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EUROPEAN REPORT SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES PROMOTING THE INTEGRATION OF ROMA IN & THROUGH EDUCATION ROM-UP! The inclus i on of R o ma throu gh qual ity succes sful educati ona l experiences


European Report I Successful

educational

experiences

promoting

the

integration of Roma in and through education

Coordinating Organisation: •

Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen (SPAIN)

Partner Organisation: •

AMALIPE-Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance (BULGARIA)

KEKPA DIEK- Utilities for Social Protection and Solidarity - Municipal Training Institute of Volos (GREECE)

Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities of the University of Barcelona (SPAIN)

Generalitat de Catalunya, Department of Social Welfare and Family (SPAIN)

Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies (ROMANIA)

Pavee Point Travellers Centre (IRELAND)

ERIO-European Roma Information Office (BELGIUM)

PROJECT NUMBER: 357568- LLP-1-2011-1-ES-KA1-KA1NWR PROJECT TITLE: ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein


CONTENTS EUROPEAN REPORT I .................................................................................................................................... 1! CONTENTS ....................................................................................................................................................... 1! EU POLICIES AND ACTIONS IN EDUCATION FOR ROMA INCLUSION ..................................................... 3! A. EU POLICIES REGARDING ROMA INTEGRATION IN EDUCATION ......................................................................... 3! B. FUNDS FOR ROMA INCLUSION IN EDUCATION ................................................................................................ 7! NATIONAL POLICIES ...................................................................................................................................... 9! SPAIN ............................................................................................................................................................. 11! NATIONAL POLICIES ....................................................................................................................................... 13! REGIONAL POLICIES ....................................................................................................................................... 15! SPACES FOR DEBATE AND PARTICIPATION OF THE ROMA IN THOSE POLICIES THAT CONCERN THEM..................... 18! BULGARIA ..................................................................................................................................................... 21! CONTEXT ...................................................................................................................................................... 21! NATIONAL POLICIES AFFECTING ROMA EDUCATIONAL INTEGRATION .................................................................. 22! INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK .......................................................................................................................... 23! NORMATIVE FRAMEWORK ............................................................................................................................... 23! GREECE ......................................................................................................................................................... 29! NATIONAL POLICIES ....................................................................................................................................... 30! REGIONAL POLICIES FOR THE ROMAS ............................................................................................................. 36! ROMANIA ....................................................................................................................................................... 37! GENERAL DATA ABOUT THE ROMA IN ROMANIA ................................................................................................ 37! INITIATIVES REGARDING THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE ROMA SITUATION AT NATIONAL LEVEL – GENERAL DATA ........ 38! NATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVING THE ROMA SITUATION IN ROMANIA .................................... 39! SPECIFIC INITIATIVES ON THE INTEGRATION OF ROMA THROUGH EDUCATION ..................................................... 40! IRELAND ........................................................................................................................................................ 45! EQUALITY POLICY.......................................................................................................................................... 45! EDUCATION POLICY ....................................................................................................................................... 47! METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................................................ 51! SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL ACTIONS: OVERCOMING SCHOOL FAILURE, DROP-OUT AND THE EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING OF THE ROMA CHILDREN. .................................................................................................................. 51! HOW WE HAVE CHOSEN OF THE SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES SELECTED IN ROM-UP! PROJECT .... 60! SUCCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCES .......................................................................................... 63! DECISIVE FAMILY/COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION - SPAIN .................................................................................... 65! ROMA STUDENTS MEETINGS - SPAIN ............................................................................................................. 73! FAMILY AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION - SPAIN ............................................................................................... 77! DECREASING THE DROP-OUT RATE AMONG ROMA CHILDREN - BULGARIA ....................................................... 81! ROMA CULTURE CLASSES IN STATE SCHOOL CURRICULUM -BULGARIA ........................................................... 89! SOCIO-MEDICAL CENTERS FOR ROMAS (WOMEN’S PLACE IN ALIVERI)- GREECE ............................................ 96!

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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INTERACTIVE GROUPS: HETEROGENEOUS ABILITY CLASSROOMS WITH REORGANIZATION OF RESOURCES - SPAIN .................................................................................................................................................................. 102! DIALOGIC LITERARY GATHERINGS - SPAIN................................................................................................... 108! ROMA FAMILIES LEARNING (ROFAL) COMENIUS REGIO PROJECT - IRELAND ................................................ 112! A GOOD START IN SCHOOL - ROMANIA....................................................................................................... 116! A GOOD START (PRE-SCHOOL) - ROMANIA ................................................................................................. 120! INDEX ......................................................................................................................................................... 126!


EU policies and actions in education for Roma inclusion In the European Union education is a reserved area to the member states where the EU plays a supporting role therefore having a limited role in influencing national educational policies. Provisions and ministerial initiatives in education can be noted since the early times of the EU. Later, the EU developed main educational programmes promoting mobility and cooperation between students and institutions. In the late 1980s, the European Commission started to engage more actively with education as a means to promote a “European dimension in education”. Since then, EU education and training policies have mainly developed after the adoption of the Lisbon Strategy in 2000 where the European Union has developed several mechanisms to direct member state’s education systems towards a “Europe of knowledge”. Since a detailed account on the EU’s education policy is outside the scope of this report, the next sections focus instead on the main EU policies and actions, including funding in education for Roma integration.

A. EU policies regarding Roma integration in education W hite Paper on Education and Training “Teaching and learning: Towards the learning society”, COM (95) 590 final, 29 Novem ber 1995, European Com m ission This White Paper is a document linking growth, competitiveness and employment with education and training. The paper also underlines the importance of continuing training. This document introduces the “combat of exclusion” as one of its five objectives. According to it, social exclusion can hinder growth therefore social cohesion is important, specifically in education. There is a direct link between segregated groups and education therefore Roma fit in the context of the document.

The document can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/languages/documents/doc409_en.pdf

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Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin, European Council The directive was adopted by the European Council on 29 June 2000 and provides for the prohibition of discrimination against persons on the grounds of race or ethnic origin. The scope for the implementation of the directive includes the access to vocational guidance, training and education. Therefore, it assures equal treatment and access to everyone in education and training, removing some of the barriers Roma face in accessing education.

The document can be found here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32000L0043:en:HTML

Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’), Council of the EU The Education, Youth and Culture Council adopted the new strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (E&T 2020) in 2009. This document provides the framework that will guide the work in the field of education and training until 2020 and establishes four new strategic objectives for cooperation at EU level. Its strategic objective 3 “Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship” aims to primarily educate for life and at fostering inclusive education systems across Europe and ensuring that all learners - including those from disadvantaged backgrounds, those with special needs and migrants - complete their education and engage in lifelong learning. Furthermore, objective 3 aims to eliminate all types of discrimination and give opportunities to everyone.

The document can be found here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2009:119:0002:0010:en:PDF

10 Common Basic Principles for Roma Inclusion, June 2009 The Common Basic Principles were first presented at the meeting of the European Platform for Roma inclusion on 24 April 2009. On June 2009 the Council of Ministers in charge of Social Affairs annexed

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


the Principles to their conclusions and invited member states and the Commission to take them into account in the fields of education, employment, housing, social systems and healthcare).

The document can be found here: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/youth/Source/Resources/Documents/2011_10_Common_Basic_Principles_ Roma_Inclusion.pdf

European Parliam ent resolution of 9 M arch 2011 on the EU strategy on Rom a inclusion (2010/2276(INI)), Rapporteur: Lívia Járóka In this document, the European Parliament makes several proposals on the EU Roma strategy to the European Commission and member states. The document makes reference to improving the education of Roma children and youth. The resolution suggests that a EU Roma strategy should focus on education as the core instrument for promoting social inclusion. It also calls on the Commission and the member states to combat every form of social and educational exclusion of the Roma. Moreover, it promotes initiatives which hinder segregation and prioritises inclusive projects that promote educational success and involve the participation of Roma families.

The document can be found here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-20110092&language=EN

An

EU

Fram ework

for

National

Rom a

Integration

Strategies

up

to

2020,

COM/2011/0173 final, European Commission 5 April 2011 This Framework invites member states to set national strategies or policy measures for Roma inclusion. The Framework develops a targeted approach for a more effective response to Roma exclusion by setting EU-wide goals for integrating Roma, in education, employment, health and housing. Education is one of the strongest elements in the Framework which aims to make sure all Roma children complete at least primary school.

The document can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/policies/discrimination/docs/com_2011_173_en.pdf

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The social and economic integration of the Roma in Europe, COM(20 10) 133, European Com m ission, 7 April 2010 This document underlines and argues that full Roma integration can be achieved primarily through education which in turn, will bring economic benefits. Core socio-economic issues, such as access to the labour market, to self-employment, and to non-segregated quality education, housing and health services, are vital to ensure inclusion for all Roma (as for all other people). In line with these principles, Roma issues should be systematically mainstreamed into all relevant European and national policies. Policies which maintain or promote the segregation of Roma communities or the provision of segregated housing, education or other services for Roma should be ended.

The document can be found here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2010:0133:FIN:EN:PDF

Council conclusions on an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, Council of the EU, 19 May 2011 In this document, the Council of the EU invites member states to improve the socio-economic situation of Roma by pursuing a mainstreaming approach in the fields of education, employment, housing, and healthcare, taking into account, where appropriate, the Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion, as well as by ensuring equal access to quality services, and to apply an integrated approach to these policies and make the best use of the funds and resources available.

The document can be found here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/lsa/122100.pdf

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


B. Funds for Roma inclusion in Education EU Structural Funds: European Social Fund (ESF) The European Social Fund is one of the EU funds that support the improvement of living and working conditions of Roma. When it comes to education, EU funds usually support school infrastructure, preschool facilities and materials, training of teachers and assistants, after-school clubs, post-secondary.

