Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation
The preparations for securing an institution of higher education in the Republic of Macedonia that would profile professionals in the area of defectology began at the end of 1991 by the Association of Defectologists of the Republic of Macedonia and the Association of the Organizations for Disabled Persons in Macedonia. A working group prepared a report with a proposal to introduce studies in defectology at the Skopje University; the report was delivered both to the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as to the Rectorate of the “Ss Cyril and Methodius” University in Skopje. Following the discussions among experts from the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje, led by the Dean, professor Trajan Gocevski, PhD, and the Association of Defectologists of the Republic of Macedonia, led by professor Ljupčo Ajdinski, PhD (who was at the time a professor at the Faculty of Defectology in Belgrade), facilitated by the understanding shown by the then Chancellor of the “Ss Cyril and Methodius” University, Tomislav Čokrevski, PhD, and the then Minister of Education, Dimitar Bajaldžiev, PhD – on October 1, 1993, the “Ss Cyril and Methodius” University Council passed a resolution to introduce studies in Defectology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje. In the beginning, the studies functioned as a distinct branch within the Institute of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Philosophy, and from the academic year 1996/97, they grew into the Institute of Defectology, at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje. Starting from 1998/99, the Institute of Defectology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje introduced post-graduate studies, as well. A number of professors have made great contributions in the development of the Institute in its 27-year existence, among whom: Ljupčo Ajdinski, PhD; Risto Petrov, PhD, Dragoslav Kopačev, PhD; Nikola Sofijanov, PhD; Anastas Lakoski, PhD; Jordanka Dimovska, PhD; Elizabet Soltirova, PhD; assistant professor Gorica Levenska, PhD, and Silvana Filipova, PhD.
Keeping up with the modern trends, on May 2, 2019, the Institute put forward a proposal to the Dean’s Office of the Faculty of Philosophy requesting a change in the Institute name. At its regular XX meeting, held on May 8, 2019, the Teachers’ Council of the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje approved the requested change, and the Institute of Defectology became the Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation.
Obtaining a degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation, and becoming a special educator and rehabilitator, requires skills and competencies in the education and rehabilitation of children with intellectual disabilities, impaired vision, impaired hearing, motor disabilities, and autism, in the regular educational system, as well as in the institutions and special schools, which have transformed into resource centers. A special educator and rehabilitator is part of the team of experts in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, healthcare institutions, as well in the social protection sphere.
At the Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation, teaching takes place in three cycles. The first cycle of studies consists of the study program in special education and rehabilitation. The second cycle of studies includes two modules Inclusive Education and Special Education and Rehabilitation with the following directions: intellectual disability and autism, hearing impairment, visual impairment, motor disorders and specific learning difficulties. In the third cycle of studies, special education is taught. So far, 782 diploma theses, 127 master’s theses, as well as 18 doctoral dissertations have been defended at the Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation.
The institute has a modern library with a rich fund of literature. The library, as a common room for the teaching staff and students of this institute, is equipped with modern equipment and assistive devices adapted to students with disabilities. The technique offers opportunities for making didactic materials for children with special educational needs.
The Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje has been involved in a number of national and European projects, including: In focus (2002-2005) by TEMPUS-PHARE programme; Educational and social activities with the children from the Special Institution in Demir Kapija, with the aim of deinstitualization – research project (2001-2005), financed by the UNICEF office in Macedonia; “Fostering Accessible Study Technologies: Accessible Learning Management System in Humanities and Social Sciences” within the Erasmus+ KA 203 program (2018-2021); “From Disability to FoodAbility”, together with the National Farmers’ Federation, supported by the Swedish Development Agency We Effect and Radiohjаlpen (2020-2021), “Developing new software for psychomotor reeducation of children with autism” from the “Erasmus+ program within Key Action КА205, led by the 18. March University from Çanakkale, Turkey (2020-2022), and others.
The Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation is also the initiator for the establishment and publication of the professional-scientific journal “Special Education Theory and Practice”, in which the members of the expert team of the Institute for Special Education and Rehabilitation actively participate with their works. Since the publication of the magazine in 1997, the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje has been one of its publishers.
At present, the Institute consists of nine members, including: Goran Ajdinski, PhD, Zora Jačova, PhD, Professor Vladimir Trajkovski, PhD, Daniela Dimitrova – Radojičić, PhD, Nataša Čičevska – Jovanova, PhD, Zoran Kitkanj, PhD, Olivera Rašić – Canevska, PhD, Aleksandra Karovska Ristovska, PhD and Professor Nataša Stanojkovska – Trajkovska, PhD.
Phone: +389 2 3116 520 ext. 248