Name: Access to Education of the Youth at Risk in the Western Balkan Countries – a Collection of Policy Briefs
The publication “Access to Education of the Youth at Risk in the Western Balkan Countries – a Collection of Policy Briefs” is developed within a project “ARYSE” which is implemented by NGO Juventas (Montenegro) in partnership with several civil society organizations from Western Balkan which formed a regional network At-Risk Youth Support Entity – ARYSE (Albania – ARSIS), North Macedonia – HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje, Kosovo – NGO Labyrinth and Serbia – Association Prevent), and with the financial support of the Western Balkan Fund. The project aims to provide answers on how to improve access to quality education, as well as to connect regional stakeholders in sharing their experiences in designing and implementing educational reforms concerning the youth at risk. Additionally, this project foresees gathering relevant decision-makers, practitioners, and education experts with the aim of providing space for discussion and setting a basis for joint advocacy.
Many young people, especially most at-risk youth, are highly marginalized and socially excluded in the Western Balkan countries. It is known that access to quality education is one of the most important factors in obtaining a higher living standard and maintaining a quality level of future social interaction. Failure to access quality education may be detrimental to the overall social development of young people. Not only does it significantly affect the prospects for future employment, but also it negatively affects mental health and social integration. Governments of the Western Balkan countries have recognized the need for more inclusive education and have been working on integrating specific target groups. However, the results of the reforms remain limited. Youth at risk are not a homogenous group, but a very diverse one, with each one having specific needs concerning their education. That is why this project aims to provide answers on how to improve access to quality education, as well as to connect regional stakeholders in sharing their experiences in designing and implementing educational reforms concerning the youth at risk.
The publication contains information about the legal and strategic framework that regulates the participation of the youth at risk in the educational system; an overview of the major reform processes focusing on inclusive education and other important aspects and changes that need to be made; and set of recommendations which will be an important product for decision makers and future joint initiatives in the field of protection of the most at-risk youth in the Western Balkan countries.
Anduela Valle, Initiative for Social Change ARSIS. Albania
Ivana Jovanović, Prevent Association, Serbia
Milica Pušonjić, NGO Juventas, Montenegro
Premtim Fazliu, NGO Labyrinth, Kosovo
Vlatko Dekov, Healthy Options Skopje, North Macedonia