The following actions could be funded: a) financing of studies to assess the current educational situation, and to propose appropriate measures; b) support and stimulation to the introduction of preparatory classes for Roma children who do not speak the national language; c) mentoring, including for families; d) after-hours support (e.g. homework groups); e) stimulation of the employment of teachers with adequate qualification and specialisation; f) cultural sensitivity and diversity awareness; g) introduction of “Assistant teachers� from the Roma communities, who will help in the process of teaching of Roma children (within mainstream education) and h) abolition of early vocational and labour education.

The ESF can be found here: http://ec.europa.eu/esf/main.jsp?catId=63&langId=en

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


National Policies National policy for each partners’ country, focusing on Roma Inclusion through Education (Policy-Theory)

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


SPAIN ! Spain has a population of approximately 600,000 to 700,000 Roma with a shared history of over 600 years. A history that has denied them visibility and social participation, in which anti-Roma practices have been enacted. In short, it is a history of inequalities, in which the access to education has been an unreachable right until less than 50 years ago, in the same way that the access to recognized and paid labor. A major effort has been made to count on high reliability data, crossing different sources and triangulating information. What we can say right now is that the Roma population in Spain has increased with the arrival of immigrant groups from Eastern Europe. These are not accounted for in a rigorous way, as the Constitution protects the right not to mention the ethnicity in the country or city census. Despite all these circumstances, the Roma population in Spain has survived, and has also maintained its culture and created new cultural referents. Roma organizations appeared in the shelter of the first neighbourhood associations and Catholic Church-related organizations between the 60’s and 70’s of the XXth century. The work and the overcoming of inequalities has been a slow process, but it has had a large participation of Roma. Policies that have been generated, have been developed from this participation and debate with the rest of social and political organizations. A pioneer movement in Europe that has grown in quality and quantity is the movement of the Roma women, born in 1990 with the Asociación Romí de Granada (Romi Association of Granada). Women have been the pillar of their culture, the transmitters of values and traditions and, at the same time, they have been the ones to transmit to their children the possibility of transformations that will lead them to a better life. The situation we started from is hopeful, because the political and civil actions are taking shape and make it possible to achieve some important social impacts, as the recognition of the Roma community in Spain, by the Congreso de los Diputados (Congress of Deputies) in 2005. Below, some figures reflect the current situation of Roma in Spain: Regarding the structure of the population, a number of differences in the structure of ages is noted. If the Spanish population as a whole is relatively older, with an average age of 39.5 years, and with a clear tendency for this value to rise even more, the Roma population is much younger, their average age being 27.6 years. The differences are more evident when we observe that half of the Roma are younger than 25, and less than 10% are over 54 years; meanwhile, the Population Census of 2001 shows a ratio of 27% for the same age group in the whole country. (The Roma population. Features. Edited by Fundación Secretariado Gitano – Roma Secretariat Foundation) Education: Currently, schooling is at normal rates, we find the great difference when looking at academic results. Schools with a high rate of Roma tend to have results much lower than in other Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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contexts. The transition from Primary to Secondary Compulsory Education has become a hard jump, due to the socio-economic reality, and this is where students gradually leave their studies. Just over seven in ten Roma aged 16 and older, the 71.2%, are completely or functionally illiterate, this means that around 340,000 of them are in that situation. Moreover, of these, about one-fifth (18.4%) are completely illiterate. At the same time, we also find that Roma over 15 years of age, with an educational level higher than Primary, does not exceed the proportion of 14%. Overall, the illiterate (absolute and functional) Roma have a weight, among the entire Roma population, 4.6 times higher than that posed by illiterates among the Spanish population census by INE (National Statistics Institute) in 2001. (The Roma population. Features. Edited by Fundación Secretariado Gitano – Roma Secretariat Foundation) One very encouraging fact, is that the rate of college-educated Roma is 1%, versus 3.281% of the Spanish general population. The most significant characteristic feature of this fact, is that 80% of them are Roma women. Therefore, this creates high expectations. In employment something very similar happens, leading Roma families to peddling and irregular work or underground economy. Great efforts are made to address the existing inequalities to access a spot in the labor market, situation that now is even more complicated with the crisis that is going on in Spain, and that makes more vulnerable those who already were. Roma organizations are working hard to achieve policies that overcome social inequalities faced by the Roma population in Spain. 50 years after the schooling of the first generations of Roma university students, independent professionals are already recognized, an addition to the political world in general and to the defence of civil rights. Currently, in Spain there are several policies aimed at the inclusion of the Roma and at improving their living conditions in Spain. In all of them education is considered to be a key aspect for their inclusion, so they always include a section of policies addressed at the inclusion of the Roma in education. We can distinguish two groups of policies based on their level of implementation: •

National policies, that have validity throughout the Spanish territory and are promoted by the Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Equality or by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports.

Regional policies, promoted by the regional governments and applied in the “comunidad autónoma” (regional division of Spain) in which they are promoted.

At the same time, in Spain there are advisory bodies composed by Roma organizations in which the Roma can help in the definition and implementation of the policies that concern them.

!

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


National Policies ! "#!$%#&'$%(!()*)(+!,)!-).%-/!#,'!0'(&1&)23!! !

Action plan for the development of the Roma population (2010-2012). Ministry of Health, Social Affairs and Equality. ! The Action plan for the development of the Roma population 2010-2012 replaces the former Programme for the Development of the Roma launched in 1989. The Plan counted with the participation of Roma organizations in its design and, among its main objectives, stands out the promotion of actions to facilitate the access to employment of the Roma population, taking into consideration that young people, women and people with lower qualifications are those with more difficulty to find a job. This Plan integrates the main aspects of social inclusion of Roma and specifically provides 8 areas of intervention: citizenship, egalitarian treatment & non-discrimination, education, employment and economic activity, social action, health, housing, culture and the Roma population in the European political agenda. This way, it involves the different ministries responsible for these issues and sets the main objectives pursued in the medium term. In the area of education the following objectives are established: Normalise the enrolment rates of Roma population in pre-school education. Normalise the enrolment rates of Roma population in primary and secondary education. Facilitate university entrance and permanence of young Roma. Carry on with literacy teaching and education of Roma women and men from the age of 16 to the adult age in order to promote the eradication of illiteracy. Train teachers to develop an intercultural education where the Roma culture is equal to the rest of cultures in Spain. Encourage the incorporation of a reference to Roma population in the curriculum of Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education. Continue to promote the knowledge of the situation of the Roma population with regard to education. For each of the objectives, the plan establishes 23 specific actions to accomplish them. http://www.msps.es/politicaSocial/inclusionSocial/docs/planDefinitivoAccion.pdf

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!

National Roma Integration Strategy in Spain (2012 – 2020)!!! Like all other EU countries, Spain has created a national strategy to improve the economic and social integration of Roma (2012 - 2020), in response to the European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies adopted on April 5th 2011 by the EU. Spain's national strategy defines, as established by the European Framework, four pillars in which national efforts are required to improve the integration of the Roma population: access to education, employment, health and housing. All of them with an integrated approach. In the case of Spain, Europe has used it as a good example, together with other countries, of promoting the integration of Roma in education as well as its mechanisms to improve employment. At the same time, in the evaluation provided by the EC in May 2012, Spain would be in the list of countries that have failed to allocating sufficient budgetary resources for integration of Roma to date. The Strategy defines in each of the four key areas for social inclusion (education, jobs, housing and healthcare) quantitative targets to be reached for 2020, as well as mid-term targets for 2015. Targets in education include: TARGET 1. Increase in Roma pre-school education completion. TARGET 2. Universal schooling and increasing academic success among Roma pupils in Primary Education. TARGET 3. Increase in completion of Compulsory Secondary Education and increase in academic success of Roma pupils at this stage TARGET 4. Increase in the education level of the Roma adult.

To achieve these targets, the strategic lines of action in education are the following: Pre-school education: Support to enroll Roma at 0-3 years, with priority given to families at risk of social exclusion; Family awareness and support for the participation of families in school, as well as the training of young people as teachers; Promotion of work, family and personal life conciliation.

! Prim ary and secondary education: Boosting of mediation programmes between families and schools, encouraging the incorporation of male and female Roma professionals; Boosting of Reinforcement, Guidance and Support Programmes, in order to avoid absenteeism and early school leaving; Strengthening of accompaniment measures for the transition from primary to secondary education; Strengthening of the participation of Roma students with learning difficulties or specific

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


support needs in IPQPs (Initial Professional Qualification Programmes) or in CDPs (Curricular Diversification Projects); Fostering of measures to avoid the concentration of Roma pupils in certain schools or classrooms. Post-obligatory education: Boosting of labour orientation programmes to prepare for the move from secondary school to professional training and accompaniment in transition phases between school years and stages; Fostering of university access measures for the Roma, including the promotion of grants programmes. Eradication of adult illiteracy and education: Boosting of literacy and the permanent education programmes for Roma in Adult Education Centres, Popular Universities, Training Workshops, Employment Workshops, etc., including academic strengthening in order to encourage completion of CSE education and the rate of over 25s taking the University Entrance Exam; Fostering lifelong education by way of flexible and adapted methodologies, making timetables more flexible and seeking ways to conciliate, strengthening the EU dimension, with special attention to digital literacy; Promotion of the use of infrastructures and measures of primary and secondary education centres attended by Roma children. Teacher training in intercultural education: Boost the inclusion of specific courses on Roma culture and diversity in Teacher Training and Resources Centres; Support in university training, particularly in certain courses (Education degrees (Pre-school and Primary), Teaching degrees (Preschool and Primary), Social Education, Social Work, Pedagogy, Psychology, etc.) and the inclusion of units on cultural and intercultural diversity; Creation of a guidance protocol of inclusion of culture, history, literacy etc., of the Roma people in text books and student working materials, and support for the creation of education materials on Roma culture; Support for education centres to foster cultural diversity in their centre education project (CEP) and to incorporate Roma culture into the centre curricular project (CCP). 4##0355)16)7-'0%6)75872#&1)59&21-&.&$%#&'$5:&()25-'.%;20%&$;2#-%#)<=;)$609:

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Regional policies ! At regional level, we remark the followings:

The Integral Plan for the Roma population in Catalonia 2009-2013 In Catalonia and previously to the implementation of the Integral Plan, we must emphasize the recognition of Roma people by the Catalan Parliament in 2001, that also promoted their recognition nationwide by the Congress of Deputies on 27 September 2006.

