A new inclusive-creative Milan Petrović Primary and Secondary School Center opens for students

A new inclusive-creative Milan Petrović Primary and Secondary School Center opens for students

The Mayor of Novi Sad Mr Igor Pavličić and the Prime Minister of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina Mr Bojan Pajtić, opened a new inclusive-creative Milan Petrović Primary and Secondary School Center. The newly opened center is a unique facility in Serbia. Its main aim is to make secondary education, professional rehabilitation, work, and inclusion into community more successful and easier. Primary users of the facility are students with physical, mental and developmental disabilities.

- It is my great pleasure to say that within last four years the City has built two new schools and allocated funds for one more - in Klisa. This is a huge investment for the City, something that has not been done in last 30 years. The one who makes no investment into education, cannot hope for a healthy society. Moreover, it is particularly important that we have managed to build a school for those with special needs, despite these grave economic circumstances - said Mr Pavličić.

- This is undoubtedly the most beautiful and most useful project realized in Serbia this year. This is also probably the best-equipped school for students with mental and physical disabilities in our country. The children will be able to rely on the full comfort of the latest technologies and highest standards, which will certainly help them receive excellent education, as well as an opportunity to live independently and with dignity - said Mr Pajtić, and urged the employers to overcome their prejudices and employ people with special needs, for the law is quite clear about that as well.

The newly opened facility is the seat of School's educational, working and service center. Within the same building, one finds 18 different artisan workshops, a playground with an indoor court, a dorm for 40 students, rehabilitation center for sensory stimulation, a resource room for assistive technologies, work center, and an extended rehabilitation program for disabled persons. The lot is some 13,000 m2, while the building covers some 7,000 m2. The whole structure is built in accordance with the principles of universal design, which makes it entirely accessible to people of various disability types who study or work here.

The IC Center readily communicates with public every day: the artisan center and workshops (hairdresser, shoemaker, tailor, bakery, carwash, printing press, locksmith, carpenter, painter, photocopy, laundry shop, recycling center, souvenir shop, etc). The Center is the first high school institution in Serbia with a boarding school specially built for students with physical disabilities. The school currently involves over 900 students, 97 teachers, work trainers, therapists, technicians, etc.
Construction, interior design, and furnishing of the facility required an investment of over 450 million RSD, which were allocated by the City through its main contractor PE Commercial Space. The City has also conducted the design of the school playground and its gardens. Current works include final preparations of the specialized cutting-edge laboratories used in treatment and rehabilitation. For this purpose the City has allocated additional 23 million RSD. Furnishing of the Center has also been supported by the Government of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina with over 5,5 million RSD, People's Office of the President of the Republic, and numerous other socially responsible companies. Austrian Developmental Agency, through its project with the Government of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, has also contributed the equipment of IT rooms, and resource rooms for assistive technologies.

Novi Sad, September 6th 2011