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NTC PROGRAM

The NTC Program is a program of activities designed to promote development of motor and cognitive abilities in pre-school and school-age children, and the key role belongs to parents and teachers. It rests on research findings in the field of neuroscience and pedagogy. The aim of the Program is to develop functional knowledge and creativity by increasing divergent production and practicing information, i.e. knowledge integration. According to the basic premise of the NTC methodology, motor development plays an important role in cognitive development of a child, and certain problems (such as learning disorders, concentration problems and attention deficit) can be a consequence of inadequate motor development and overall modern lifestyle trends that often entail little physical activity. The second premise at the core of the NTC Program states that early childhood is the most important period for brain development, which is why implementation of the Program rests on development of motor abilities and promotion of physical activity in pre-school age children.
All Program phases are implemented through play that constitutes the key factor in the NTC Program implementation, as it is an intrinsic motivation of every child. NTC program implementation encompasses sensorimotor and cognitive development in children.

Program has been implemented in Serbia since 2009, through the Primary School Teachers’ Association of the Republic of Serbia. Initially, the Program consisted of short workshops that lasted for 3 school classes. Around 6,000 teachers attended the workshops through the Winter Meeting of Teachers of Serbia. The Teachers’ Association of Serbia assessed the NTC Program as the best of the 20 programs that were previously implemented. Soon came the call from the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia, and after the joint review, the Program was conceived as a seminar, and the Ministry approved the accreditation and implementation of the Program in pre-schools and elementary schools.

Since 2010, about 40 educational institutions (elementary schools and preschools) have gone through the complete training for a period of 3 months, totaling to around 1200 school and pre-school teachers a year. Since 2011, the Program has surpassed national framework and started to be implemented within the European Union, i.e. in Slovenia, with the support of the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana and the Faculty of Education in Koper. About 400 school and pre-school teachers go through a complete training in Slovenia annually. After Slovenia, the Program continued to be implemented, in addition to being verified by national ministries of education, in several other countries.

Today, the NTC Program has been implemented in 17 European countries; in 7 of which has been accredited by the Ministry of Education (Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina), while in others (Italy, Greece, Sweden, Iceland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Slovakia and Sierra Leone) is being conducted in collaboration with educational institutions. Mission of the Program is carried out through the NTC workshops and summer camps for children, accompanied by the education of parents and teachers in a form of seminars, lectures and workshops.

WHAT IS NTC SYSTEM OF LEARNING AND WHY IS IT SO SUCCESSFUL IN IMPLEMENTATION?

According to new research in this field, learning disabilities (problems in reading, writing, calculation), speech disorders (dyslexia, etc.), problems with motor skills, physical development (curvature of the spine, flat feet), which occur in the second and third grade, or earlier, happen due to the lack of certain activities in early childhood. These activities are usually simple games that have “disappeared” in the meantime – such as jumping, rotation, or games with marbles, rubber band, hide and seek, etc. They stimulate the creation of synapses (connections between nerve cells), muscle coordination, coordination of the whole body and intelligence. On the other hand, we live in a time when children are mostly static, stuck in front of the screen, three or four hours a day, which does not help them in their development, since it does not stimulate the aforementioned synapses.

Read more: novakdjokovicfoundation.org

WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO LET CHILDREN PLAY?

How to prepare children in schools for the life and challenges of tomorrow? How to teach them useful things and help them reach their full biological potential? How to coordinate children’s need for movement with the temptations of new technologies that can literally enslave them?

In order to do so, we need to align school activities with game-based learning, learning with the help of new technologies, and also something that parents usually forget – simple child’s play, the one that was common 10-20 years ago: running, jumping, skipping, crawling, climbing…. This is very important because walking upright is a basic human characteristic that shaped our evolution, especially our brain, organ responsible for survival. All parts of the brain are coordinated, connected and work in sync. If a child spends too much time sitting or lying down, potential cognitive impairments might follow later in life.

Read more: novakdjokovicfoundation.org

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