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This 2009-2013 Integral plan for the Roma population is the continuity of the first one and includes improvements and changes that arose from the joint work between Ministries of the Generalitat and their specialists, heads and responsible politicians, as well as the valuable work with the various Romani and associations those working with the Roma population that participate in the bodies of the plan, both of the Advisory Board as well as the nine working groups. It has also taken into consideration the proposals of the two external evaluations. The strategic lines of the plan regarding education include: 1. To promote the full-time schooling of Romani students in Catalonia in the different stages of the education system in Catalonia through prevention, diagnosis and early action against school truancy. 2. To achieve school success and the social and occupational promotion of Romani students. 3. To promote the values of the Romani culture in the school curriculum and the life of the school. 4. To promote/favour training and access to ICTs to facilitate their inclusion into the labour market. 5. To give the Roma population visibility in the university system. 6. To facilitate the university education of the Roma population.

The area includes 24 of the 106 measures of the plan, divided into 16 areas. It is important to underline that the Integral Plan for the Roma population in Catalonia of 2006 and precursor of todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plan, is the first one with a specific budget. The current counts with an annual budget of more than 3.000.000 euros among the 11 departments of the Generalitat de Catalunya involved in the development and implementation of the Integral Plan.

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


The Basque plan for the integral promotion and social participation of the Roma. 2008-2011 Currently, the Basque plan for the integral promotion and social participation of the Roma that is being implemented is the one covering the period from 2008 to 2011. This second plan is aligned with the commitments collected in the Government pact signed for the VIII Legislature (2005 - 2009), that aims to give continuity and reinforce the commitment of the government started in 2004 with the first Basque plan for the integral promotion and social participation of the Roma. This first plan was aimed at improving the quality of life, social goods, social inclusion and exercise of rights and obligations of the Roma in the Basque â&#x20AC;&#x153;com unidad autonĂłm aâ&#x20AC;? or Basque region.

The plan presents, first of all, the situation of the Roma in different areas, before moving on to defining objectives, strategies and actions for each of the areas. The objectives to accomplish are the following: 1. To increase the knowledge of the situation of the Roma community in the Basque region, and of the effects that actions carried out with the Roma community have, creating and improving indicators of progress that are being made in each aspect, incorporating transversal perspectives, including gender. 2. To bring closer Roma culture to all professionals working with Roma people, so as to overcome prejudices and stereotypes, to improve their relationship with them and to enable the improvement of the quality of the services given. 3. To boost the specific transformations that will allow the removal of barriers and the incorporation of Roma people to all kinds of opportunities, resources and services.

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The Integral Plan for the Roma Community of Andalusia. In 1994, the former Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs proposed to design an integral plan for the Roma community in the region of Andalusia, aimed at the promotion of Roma as a group with specific social problems that require additional efforts from the public administration.

The Plan provides a set of five general objectives to be developed in seven distinct areas, adding up to a total of 67 different actions.

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Spaces for debate and participation of the Roma in those policies that concern them. ! Spaces for debate between politicians and organizations have been created. It’s important to remark the following spaces for debate participation and decision:

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At national level, the Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano (State council of the Roma) The State Council of the Roma, as an associate body of participation and advise on public policies that result in the integral development of the Roma population, has been attributed, among others, the following functions: •

To propose and advise about measures for the integral promotion of the Roma population.

To present initiatives regarding the funding for programs addressed to the Roma population.

To collaborate and cooperate with other similar councils that work to defend human rights.

To issue opinions and reports on those regulation programmes affecting the Roma population, especially regarding the development of egalitarian treatment and opportunities.

To promote communication and information exchange to facilitate coexistence and social cohesion among Roma citizens and society in general.

The State Council of the Roma works through: 1.

The PLENARY, that meets at least twice a year.

2.

The PERM ANENT COM ISSION, acting as the executive organ of the Council, that holds, at least, two regular meetings a year.

3.

The W ORKING GROUPS. The State Council of the Roma may constitute committees and working groups for the better development of its purposes and objectives. The working groups constituted by the Council are: Employment and Social Welfare, Education, Culture, Health and Housing.

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


In all three groups, Roma organizations and Roma people from different parts of the state are directly involved.

As example of actions at regional level, in Catalonia we find the Consell Assessor del Poble Gitano (Advisory Council of the Roma) With the aim of incorporating the full participation of the Roma population, the Advisory Board of the Roma Population has been created, which has the following as its main functions: •

To make the voice and opinion reach the public administrations in a direct way, formulating proposals and recommendations.

To inform about the measures that are carried out in the framework of the integral plans and of the public administrations in general.

To propose new measures and actions to offer a response to the situations and circumstances of the Roma population.

21 organizations representing the Romani associations or foundations participate in the Advisory Council, among others.

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


BULGARIA Context The Roma population in Bulgaria has an extremely poor educational status, considerably worse than the country’s average.1 The Bulgarian institutions have officially recognized this fact. For instance, it is mentioned under OP Human Resources Development that „Educational disproportions have strong ethnic features… As an example, pre-school training covers 54% of the Bulgarian children, 38% of the Turkish children, and 12% of the Roma children. 22.6% of the Bulgarians, 55% of the Turks and 46.2% of the Roma population have completed only primary education. The Bulgarians with secondary education are 54%, Turks – 24%, while Roma – 7.8% out of the total number of the respective groups.... The data on higher education is quite indicative. About 23.5% of the Bulgarians have graduated universities, compared to 2.7% of the Turks and about 0.2 to 0.4% of the Romani. The share of those who have not passed even the earliest grade of the primary education is disturbing: for the Bulgarians it is close to the zero, for the Turks - 5.6%, whereas for the Roma it is 20.5%. The majority of these people is completely illiterate.” 2 Although the Roma population in Bulgaria is - by official statistics - 4,8 % of the whole population (based on the data from census 2001, but many researchers state that the percentage corresponding to the real situation is twice as much), the Roma children in the Bulgarian educational system represent a considerably smaller group of students, both in number and per cent. According to the data of the Ministry of Education and Science, the general distribution by ethnic appurtenance of the students from 1st to 13th grade in the country is the following:

S

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

21


The fact that this proportion varies considerably between the different educational levels is indicative and rather disturbing. For instance, as per the data of the Regional Education Inspectorates, in almost all the administrative districts the share of the Roma pupils in first grade is about 20% of all children of mandatory school age3. In some districts like Montana, Haskovo and Sliven the Roma pupils are over 40%, and in districts like Vidin, Vratsa, Pazardzhik and Yambol they exceed 30%. This percentage reduces drastically, the higher the stages and the degrees of education. The number of the students of Roma origin drops down in every subsequent level and thus in the secondary school it is seven times lower than that of the primary school. This is not due to increased birth rate during the last years but to the high percentage of Roma dropouts: of every one hundred Roma pupils in their first year at the elementary, only 14 get through to the secondary school and there not many of them stay until graduation. On the other hand, according to the data from the Ministry of Education and Science, practically every Bulgarian and Turkish first-year pupil reaches to the secondary school level. The above described clearly points out one of the main problems encountered by the educational integration of Roma children – the high rate of dropouts and not included in the school system. Other serious problems encountered by the educational integration of Roma children are the practical lack of intercultural education, the segregation of a huge percentage of Roma students in de facto “Roma” schools or classes, the low quality of education in the rural schools with predominant Roma students (as well as in the segregated schools), etc.

National policies affecting Roma educational integration The Government of Bulgaria has adopted both programs aimed at improving the situation of Roma that include a section on education, and programs targeting education that contain measures aimed at minority groups including Roma, with very little evidence of impact or implementation on the local level. During the last few years (since 2007) the educational system in Bulgaria has undergone through dynamic and stormy changes. The system for financing of the school network was radically changed through the introduction of the delegated budgets in all schools, the definition of unified expenditure standards for the allowance per student and the decreased opportunities for municipalities to redistribute money among various schools. Hundreds of schools were closed down due to the process of “optimization of the school network”. Part of the measures foreseen in the National Program for the Development of School Education and Pre-School Training were gradually introduced: differentiated remuneration for teachers, application of external evaluation system, introduction of state maturity exams, etc. All these measures to the opinion of most educational experts were absolutely imperative and have positive nature.

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Institutional framework The Ministry of Education, Youth and Science is the main institution at the national level expected to work for the improved access to education and for the quality of education as a whole. In particular, MEYS is the main institution whose authorities cover the educational integration of Roma children. The major Directorate responsible about educational integration (among all other things) is School education policies Directorate. From March 16, 2010 the Ministry of Education, youth and science has a new administrative structure. As a result of the consolidation of directorates in the Ministry, the Directorate “Educational environment and educational integration” that had regulated during the last five years the process of educational integration of Roma children, has now been closed. Its responsibilities and some of its experts are included and joined the new “Access to education and support of developm ent” Directorate. Article 12 of the rules of the new Directorate says that “it supports the accomplishment of the politics in the sphere of educational integration of children and pupils from ethnic minorities trough providing them with equal educational possibilities”. The unit “Integration trough intercultural education” has also merged with “Support of development, special schools, and integration“ unit. M EYS has its regional structures – the Regional Education Inspectorates (although the new draft Education Law envisaged a significant reform in this structure) – in every district and in the city of Sofia. Their administrative capacity for implementation of integration policies for Roma students is relatively low. No REI has an expert working explicitly on minority children integration. The experts on educational integration appointed in 2006 had the authority only to support the integration of children with special educational needs (SEN) and not work on the implementation of the Strategy for educational integration of children and students from the ethnic minorities (SEICSEM) (for more information on the SEICSEM see below). Formally, in every REI there is an expert whose obligations included also integration of children from the minorities. “The implementation of SEI was an additional (“extra”) task for them. Most of them were overburdened with different responsibilities and it was hardly to expect that they would leave a lot of time and efforts for SEI implementation.”4 Governm ent Decree No 4/11.01.2005 made provisions for the creation of a Center for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (CEICSEM) under MEYS, as a second level spending unit for the implementation of the Strategy for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (SEICSEM). The Center is a very specific administrative unit between the ordinary state administration and the donor structure, which gives it limited opportunities for definition of policies and real role in their implementation.

