Commissioner Navracsics, Minister Divjak for equal rights of gifted students

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ZAGREB, March 21 (Hina)

European Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and Croatian Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak said on Thursday that gifted students should have equal rights and an individualised approach during school.

They were speaking at an international conference held on the occasion of Gifted Students Days in Croatia, organised by Dar, an association caring for gifted children and students in Croatia. The second such conference focused on the best world, European and Croatian practices in working with gifted children and young people.

Asked about the most important kind of help to gifted students, Navracsics highlighted motivated teachers.

Divjak said gifted students should be provided with equal rights and an individualised approach during school, underlining the need to educate teachers to work with gifted children.

The conference was being held under the auspices of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, who was scheduled to receive the organisers later today.

The parliament speaker's envoy, Sanja Putica, said gifted children were ignored and the law should ensure better working conditions for teachers because of the complexity of their job.

Hungarian Ambassador Jozsef Zoltan Magyar said his country had launched a programme of support for gifted children and students in 2008 when the tax system enabled citizens to set aside 1% of their incomes for what they thought they should support.

Most have donated their money to a gifted children fund, which amounted to HRK 1.5 million in 2009 and is four times higher today. In a country with about ten million people and nearly five million employed, "one in ten Hungarians is the 'father' or 'mother' of a gifted child."

Navracsics said the most important thing was for every child to be included in classes, for education be inclusive, as education and talent were two sides of the same coin.

He said education was the cornerstone of the society of the future and that it must be run in such a way that it took into account that a gifted child could, paradoxically, have more difficulties than other children.

That's why the European Commission's message is that gifted children should be supported and their work and progress monitored, he added.

Taken from: Hina

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