#WorldIn2019 – Regina de Dominicis, Director of UNICEF in Serbia: Early education and vaccination are priorities

The Economist: World in …” is organizing the “Color Media Communications” event for the seventh time in a row in Serbia and has already become recognizable as an event that closes the current year with conclusions on the business and political environment of Serbia and raises issues of importance for the country’s development next year.

Conference “The Economist: The World in 2019” will be held on December 13th at the House of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia in Belgrade. As every year, the leaders of the Government of Serbia, the Government of Vojvodina, ambassadors, economists and leading businessmen from Serbia and the region will gather.

The conference aims to give opinions, analyzes and reviews to the economic environment, the investment climate and the future steps that await Serbia on the road to EU accession, implementing reforms of both legislation and society through a constructive dialogue between representatives of the Government of Serbia, representatives of the economy and diplomatic corps. in whole.

At the opening of the conference, Regina de Dominicis, UNICEF Director in Serbia, will meet with whom we talked about the conference:

The parents in Serbia should be further stimulated to enroll their children in kindergartens because the pre-school education is of great importance for their further development and has a high return on investment.
Therefore, increased enrollment should be a priority in each country. In Europe, around 90% of children attend pre-school education and in Serbia only 50% of children of the general population, 6% of Romani children and 9% of the children from the poorest families. Although Serbia has a long tradition of preschool education and good national politics, in underdeveloped and rural areas there are no kindergartens, while in urban areas capacities are insufficient. UNICEF research also show that 70% of parents believe there is no need for their child to go to kindergarten because they have someone watch over them at home, not understanding the importance of pre-school education for the development of the child and its education. Additional obstacles to financially endangered families and families in rural areas represent the costs of preschool service and other related costs. Pre-school education has a high level of return on investment and should be priority in every country.

In your opinion, is the Serbian public discourse promoting enough the importance of vaccination?

– Immunization is one of the most cost-effective and most accessible measures for the preservation of health that has a long and successful application in public health care of Serbia. Unfortunately, in recent years there has been a problem with the decreased number of children covered by vaccination, especially vaccination against measles. A recent outbreak has affected the increased reporting and promotion of the importance of vaccination. At the same time, there is a louder anti vaccine movement, which, although based on is scientifically unfounded argumentation, that gets too much of a media space. Therefore, only 58% of parents consider that other parents support vaccination, while at the same time as many as 92% state that they regularly vaccinate their children.

Did the inclusion of children of migrants in the educational system made Serbian schools more inclusive?

– Adapting the school to a child and not a child to a school, which is the basic principle of inclusion, has gained a lot of meaning and implementation since the children of refugees and migrants from different cultures and educational systems entered our schools. They inspired teachers and children to show how they can and can jointly create intercultural environment, learning from one another, accepting and evaluating differences. The teachers had to plan better, use a variety of methods and improve teaching and learning by focusing on needs of the child. Integration is not always easy, but Serbia has made great efforts to guarantee the right to education for every child, which will further strengthen the country’s educational inclusion policy.

See the official website for the complete program, participants and the way to apply for participation


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