Normative framework The major documents frameing the educational and the educational integration process are the Public education act, the National Programme for the Development of School Education and Pre-school V

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23


Upbringing and Preparation (2006 – 2015), and the Strategy for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (SEICSEM). During the subject period the Human Resources Development Operational Programme has being also implemented: it contains several important measures and operations regarding the educational integration of Roma children. SEICSEM was enacted by a Resolution of the Minister of Education and Science of 11.06.2004. In March 2010 with an order of the present Minister of Education. It was drafted by a working group of the Advisory Council for Educational Integration of Children and students from ethnic minorities. The strategy sets three priorities: full integration of Roma children and students through desegregation of kindergartens and schools in separate Roma neighborhoods, supporting the central schools to ensure access to quality education in them, promoting intercultural perspective as an integral part of the educational integration of children and students from ethnic minorities in the process of modernization of the Bulgarian education system. The strategy identifies problems faced by educational integration: as common problems for all ethnic minorities and specific issues facing Roma children and students. To overcome these problems are provided for activities in three strategic goals: •

Validation in normative acts in the educational practice of the right of equal access to quality education for children and students from ethnic minorities and their effective integration.

Preserving and developing the cultural identity of children and pupils from ethnic minorities and make ethnocultural diversity into a source of mutual understanding, respect and cooperation in the overall educational environment.

Creating conditions for successful socialization of children and pupils from ethnic minorities and formation of appropriate social and psychological climate conducive to the realization of this strategy.

The National Programme for the Development of School Education and Pre-school Upbringing and Preparation (2006 – 2015) was approved with Resolution of the National Assembly dated 7 June 2006, the text of the programme was not prepared by the MES. The programme itself was a strategic document trying to formulate the development of the Bulgarian education for a relatively extensive period. In 2007 and 2008 it regulated the main actions of the MES. The document placed two main objectives: quality education and access to education. In compliance, a number of specific measures were foreseen in order to achieve each objective. As to the Roma educational integration, the Programme represents a serious retreat from the SEICSEM. In fact, the National Programme does not create a reliable base for straightforward integration policy and does not in any way acknowledge the existence of SEICSEM. None of the measures in the Programme to increase the quality of education can be related to the Roma educational integration. Roma children are partially included in some of the measures directed towards guaranteed equal access to education, but this is done in a very unbalanced way: „children

24

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


whose mother tongue is not Bulgarian”.5 Specifying the measures addressing children whose mother tongue is not Bulgarian, the Programme points out, above all, the additional education in Bulgarian language, as well as pre-school training and placing these children in ethnically mixed environment.6 These measures are only outlined without going into details. It seems that the Programme pays no attention to the ethnical and cultural peculiarities of the children and pupils, or that these peculiarities are not considered to be important for the Bulgarian education. Roma educational integration is not mentioned at all in the document. 7 The other milestone is the Draft law on pre-school and school education introduced by the Council of Ministers and passed on first reading in the Bulgarian Parliament at the beginning of June 2012.8 For the first time a draft law addresses the issue of educational integration of minorities and does it rightly - meaning integration not isolation, separation or segregation. Among the newly introduced principles of the educational system are ‘equal access’, ‘non-discrimination’ and ‘fostering of ethnic diversity’. The draft envisages also a national standard for intercultural education. A requirement for each school is to elaborate and agree on its own program for educational integration and dropout reduction whereby targeted funding for the implementation of these programs will be provided beyond the delegated budget, thus giving hope that they will be fulfilled in practice. Of significant importance is that in its latest version the draft bans the formation of ethnically based classes in ethnically mixed schools (Article 96) and of groups along ethnic lines in mixed kindergartens (Art. 60). This should be supplementary to another ban which shall also be incorporated into the law forbidding the establishment of schools along ethnic lines in settlements with mixed population. Another important milestone supporting minority educational integration in Bulgaria is the Human Resources Developm ent Operational Program m e (HRD OP). It regulates the absorption of money from the European Social Fund on priorities and measures agreed by the Bulgarian Government and the European Commission. The Programme was signed in September 2007, while its elaboration went for more than a couple of years. Roma organizations played an active role in this process and managed to pass most of their suggestions. The educational section of HRD OP follows the National Programme for Development of School Education, including also – thanks to the efforts of Roma organization – much more texts connected with the educational integration of Roma children. The Programme includes a special intervention area

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25


(measure) „4.1. Access to education and training of disadvantaged groups”, directed towards vulnerable minority groups (with focus on the Roma people), children with SEN and dropouts or likely to drop out. Suggested were a wide range of activities to facilitate the access to education and to increase the motivation for inclusion in the educational process for Roma children, to continue the process of desegregation, to introduce intercultural education, to work with Roma parents, etc.9 All this was developed in a special chapter of the programme „Areas of assistance with regard to Roma community”10 Indicators are foreseen to measure the effect of HRD OP on Roma integration11 - a fact of exceptional importance considering that these indicators will give regular information on the Programme implementation. To recapitulate, the educational part of HRD OP and chapter „Areas of assistance with regard to Roma community” provide the necessary prerequisites to link the absorption of European funds with the process of Roma educational integration. This cannot fill in the gaps in the National Programme for the Development of School Education, the more so – in the possible new Law on Public Education, however, it definitely gives a boost to the process of educational integration – by means of allocating financial resource and making commitments (the implementation HRD OP is part of Bulgaria’s commitments as a member state of EU). In 2011 in responce to the Communication of the European Council “EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies” Bulgaria also developed and approved its National Roma Integration Startegy. On 21.12.2011 the Strategy was adopted by the Council of Ministers as an ‘importer’, i.e. the Secretariat of NCCEII has taken on the responsibility to make the necessary corrections agreed on at the session of Ministers. On March 1st, 2012 it was approval by the National Assembly together with the Action plan for the implementation of the Strategy. The field of education is relatively well developed and as a whole is a step forward. It sets 40 activities for achieving 16 tasks within 7 objectives. They further continue the main trends from the Roma educational integration policy from the previous years enriching them with some new activities with respect to the new realities in Bulgarian educational system (delegated school budgets, preparing new Public Education Act, standard for intercultural education, etc.). It seems that the good cooperation between experts from Ministry of Education and Roma NGOs lead to well developed plan. At the same time there are some logical “gaps”. For example, for within Objective 1 “Guaranteeing the right to equal access to quality education, including by integrating Rom a children and students in ethnically m ixed kindergartens and schools” (i.e. de-segregation objective) four tasks are set. They relate to encouraging ethnically mixed education at pre-school and university level. The school level is missed that is a serious gap having in mind that the main efforts during the previous years have been for desegregation and ethnically mixed schooling at elementary and primary

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26

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


education. In the draft prepared by the Working group activities at school level were included and it is not clear why they dropped out. As explained above, serious weakness of Education priority is that most of the activities planned are not budgeted: 27 out of 40. This makes the real advance in educational integration strongly conditional and dependent from the political conjecture.

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


GREECE! ! Romas in Greece do not possess the status of a national minority, as for example the Muslims of Thrace in northeast Greece. For this reason, there has not been, until recently, an obligation of the Greek State for a special educational policy for the Romas in the country, since the access to education was considered as equal for all the Greek citizens. Romas are, however, being presented officially for the first time in documents of the Greek State in 1987 through two governmental documents related to education. In particular, these were two circulars referred to educational problems of the “Gypsies”12 population suggesting means to face them. The first Circular (F1/206/14-04-1987) the Greek Ministry of Education asked from government agencies to intervene in the school ages of the Romas. The second Circular (C1/206/14-04-1987), on the other hand, mentioned the total absence of the Roma children from the preschool education and the limited number of Roma children enrollment in the primary school. It was also referred to the weaknesses and deficiencies faced by the Roma children who have been enrolled in the school. This circular proposed the cooperation between the Directors of the schools and teachers, parents and other social bodies in order to face this above situation, while the School Consultants were urged to undertake the pedagogical training and the scientific guidance of the teachers toward this direction. There was also the demand from the Managers of the Directorates and the Offices of the Primary and Secondary Education along with their administrative and moral support towards this specific school population “to take full advantage of the redeeming provisions and regulations of the Law 1566/1985 for the transport of students, etc.” and also “to monitor and control the enrollment of all students in the 1st class of the secondary school by flexibly applying the law for their 9-years compulsory education at school”. The operational logic that has prevailed from then until today is based on the holistic approach in which the promotion of the Romas’ education constitutes one of the main axes of the operational policy and action. In 1996, on the initiative of the Special Office of the Greek Prime Minister the first national policy has been announced for “the improvement of the quality of life of the Greek Romas” on the basis of 4 axes of actions (Education, Housing, Health and Social Care) which was a product of an extensive consultation and participation of Romas themselves in all Greece. This policy has been implemented throughout the whole decade of 2000 and until today, and it is coordinated at ministerial level by the Ministry of Interior and with a special focus on gathering and coordinating the national and community resources of the Greek budget that are allocated for these purposes and towards the direction of the realization of the plan. During the 3rd (2000-2006) and the 4th Community Support Framework for Greece (2007-2013), the implementation of the Greek policies for the education of the Romas has been incorporated, in total, in two categories of operational policies: SM

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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! Sectoral Operational Program m es, being applied in all Greek territory with coordinator the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Labour and Social Security has a complementary role in these policies, particularly in the implementation of programmes of vocational training, of Greek language courses, etc. Regional Operational Program m es, being applied in the 13 regions of the country and through which the main infrastructure programmes are being financed resulting from as a need for the implementation of the sectoral programmes for the Romas. Such an example is the construction or renovation of schools, in which Roma children are also present. The approval and implementation of such projects is being coordinated by the Sectoral programmes, in particular those being run by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Education. Together with the above policies, educational policies are being implemented as mainstream ones, which are incorporated in the regular policies of the Greek educational system for the Romas, such as specific measures for travelling students, facilitating the enrollment in the school in the form of positive discrimination in favour of Roma, etc. Finally, in the Greek state the following institutional bodies operate, with an advisory role: Panhellenic Cities Network for Romas (ROMA NETWORK) and Panhellenic Federation of Greek Romas Associations (POSER). Also, with an advisory role, various institutes operate in the Greek state related to intercultural education, part of which is the education of the Romas

! !

