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THE PARTNER COUNTRY NORTH MACEDONIA
North Macedonia, country of the south-central Balkans. It is bordered to the north by Kosovo and Serbia, to the east by Bulgaria, to the south by Greece, and to the west by Albania. The capital is Skopje.

The Republic of North Macedonia is located in the northern part of the area traditionally known as Macedonia, a geographical region bounded to the south by the Aegean Sea and the Aliákmon River; to the west by Lakes Prespa and Ohrid, the watershed west of the Crni Drim River, and the Šar Mountains; and to the north by the mountains of the Skopska Crna Gora and the watershed between the Morava and Vardar river basins. The Pirin Mountains mark its eastern edge. The Republic of North Macedonia occupies about two-fifths of the entire geographical region of Macedonia. The rest of the region belongs to Greece and Bulgaria. Most people with a Macedonian identity also refer to the region that constitutes North Macedonia as Vardar Macedonia, the Greek part of Macedonia as Aegean Macedonia, and the Bulgarian part of Macedonia as Pirin Macedonia. In this article, unless otherwise indicated, the name Macedonia refers to the present-day state of the Republic of North Macedonia when discussing geography and history since 1913 and to the larger region as described above when used in earlier historical contexts.

The region of Macedonia owes its importance neither to its size nor to its population but rather to its location at a major junction of communication routes—in particular, the great north-south route from the Danube River to the Aegean formed by the valleys of the Morava and Vardar rivers and the ancient east-west trade routes connecting the Black Sea and Istanbul with the Adriatic Sea. Although the majority of the republic’s inhabitants are of Slavic descent and heirs to the Eastern Orthodox tradition of Christianity, 500 years of incorporation into the Ottoman Empire left substantial numbers of other ethnic groups, including Albanians, Turks, Vlachs (Aromani), and Roma (Gypsies). Consequently, Macedonia forms a complex border zone between the major cultural traditions of Europe and Asia.

The two major problems facing the newly independent Republic of Macedonia were ensuring for its large Albanian minority the rights of full citizenship and gaining international recognition under its constitutional name and membership in international organizations in the face of strong opposition from Greece, which claimed a monopoly on the use of the term Macedonia. After years of largely fruitless UN-mediated negotiations regarding the name issue, in June 2018 Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced that an agreement (thereafter known as the Prespa Agreement) had been reached under which the Macedonian republic would be known both domestically and internationally as the Republic of North Macedonia (Macedonian: Severna Makedonija). By January 2019 the Macedonian and Greek legislatures had both approved the measures necessary to pave the way for formal adoption of the new name, which came into effect on February 12, 2019.
THE PARTNER CITY SKOPJE
Skopje is the capital and largest city of North Macedonia. It is the country's political, cultural, economic, and academic centre.

The territory of Skopje has been inhabited since at least 4000 BC; remains of Neolithic settlements have been found within the old Kale Fortress that overlooks the modern city centre. Originally a Paeonian city, Scupi became the capital of Dardania in the second century BC. On the eve of the 1st century AD, the settlement was seized by the Romans and became a military camp.When the Roman Empire was divided into eastern and western halves in 395 AD, Scupi came under Byzantine rule from Constantinople. During much of the early medieval period, the town was contested between the Byzantines and the Bulgarian Empire, whose capital it was between 972 and 992.

From 1282, the town was part of the Serbian Empire and acted as its capital city from 1346 to 1371. In 1392, Skopje was conquered by the Ottoman Turks who called it Üsküb, with this name also being in use in English for a time. The town stayed under Ottoman control for over 500 years, serving as the capital of pashasanjak of Üsküp and later the Vilayet of Kosovo. At that time the city was famous for its oriental architecture.In 1912, it was annexed by the Kingdom of Serbia during the Balkan Wars. During the First World War the city was seized by the Kingdom of Bulgaria, and after this war, it became part of the newly formed Kingdom of Yugoslavia becoming the capital of the Vardarska banovina. In the Second World War the city was again captured by Bulgaria and in 1944 became the capital of SR Macedonia, then a federated state of Yugoslavia. The city developed rapidly, but this trend was interrupted in 1963 when it was hit by a disastrous earthquake.

Skopje is located on the upper course of the Vardar River, and is located on a major north-south Balkan route between Belgrade and Athens. It is a center for metal-processing, chemical, timber, textile, leather, and printing industries. Industrial development of the city has been accompanied by development of the trade, logistics, and banking sectors, as well as an emphasis on the fields of transportation, culture and sport. According to the last official count from 2002, Skopje had a population of 506,926 inhabitants; according to official estimates, the city had a population of 544,086 inhabitants, as of 30 June 2015, meaning slightly more than a quarter of all North Macedonia's population lives in the city and its immediate surrounding area.
THE PARTNER SCHOOL
POSEBNO OSNOVNO UCILISTE "D-R ZLATAN SREMEC" -SKOPJE
The Special Elementary School “D-r Zlatan Sremec”-Skopje for children with intellectual disabilities was opened on 28.08.1972 by the great Macedonian humanist dr. Ljupcho Ajdinski. The school is one of the four schools for students with intellectual disabilities in Macedonia and it enjoys high rating and recognizable image.

Today the school educate and rehabilitate 107 students with mild to moderate intellectual disability, students with multiple disabilities and students with autistic spectrum disorders aged 6 to 14 years.The students are distributed in 14 departments in the central school and 9 separate units at mainstream schools on the territory of Skopje, which count up to 5-7 students per unit. The working team is composed from 29 special educators, 4 teachers on special subject (music education, tehnical education, computers and physical education) and professional service that consists of psychologist, speech terapist, special educator and rehabilitator and social worker.

The educators work in classes under special (adapted) programs approved by the Ministry of Education and the Bureau for Development of Education and for the students there are individual educational plans (IEPs) prepared.