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Do Children with Developmental Disabilities have equal Conditions in Upbringing and Education?

Enrollment of children with developmental difficulties in Sarajevo kindergartens could damage the reputation of the Ministry of Education of the Sarajevo Canton – this is how the disputed decision of the Cantonal Attorney’s Office submitted to the Municipal Court reads. The mother, who has been fighting a legal battle for her two children for a year, says she will not stop there or give up.

Last year, the mother of two children with developmental disabilities tried to enroll her children in Sarajevo kindergartens that are in the EMIS system. She found a place in a private kindergarten, and then the Canton of Sarajevo was asked to provide an educational assistant. After Canton did not do so, the mother, she says, initiated a dispute.

“The Ministry in no way stated in the instructions and the text of the competition itself that it will not provide assistants for private institutions,” says the mother of children with developmental disabilities.

Mother, points to another problem in the EMIS system.

“For me, through the EMIS system, mixed groups for children from the age of 3 until starting school were hidden. I don’t know why it was hidden. I made a complaint in this regard because, as much as my children have outgrown the mixed group from the age of 3 until starting school, they also outgrew the group at the age of 6,” the mother points out.

In its statement, the Ministry of Education of Sarajevo Canton denies all allegations.

“The Ministry does not have the legal possibility of financing workers in private institutions, whose founder is not the Canton of Sarajevo (Law on Preschool Education, Law on Execution of the Budget of the Canton of Sarajevo). The Ministry of Education, valuing the best interest of the children, offered the mother the opportunity to enroll the children in public a preschool institution within the JU Djeca Sarajevo, because the Ministry would be able, in accordance with the law, to finance an assistant for children in a public preschool institution, the founder of which is the Canton of Sarajevo. However, the mother continued to insist that her two children attend the previously selected private preschool,” the CS Ministry of Education states.

According to the Law on preschool upbringing and education in Sarajevo Canton, it is necessary to ensure equal conditions in upbringing and education for all children.

A lawyer representing a mother of two children with developmental disabilities reminds us of the legal framework.

“Claiming that there is no legal framework and legal basis for these children to be in kindergarten can only be stated by someone who is obviously not familiar with the obligations that the state has assumed,” emphasizes lawyer Sabina Hota.

BHRT asked the public institution “Children of Sarajevo” for answers to some questions, but they did not respond to the inquiry. When asked about this situation, the Prime Minister of Sarajevo Canton had an answer.

“What the public had to see on Saturday, that is, on Sunday, is only a fragment of a decision, it is a maliciously interpreted response to the lawsuit of the attorney general’s office,” says Prime Minister CS Nikad Uk.

A defectologist with many years of experience working with children with developmental disabilities – she believes that things in the system were not set up correctly at the beginning.

“I think we’ve all been talking for over 20 years, that concrete and adequate things are not being done, above all professional things. We brag to everyone that our children are our focus, but I don’t think they are,” emphasizes special education teacher Emrisela Delić.

We would like to remind you that the single mother of two children with developmental disabilities is fighting a legal battle with the institutions of Sarajevo Canton with the aim of enabling her children to enroll in public or private kindergarten. The Sarajevo Municipal Court ordered the relevant ministry to ensure the reception and stay of the children in the kindergarten within eight days, but the canton appealed the decision, and the Cantonal Court revoked the decision at the end of August. The attorney’s office then asked the court for a guarantee of 5,000 marks for damages that could occur if the children were enrolled in a public kindergarten.


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