National policies ! At national level, the promotion by the Greek State of Romas education can be seen in the following timeline:

(1992) Production of special teaching material for Roma students, recruiting qualified teachers and creation of learning preparatory sections in schoolsST (1994) Introduction of an intercultural education course in schools (1996) Establishment of the Card for Travelling StudentsSV for the reduction of the school dropout (1997) The Ministry of Education sets as a priority the intercultural education based on the Law 2413/1996. ST

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


(1999) The aim for the Ministry of Education is the inclusion of the Roma students in the regular school classes and not in the preparatory onesSW (2000) Circular of the Ministry of Education to schools in order to take place positive exceptions for the enrollment of the Roma children in school, regardless of age or available documentsS\ (2002) Establishment of an income support for low-income families whose children attend school. The measure concerns mainly Roma studentsSY. (1997-2008) Implementation of Operational Programmes for the Inclusion of Roma Children in school coordinated by the University of Ioannina (EPEAEK I programme) and the University of Thessaly (EPEAEK II programme)

!

Operational programmes «Education of Roma children». Ministry of Education and Religion (1997-2008) ! The Operational Programme for the Inclusion of Roma children in school and the reduction of school dropout has been implemented in the period 1997-2004 in all Greece coordinated by the University of Ioannina for the education of the national policy for social integration of Greek Romas! In the formulation of the project, the following bodies contributed: associations of the Romas , the network of cities with populations of Roma and special scientific institutes for Roma issues. Community and national resources of the Greek State under the supervision of the Ministry of !ducation financed the project. The main objectives were: •

the establishment of a learning infrastructure concerning the Roma community in Greece,

the evaluation of the teaching material for the education of Roma students which has been elaborated in Greece and abroad,

the production of educational material and the establishment of a pool of trainers, who would realise training courses for the teachers

the study of bilingualism of Roma students, in particular for the production of special linguistic material for the teaching of the Greek language, as well as the production of teaching material in individual areas of learning to support teaching in fast learning reception classes and tutorial classes

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The programme has been expanded in the period 2006-2008 with the title: "Roma students’ inclusion at school” and operating body, this time, the University of Thessaly. The program, in its second year of implementation, had as main objectives the following:! •

harmonious inclusion of Roma students in the educational system,

ensuring the acceptance of these children by the teaching staff and by the majority’s parents,

awareness of teachers,

development, expansion and application of educational material,

supporting families with cultural particularities in order to be able to effectively help their children and, finally,

awareness of the administrative mechanism of education!

The evaluation made for these programmes reveals both positive and negative characteristics of the education for the Romas in Greece. The ‘philosophy’ which seem to go into these above mentioned regulations and interventions with the aim to reduce the school Roma dropouts and to improve their education, is limited to measures of a redeeming and distributive character. Similarly, it appears that efforts to render social justice have not touched the field equal decision-making by authorized representatives of the Roma populationS[. The weaknesses finally of the Greek schools for the successful integration of the Roma, are summarized also in the conclusion produced during the implementation of the operational programme: "the school in its present form refuses to reject the Roma student. It refuses and rejects, however, his/her appearance, mother tongue, culture, skills and experiences”SR

National strategy for Roma integration in Greece (2012-2020) ! Like the rest countries of the European Union, Greece has elaborated until the end of 2011, the new national framework for the social integration of the Romas by 2020, within the European framework for National Strategy for the Integration of the Romas (2012-2020) adopted on 5th April 2011 by the EUMN. The new strategy sets specific quantitative targets in the 4 axes of the project (education, employment, housing and health) by 2020 with intermediate objectives by 2015

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32

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


The central aim of the Greek programme for the education of Roma is the inclusion of the children in the school reality aiming at the reduction of the school dropout and failure and the diffusion of their education at all levels of education, resulting in the increase in the level of social, cultural and operating literacy. Also, regarding adults, the basic objective is the reduction of illiteracy with simultaneous increase of their effective literacy, at least in the categories of reading and writing as well as of numeracyMS!. Regarding education, the largest part of the population (especially in older ages) is still illiterate, while it appears that the non-attendance is a phenomenon that presents gradual reduction from generation to generation. However, their participation in education is not being presented to be sufficient so as to strengthen and improve their professional status and mobility. Most students, 12 years and over, leave school to work in order to supplement the family's income. Attendance is extremely vulnerable to external factors, such as travelling, economic problems that lead to child labour, distance from school, racism in schools, lack of an appropriate and permanent housing, etc. So the specific objectives established for the education of Romas by 2020 are: OBJECTIVE 1: to ensure the education and the combat of school dropout of Roma children OBJECTIVE 2: the school inclusion of Roma students at all levels of education and the reduction of school failure OBJECTIVE 3: to combat stereotypes and prejudices of local communities, and education and student community OBJECTIVE 4: to increase the level of social, cultural and functional literacy of Romas and their inclusion in the social context OBJECTIVE 5: to strengthen the relationship of the Roma families with the school and the projection of the positive effects of the education on the life of the Romas

Priority axis 4, on actions supporting the education of Romas, contains more specific actions to achieve these objectives that are summarised below:

! School infrastructure: exploring needs and implement improvements to the school infrastructures. Indicative actions in this category are the following:

! MS

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

33


Suitability of buildings

Adequate school equipment

Ensuring access of Roma students in school

! Pre-prim ary education: Strengthening and supporting the education of Roma children in preschool education (0-5 years old) with actions such as:

! •

Programmes to strengthen social skills of preschool aged Roma children in order for their smooth school integration

Health Promotion Seminars

Programmes to strengthen the relationship between Roma families and school

Provision of adequate educational material in nursery schools with Roma students

! Compulsory education: Systemic intervention to monitor the enrolment and the attendance of Roma children in the compulsory levels of education (9-years compulsory education) with actions such as:

! •

Study for the development of a monitoring and registration mechanism for the Roma population

Development of the monitoring and recording mechanism

Tools to monitor registrations and evaluate the quality and the frequency of study

!

Educational support for Rom a students and actions of social inclusion: set of actions to support and keep children in school

! •

Setting up of reception classes

Summer supporting classes

Information Seminars on children's rights

Information on issues of sexual education and prevention of child/teenage pregnancy , with emphasis on gender equality

34

Programs to combat school violence

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Development of out-of-school activities with an emphasis on specific skills (e.g. music, dance, mathematics)

Support for Roma families with mediators, social workers, psychologists, etc.

! Teachers: Support Activities for teachers of all grades of compulsory education

! •

Training and awareness programmes

Providing support and counselling of teachers by psychologists and social workers

Exploration of probability of points-awarded for educators working in schools with Roma school population that exceeds 30%

! Adult education: strengthening adult education and adult training and special care for children aged 12-17 presenting school dropout rates and are not easily being integrated in school

! •

Information and encouragement of the participation of young people from 18 to 30 year-old in Schools of a 2nd chance and Adult Training Centres

Special care for the participation of Roma women in the above programmes

Special lifelong training courses on issues of staff management and family income (micro financing) and arts-learning with a view to strengthen the education of women

Development of a monitoring mechanism and support for students aged 12-17 who insert late or reinsert into the educational system

!

Secondary and higher education: incentives provision for integration and successful attendance at secondary and higher education •

Institutionalization of scalable money prizes depending on the level of successful completion of each course’s circle

! Awareness raising: informing and raising awareness of local communities on Roma issues

! •

Experiential seminars and workshops to raise awareness on the rights of Roma

Actions for the protection of Roma culture with the participation of a 30% of Roma population!!

!

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

35


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Regional policies for the Romas ! Apart from the national-sectoral programmes, the elected Regions are under the elaboration of their own regional training programmes for the Romas. At municipal level, few municipalities have set up projects, up to date, for the social integrations of Romas at city level. Indicatively, the regional operational program m es include actions as the following: !

Romas Integrated Interventions’ Programme in the Region of Thessaly ! Programme of integrated interventions for the Romas in the fields of education, health, employment and housing interventions designed at regional level through community and national resources, with the participation of the Region of Thessaly, the municipalities in which Romas live, the University of Thessaly and the Development Companies in the region. With the contribution of the Directorate-General for Regional Policy of EU, which expects the mobilisation of regions and countries with concrete measures and tools to intervene in the exploitation of the relevant policies and financing, a broad consultation is being promoted with the participation of Roma associations and the coordination of a interdisciplinary group in order for the following to be included:

! •

The positions and proposals of the Municipalities and the Region for the inclusion in the national strategy for the integration of the Romas, and also

The schedule of a medium-term programme for the implementation of integrated interventions in the areas of education, health, employment and housing

This programme will be a guide and a tool for claiming funds from multiple community and national sources for the 2007-2013 programming period (4th Community Support Framework for Greece) and particularly for the new programming period 2014-2020.

!

