inclusive education and of providing opportunities for children with learning difficulties and children with disabilities to follow the teaching process and to learn from quality teaching tools, along with their peers.

Aferdita’s friend, Djurdjina Krsmanovic, says that literature lessons have been more interesting since they started using the DAISY textbook: “I would like it if there were DAISY textbooks for other subjects too, especially because of Aferdita, so that she could achieve the success she wants.”

Beside textbooks from grades 4 to 9, the Bureau of Educational Services has also issued history textbooks in the DAISY format for grades 6 to 9, which have been used in the teaching process in 50 primary schools.

The DAISY textbooks were created by Montenegrin actors and students from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts, the Podgorica Resource Centre for Children and Young People, the Bureau for Educational Services, the Bureau for Textbooks and Teaching Aids, the Ministry of Education and UNICEF.



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