36

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


ROMANIA General data about the Roma in Romania At the last census organized in Romania, in 2011, the preliminary official results showed that a number of 619 000 people declared of Roma ethnicity, which means a percentage of 3.2 % of the total population of Romania22. According to the study PROROMI23, conducted by the Word Bank in 2005, estimations were made that the minimum number of Roma in Romania was of 730 174 and maximum of 968 275. However, the NGO’s estimate that a number between 1 500 000 - 2 000 000 Roma people live in Romania, but from different reasons, such as fear to be discriminated they don’t declare their ethnicity at the official census. According to the latest research, 3 out of 5 Roma people feel that they are discriminated when accessing public, health, educational, juridical services or in the labour market and 33% of the people that participated at the study declared they felt discriminated at the police stations or at the city halls24. Regarding the situation of education of the Roma from Romania, recent research on Roma children’s school participation point to an alarming reality: Roma children are more likely to drop out of school than their peers of different ethnicity (EUMAP 2007:25); 4 out of 5 unschooled children are Roma (Presidential Commission Report 2007:8); and Roma children reach significantly lower levels of school participation as regards both primary education (idem), and secondary and higher education (Fleck and Rughini 2008:157; 167). The latest research by Romani CRISS on education and the participation of the Roma children shows that at the age of 3, Roma children’s participation in pre-primary education is over 12 times smaller than the national average and the main reason for non-enrolment in kindergarten is lack of financial resources (44.7%). 57.6% of parents declare that one of their children has dropped out of kindergarten or school, while 21.1% have two children in this situation. 44.22% of the children aged 7-11 are not currently attending/have dropped out of school, whereas 64.62% of the children in the 12-16 age group share the same fate. Dropout is mainly due to financial reasons (41.8%). Other parents (12.5%) placed responsibility for their children’s school leaving upon the education system. Group interviews revealed many manifestations of the inequitable and biased treatment parents and/or their children were subject to in school by teachers, and majority children and parents. As for the children who have never been in school, the reason for their non-enrolment is lack of financial resources (55.8%). To this category we may add the other 13.7% that are out of school MM

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

37


because they have to work inside the household. For the children aged 12-16 years, the work inside the household is pointed out as a reason for non-enrolment by one third of respondents. Parents see school education as a means for their children to avoid a troublesome life like theirs, but also as a future-planning tool (that may equip them with a trade, a job, independence, recognition, and the capacity of making a difference for Roma communities).25

Initiatives regarding the improvement of the Roma situation at national level â&#x20AC;&#x201C; general data The situation of the Roma was approached by elaborating and implementing a series of policies that were meant to contribute to the socio-economic integration of the Roma population, to eliminate the discriminatory practices against Roma and to help preserve the cultural identity specific to Roma. The politics of the Government have been concentrated under the framework of the National Strategy and have been elaborated by all ministries at national level, or governmental structures. These structures have been under the coordination of the National Agency for Roma, an institution especially designed for this purpose. At the local level were created several instruments for implementing the policies: a network of experts (at local and county level), mediators (health and scholar) and structures/offices, local representatives of the National Agency for Roma. Although until now there were significant initiatives of the Romanian Government aimed at improving the situation of the Roma minority in Romania and for supporting the integration of the Roma people, it is very important to analyse these actions, their progress and how the authorities are taking over the recommendations received. After an overview of the legislation, which we will present here, focusing on education, we can conclude that the problems do not persist because of a lack of legislation, but moreover, because of the way the measures are implemented, because of the attitudes and the practices adopted by the people/institutions responsible with the implementation, because of lack of budgets and political commitment.

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38

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


National policies and initiatives for improving the Roma situation in Romania The National Strategy adopted by the Romanian Government for Improving the Situation of the Roma People from Romania The national strategy for improving the situation of the Roma people from Romania was adopted in the year 2001 and aimed at contributing to all domains of life: public administration, social security, health, education, and occupation, housing and culture. It was the first initiative of the government adopted for improving the inclusion of the Roma people in all domains of the society and furthermore, it was a sign of public accountability taken by the Romanian institutions26. In 2011 a new strategy was elaborated by the Romanian Government and at that time the Roma civil society prepared a series of comments and proposals that have been sent to the General Secretary of the Government. The general ideas were that the new strategy should include a series of key elements for formulating a national point of view, so that the document would become a real statement of the public policies and to be assumed with responsibility by the Romanian state.

Decade of Roma Inclusion The Decade of Roma Inclusion is a program initiated by Open Society Institute, the World Bank and the European Union adopted in Budapest, July 2003 during the conference “Roma in an Expansive Europe. Breaking the circle of poverty”. The political program was assumed by nine governments from the Central and Eastern Europe with the aim of eradicating poverty and exclusion and for combating discrimination, Romania included27. The priority domains of the Decade are occupation, education, health and housing. In Romania, the National Agency for Roma is responsible for the coordination of the activities connected to the Decade. The program is also supported by the United Nation’s Program for Development, OSCE, Council of Europe, and the Bank for Development of the Council of Europe. The fundamental value of the Decade is the active participation and involvement of the Roma people and the initiative it’s expected to have coordination at European level and a transparency of the policies regarding the Roma people. In the field of education the Decade for Roma Inclusion has as priorities: •

Assuring the access of Roma at the compulsory education

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

39


Improving the quality of education

Implementing programs for integration and desegregation

Increasing the access to early childhood education

Improving access to post-secondary education for adults

Specific initiatives on the integration of Roma through education Objectives According to the national strategy for the inclusion of the Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity approved for the period 2012-2020, the specific objectives in the domain of education are the following28: •

Assuring equal, free and universal access of the Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity to quality education in the public system of education, with the purpose of supporting the economic progress and the development of a society based on knowledge.

Promotion of inclusive education in the educational system, including the prevention and elimination of the segregation and combating the discrimination based on ethnicity, social status, disabilities or other criteria that may affect children and young people coming from disadvantaged groups, including Roma.

Interculturality In the field of interculturality, in 2006, the Ministry of Education in Romania, approved the modification of the curricula used in the schools from Romania and informed that “the common curricula for the XII grade, in process of modification at the present, will provide a special chapter about the minorities from Romania, including the history of the Roma people living in this space.”29 Order no.1529/18.07.07 regarding the development of the issue of diversity in the national curriculum . The order was issued by the Ministry of Education in 2007 with the purpose of training the students for a society characterized by cultural diversity; (…) in the national curricula will be promoted the valorisation and development of aspects regarding the cultural diversity (ethnical, linguistic, religious etc.). The Order also stated that in the curricular documents – planning, school

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40

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


programs, school manuals and extra-materials, the authors should include aspects concerning cultural diversity, according to the specific of each discipline30.

University level At the university level we can identify two major policies that were implemented for contributing to increasing the number of the Roma students:

Policies of affirm ative actions. In 1992/1993, at the initiative of the Faculty of Social Assistance and Sociology from the University of Bucharest, a number of 10 special places were reserved for the Roma students that wanted to enrol to the University. Afterword’s, this initiative was taken-over by other universities in Romania, within different faculties (in Cluj, Iasi and Timisoara).

In 1998, the Ministry of Education emitted a Ministerial Order Number 3577, which sustained by real measures, affirmative measures the access of Roma students to a higher level of education. In the same year another ministerial order was issued by the Ministry of Education: Order 5083/26.11.1998, which supported the young Roma that wanted to access educational services in vocational schools, high-schools and universities31.

The persons that want to access this type of measures need to present in their admission file a recommendation from a civic, politic or cultural organization, stating that they belong to the Roma ethnicity.

Opened system for the Roma teachers not-qualified (without university studies, only with highschool degree) with the purpose of obtaining a double specialization “teacher – Romani language professor”

Studying the Romani language at the University of Bucharest

In 1998, the Faculty of Foreign Language and Literature in Bucharest initiated a section for learning Romani.

Ministerial orders Order no. 1540/ 19.07.2007 on banning school segregation of Roma children and on approving the Methodology on preventing and eliminating school segregation of Roma children

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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In February 2007, the Ministry of Education and Research, the National Agency for Roma, the National Council for Combating Discrimination, the OSCE/ ODIHR, along with the working group of the non-governmental organisations, Roma Center “Amare Rromentza”, Timisoara Intercultural Institute, Romani CRISS, Save the Children, PER Regional Center, Ovidiu Rom, and represented by Roma Center “Amare Rromentza”, Save the Children and Romani CRISS, signed a m em orandum of cooperation on ensuring Roma children and youth’s access to quality education in Romania, by school desegregation and promotion of education for identity. Following this consultation process, the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth adopted Order no. 1540/ 19.07.2007 on banning school segregation of Roma children and on approving the Methodology on preventing and eliminating school segregation of Roma children. The Order aims at preventing, banning and eliminating segregation, as it is seen as a severe form of discrimination, with negative consequences on equal access of children to quality education. An important aspect of the document is the stipulation of sanctions for those who do not meet the provisions of the Order and the Methodology.

Excepting this Order, the Ministry of Education, Research and Youth adopted Order no.1539/ 19.07.2007 regarding the norms of hiring and of activity of the school mediator and Order no.1529/18.07.07 regarding the development of the issue of diversity in the national curriculum.

A Notification was issued by the Ministry of Education on 3rd of March 2010 concerning the prevention and elimination of pre-school segregation and of the Roma children in the scholar system, and the measures of maintaining the learning in the languages of minorities/study of maternal language within the educational system of Romania32. The notification was issues by the ministry and it previewed the measures that the scholar units of Romania should undertake in order to respect the current legislation for preventing segregation and for ensuring the study of maternal language in schools.

Specific measures focused on the Roma people for increasing access to education •

Organizing classes in Romani language for the Roma students speaking Romani

Encouraging schools to include in their staff teachers of Romani language

Elaborating programs, manuals and auxiliary materials for teaching Romani language

Assuring in each County School Inspectorate a position for an inspector on minorities, that has the role to monitor the participation in education of the Roma children and youngers

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Implementing programs for people that want to complete their studies – “The Second Chance” (correction of the school abandon)

Affirmative measures for children that want to access high-school courses

The school mediator Starting with the year 1990 the concept of school mediator was introduced in the educational programs from Romania. At the beginning, in first years, the concept was tested by NGO’s (such as Romani CRISS, the Intercultural Institute from Timisoara) in the project they implemented. This situation lasted until 2000-2001, when the school mediator was introduced in the National List of Occupations from Romania, as a didactic auxiliary post. In 2007, the Ministry of Education elaborated the ministerial Order 1539/19.07.2007, which established the rules of employment and of activity. The school mediator in Romania is the interface between two systems; the role of the school mediator is to connect the school and the community, to work for developing a positive attitude within the Roma children towards education and for preventing the cases of discrimination and discriminatory behaviours within the educational institutions33. Situation of trained m ediators in 2011 •

417 school mediators trained by PHARE programs

179 school mediators trained by MECT – The Direction for Minorities, in partnership with the National Agency for Roma

20 school mediators trained by Roma NGO’s

236 school mediators trained by MECT – The General Direction for Learning in the Language of Minorities and the Relationship with the Parliament, in partnership with the representatives of UNICEF Romania34

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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44

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


IRELAND

Roma and Traveller Education / Inclusion Policy The issue of poor educational outcomes for Travellers has long been recognised and Pavee Point notes that efforts have been made in this area by successive governments in recent years. However, stark inequalities between Traveller children and the general population remain in relation to education. Early school leaving has been a particular issue for Traveller children, although there have been some small improvements in recent years. According to the 2006 Census of the population 53% of Travellers over the age of 15 years had only primary level education or no formal education. There have also been problems with discriminatory school enrolment policies that exclude Travellers. (See Christian Brothers High School v Stokes, 2012).

There is little data in relation to Roma

experiences and access to education but Roma face significant barriers to accessing education in Ireland. In particular barriers to accessing work and/or social protection acts as a barrier for Roma parents to ensure adequate education for children. The following section outlines the relevant policy areas for Traveller and Roma inclusion in Ireland through education. Section 1 outlines broader equality policies / supports that apply to education and Section 2 focuses specifically on education policy.

Equality Policy Equal Status Legislation The Equal Status Act prohibits discrimination in relation to goods, services and education in relation to nine grounds of discrimination.

Travellers are explicitly named as a group protected from

discrimination under Ireland’s equality legislation (the Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004 and the Equal Status Act 2000 and 2004).

Roma are included as a group to be protected from

discrimination under the heading of ‘ethnic or national origin’.

All educational and training

establishments have an obligation to act in accordance with this legislation. Protection from discrimination through the equality legislation is important for Travellers and Roma, however, the effectiveness of this protection is undermined by: •

excessive funding cuts to the Equality Authority;

the lack of effective protections and remedies for Travellers due to the very low levels of compensation awarded by the Equality Tribunal and;

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

45


National Traveller / Roma Integration Strategy The Irish Government submitted a document entitled ‘Ireland’s National Traveller/Roma Integration Strategy’ to the European Commission as part of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020. As per the Commission’s guidance there is a section on education. However, this strategy is essentially inadequate in its current form. •

This document mainly sets out the strategies already in place for the Traveller Community in the areas of Education, Accommodation, Healthcare and Employment.

The document contains no goals, targets, indicators or related timeframes and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.

No consultation or facilitation of active participation of Travellers and Roma has taken place.

As a result Roma are largely excluded from this document.

In relation to education the document says “The Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy” (2006) covers all aspects of Traveller Education from pre-school right through to further and higher education within a lifelong learning context. The core principle of the report is one of inclusion with an emphasis on equality and diversity and the adoption of an intercultural approach. This is in line with the Government’s recommendations in the National Action Plan Against Racism (2005). The principle of “individual educational need” rather than “Traveller identity��� will underpin future actions including allocation of resources.” (Ireland’s National Traveller / Roma Integration Strategy 2011). The Traveller Education Strategy is discussed in more detail below. It is important to note that the National Action Plan Against Racism has been discontinued.

Dismantling of Equality Infrastructure The National Action Plan Against Racism in Ireland ran from 2005 until 2008 and has now been discontinued. Recent years in Ireland have seen a dismantling of the equality infrastructure that has provided protection for Travellers and Roma and which has provided some accountability mechanisms for the implementation of Traveller policy. In the October 2008 and subsequent budgets there was: •

Approximately 50% cut to the Traveller budget within the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform;

100% budget cut for the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI), resulting in its closure;

46

Discontinuation of the National Action Plan Against Racism;

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


24% budget cut for the Irish Human Rights Commission;

43% budget cut for the Equality Authority.

Education Policy Report of the Task Force on the Travelling Community (1995) The recommendations of this report have been endorsed by all the major political parties in the State. A section of the report deals with education and training under the heading “ General Principles and Broad Objectives for Traveller Education.” This includes recommendations such as: •

Equality of opportunity must exist so as to ensure that Travellers shall have access to all forms of education.

The principle of anti-discrimination should inform all education provision. Acknowledgement of, and respect for, cultural diversity and multi-ethnicity should inform all education provision.

The principle of affirmative action should be applied to Travellers in education.

Rule 10 of the Rules for National Schools, which states that “no child may be refused admission to a national school on account of the social position of its parents, nor may any pupil be kept apart from the other pupils on the grounds of social distinction,” should be applied to all schools, at primary and secondary levels.

There should be full parental involvement in decision making and in the development of education provision for their children and the principle of integration should be applied.”

While seen as progressive, the recommendations of the Task Force have in the main not been implemented.

Education Act, 1998 The Education Act, 1998 sets out “to make provision in the interests of the common good for the education of every person in the State,...to ensure that the education system is accountable to students, their parents and the State... [and that the education system] respects the diversity of values, beliefs, languages and traditions in Irish society..”.

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

47


Education (Welfare) Act, 2000. This Act replaces the School Attendance Acts, 1926 to 1967. The underlying principle of the Act is the development of an integrated, partnership approach to policy in the areas of disadvantage, non attendance, and early school-leaving.

Intercultural Education Strategy, 2009. In the context of integration, the Department of Education and Skills published its Intercultural Education Strategy in 2009. The aim of the strategy is two fold. It is firstly to ensure that all students experience an education that "respects the diversity of values, beliefs, languages and traditions in Irish society and is conducted in a spirit of partnership" (Education Act, 1998). Secondly it aims to assist providers at all levels to create a learning environment where inclusion and integration within an intercultural learning environment become the norm. Travellers were not initially included in the Intercultural Education Strategy, this decision was only reversed as a result of lobbying on the part of Pavee Point and other Traveller organisations. It is of significant concern that Travellers were not included in the first place and largely perceived as indicative of the general exclusion of Travellers and Roma from Government anti-racism and integration policies.

Towards a Traveller Education Strategy In 2003 a joint working group was established drawing membership from the Education Disadvantage Committee (EDC) and the Advisory committee on Traveller Education (ACTE). This group consisted of representatives of the national Traveller organisations and representatives from the Department of Education. A Five Year Strategy was proposed to look at the whole area of Traveller Education which includes; pre-school and early years, Primary, Post-Primary, Further and Adult Education and Third Level. In early 2004 the three Traveller Organisations (Pavee Point, National Traveller Women’s Forum and Irish Traveller movement) suggested to the Joint Working Group that a National Consultation with Traveller Parents and learners would hugely benefit the process of evaluating existing Educational provision and the changes that should be made to Traveller Education in the Strategy. The Joint Working Group were supportive of this and the three National Traveller Organisations took it upon themselves to organise five consultation seminars. The outcome of these Seminars was a report containing

49

recommendations

which

informed

the

development

Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy’.

48

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences

of

the

‘Report

and


It was envisaged that the strategy would take the form of clear goals in relation to optimising/ reallocating existing educational provision for Travellers and outline a process to shift from segregated provision to a policy of inclusion, interculturalism and integration. Implementation and monitoring were seen as crucial to the Traveller Education Strategy.

2006 Report and Recommendations for a Traveller Education Strategy No strategy was subsequently developed from this report and the Department has acknowledged that the report is being read as the strategy for Traveller education.

However, this contains no

implementation plan with associated deliverables and deadlines from the department and essentially is not a strategy as such.

The absence of Traveller involvement in the implementation of the

“strategy” and lack of visibility on actions and progress has been an ongoing concern. Pavee Point also notes the disproportionately high budget for Traveller education but is unclear where the money is actually being spent. There is concern that money allocated to services for Travellers is not reflected in educational outcomes given that according to the 2006 Census of the population: •

53% of Travellers over the age of 15 years had only primary level education or no formal education;

12% of Travellers over the age of 15 years had left school at lower second level;

Only 3% of Travellers over the age of 15 years had completed their education at higher second level and;

0.57% of Travellers over the age of 15 years had completed their education at third level.

2009 Traveller Education Strategy and Consultative Forum (TEACF) Following extensive lobbying a Traveller Education Advisory and Consultative Forum (TEACF) was established in late 2009. Pavee Point are very concerned by the limitations of this Forum: •

the terms of reference are very restrictive;

over 50 people are represented on the forum, making it difficult for an individual Traveller representative to have the opportunity to give their point of view;

meetings will be held only three times per year; and

no subgroups will be established to progress particular issues.

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

49


Traveller Education Cuts In Budget 2011, without notice or consultation and following on from cuts in the school transport scheme for Traveller children, the state cut all support measures to Traveller education from June 2011. This included:

Withdrawal of resource teachers posts for Travellers at primary level

Withdrawal of teaching hours for Travellers in post-primary

Withdrawal of visiting teachers for Travellers (42 posts)

Phasing out of all senior Traveller training centres.

While Traveller organisations have called for a review of many of these education services in terms of effectiveness and value for money and despite the recommendations made in the Report for a Traveller Education Strategy, only one of the services has been reviewed to date. Senior Traveller Training Centres were subject to an internal review which was conducted without any input from Traveller groups and resulted in their closure. These draconian cuts undermine the progress made in Traveller education over the past 10 years.

The budgetary cuts in Traveller education are

disproportionate compared to financial cutbacks of other mainstream educational cuts.

!

50

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Methodology Description framework Successful Educational Actions: overcoming school failure, drop-out and the early school leaving of the Roma children. ROM UP is based on the Successful Educational Actions concept defined in the INCLUD-ED Project35. Successful Educational Actions are different from “good practices”. The main difference is that Successful Educational Actions are never based on assumptions, but in scientific evidences. These actions collect the main scientific community contributions in terms of how to reach educational success and social inclusion in all levels of compulsory education (early childhood, primary and secondary education, as well as VET and special education programmes), focusing on the most vulnerable social groups -such as women, young people, ethnic minorities or people with mental or physical disabilities- (INCLUD-ED Consortium, 2009)36 The Successful Educational Actions identified in the ROM UP! Project is not only based on the contributions from the international scientific community but also in successful evidences to overcome school failure, early school leaving and Roma children drop-out. A description of the 6 Successful Educational Actions identified in the ROM UP! Project is presented below. Later on, a description of 12 experiences which implement one or more of these 6 Successful Educational Actions are going to be presented.

Family and Community participation in decision making processes Family and Community participation in the school have a bearing on students’ level of achievement. It contributes to improve the coordination between school and the families37. This factor is especially TW

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!@E?JBD>^D!K-'8)1#6!A,+$,(60(4&1*+&0"3%#40*"&$"5&4*30$%&3*-(40*"&0"&J#+*)(&1+*/&(5#3$,0*"6!MNN\>MNSS6!\ !G-%.),'-/! K-'<-%..)6!! ?&#&U)$2! %$9! Q'*)-$%$1)! &$! %! b$',()9<)>L%2)9! F'1&)#=6! ?@CV>?C>MNN\>NM[\NT6! D&-)1#'-%#)>Q)$)-%(! :'-! H)2)%-14+!^7-'0)%$!?'..&22&'$6! 36 INCLUD-ED Consortium. (2009). In European Commission (Ed.), Actions for success in schools in Europe. Brussels: European Commission. TY ! F))! _6! J6! ^02#)&$+! dJ'$<&#79&$%(! )::)1#2! ':! :%.&(=>214''(>0)-2'$! &$#)-%1#&'$2! '$! 2#79)$#! '7#1'.)2+e! SNS>SM[+! &$! "6! b)-1/4'::!a^96c+&'(4($+3-&0"&4*30*%*6K&*1&(5#3$,0*"&$"5&4*30$%0L$,0*"@!aQ-))$,&14+!?C3!_"@+!SR[Tc~!!}6!F+!Q-'($&1/+!?6!A6! b7-',2/&+! ! F6! C6! Q7-(%$9+! zG%.&(=! 0-'1)22)2! %$9! #4)! 9)*)('0.)$#! ':! 14&(9-)$2! 2)(:>-)<7(%#&'$z+! J5#3$,0*"$%& 24K3-*%*604,B! TV+! aSRRRc+! T>SV~! y%-*%-9! G%.&(=! H)2)%-14! K-'8)1#+! M$/0%K& 0"?*%?(/(",& /$N(4& $& 5011(+("3(B& M+! ,&$#)-! MNN\5MNNY~!"6!y)$9)-2'$!%$9!b6!J6!I%00+!!&"(O&O$?(&*1&(?05("3(@&F-(&0/)$3,&*1&43-**%B&1$/0%KB&$"5&3*//#"0,K&*"& 4,#5(",&$3-0(?(/(",@&!""#$%&4K",-(404+!a}%24&$<#'$+!D?3!E%#&'$%(!?)$#-)!:'-!G%.&(=!v!?'..7$&#=!?'$$)1#&'$2!,&#4! F14''(26! @$2#&#7#)! ':! ^971%#&'$! F1&)$1)2+! MNNMc~! E6! ^6! y&((! %$9! ! J6! ?6! K6! C%=('-+! dK%-)$#%(! 214''(! &$*'(*).)$#! %$9! 14&(9-)$2!%1%9).&1!%14&)*).)$#3!K-%<.%#&12!%$9!&227)2+e&P#++(",&>0+(3,0*"4&0"&24K3-*%*603$%&A30("3(B&ST+!aMNNVc+!S\SZ S\V~! b6! X6! y''*)->D).02)=+! "6?6! ]%##&%#'+! _6! I6! C6! }%(/)-+! H6! K6! H))9+! _6! I6! D)_'$<+! b6! K6! _'$)2+! b6! K6! dK%-)$#%(!

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beneficial for students from cultural minorities such as the Roma children. Researches show that levels of reading and writing of children improve when their families participate more in schools38. Specifically among Roma students, some researches show the benefits derived from the implication of their families in their level of achievement39. Family and Community participation in decision making processes contributes to promote cultural acceptance. It is basic in aspects such as decisions around the inclusion of Roma culture in the curriculum or about the prevention and conflict solving. The feeling of distrust that many Roma families have for school is the result of different determinant and accumulated experiences. One of this experiences is the belief that education offered by schools is not useful to overcome their social exclusion. Roma families do not distrust education, but of this which does not open doors for a better future for their children. Research also indicates that involvement of families is also mediated by cultural practices40, and that in the case of families from ethnic minorities, their participation contribute to break down the barriers built, especially in dynamics between the majority culture of schools and minority culture of families.41. In order to make this participation real and that it contributes to overcome distrust, it is essential that teachers and decisión making bodies of the educative centers have an egalitarian and facilitator attitude towards families and community. This means, among other factors, to trust that people wathever their educative level is able of dialogue and reflection. It is about recognizing the cultural intelligence42 of everybody wathever their education and cultural origin. It is also about recognizing the equality of differences, on the basis that what makes equal to people is their right to live in a different way43. This attitude means to take into account necessities and interests of families and community. &$*'(*).)$#! &$! 4'.),'-/+e& J5#3$,0*"$%& 24K3-*%*604,B& T\+! aMNNSc+! SRWZMNR~! ^6! I6! K'.)-%$#U+! }6! F6! Q-'($&1/+! ?6! ^6! K-&1)+!dC4)!-'()!':!0%-)$#2!&$!4',!14&(9-)$!%00-'%14!214''(3!"!9=$%.&1!0-'1)22!0)-20)1#&*)+!e!MWR>MY[+!&$!_6!^((&'#!%$9! ?6!F6!D,)1/!a)926c+!F-(&=$"5Q**N&*1&3*/)(,("3(&$"5&/*,0?$,0*"+!aE),!Ä'-/3!Q7&(:'-9+!MNNWc~!y6!})&22+!'(4($+3-&$"5& (?$%#$,0*"&*1&1$/0%K&0"?*%?(/(",&0"&)971%#&'$3!}4%#!(&)2!%4)%9Å!aK%0)-!K-)2)$#)9!%#!#4)!"$$7%(!".)-&1%$!^971%#&'$%(! H)2)%-14!"22'1&%#&'$+!"0-&(!MNNW+!I'$#-Ç%(c6! T[! DÉ)U+!D6+!Q%##+!F6+!v!H%1&'$)-'+!F6!aMNSSc6!K(%1&$<!@..&<-%$#!%$9!I&$'-&#=!G%.&(=!%$9!?'..7$&#=!I).L)-2!%#!#4)! F14''(2! ?)$#-)3! #4)! -'()! ':! 1'..7$&#=! 0%-#&1&0%#&'$6! European Journal of Education+! 46(2)+! S[VZSR\6~! ^6! D)%-&$<+! y6! b-)&9)-+! F6! F&./&$2+! y6! ]6! })&22+dG%.&(=! &$*'(*).)$#! &$! 214''(! %$9! (',>&$1'.)! 14&(9-)$2! (&#)-%1=! 0)-:'-.%$1)3!J'$<&#79&$%(!%22'1&%#&'$2!L)#,))$!%$9!,&#4&$!:%.&(&)2+e!_'7-$%(!':!^971%#&'$%(!K2=14'('<=+!R[+!aMNN\c+! \WT>\\V6! TR! "6!"7L)-#!%$9!H6!X%((2+!dD'$)2!Q&#%$)2!`7)!270)-)$!(Ñ)P1(72&Ö!2'1&%(!%!#-%*Ç2!9)!(Ñ)971%1&Öe!J5#3$30R&A*30$%D'(?04,$& 5S.",(+?("30R&A*30*(5#3$,0?$+!MV+!aMNNTc+!MM>TM6~!BE^F?A+!C$,0*"$%&+()*+,&*1&G+((3(T&'()*+,&)+(4(",(5&,*&,-(&UV,-& 4(440*"&*1&,-(&.",(+"$,0*"$%&P*"1(+("3(&*"&J5#3$,0*"B!Q)$)*)6!aMNNVc+!TY>T[! 4##0355,,,6&L)67$)21'6'-<5@$#)-$%#&'$%(5@?^VY5^$<(&245E%#-)025-)0'-#25<-))1)609:!a%11)22)9!I%=![+!MNNRc6~!D6! H&$<'(9+!I6!"6!A-)$2#)&$+!^6!}&(/)$2+!'*/$&0"&$"&(W)$"50"6&J#+*)(T&Q+($N0"6&,-(&)*?(+,K&3K3%(+!a}%24&$<#'$+!D?3!C4)! @$#)-$%#&'$%(!]%$/!:'-!H)1'$2#-71#&'$!%$9!D)*)('0.)$#!5!C4)!}'-(9!]%$/+!MNNWc6~!_6!QÖ.)U!%$9!_6!X%-<%2+e}4=!H'.%! 9'!$'#!(&/)!.%&$2#-)%.!214''(23!X'&1)2!':!%!0)'0()!,&#4'7#!#)--&#'-=e!=$+?$+5&J5#3$,0*"$%&'(?0(O+!YT!aVc+!aMNNVc+!WWR> RN6! ! VS !F'-9Ç+!I6!aMNN\c6!X(4&+(0?0"503$30*"4&(5#3$,0?(4&5(&%$&5*"$&60,$"$6!]%-1)('$%3!Q%()-%9%6! VM ! A(&*)-+! ^6+! 9)! ]'##'$+! J6+! F'()-+! I6! v! I)--&(! ]6! aMNSSc6! ?7(#7-%(! &$#)((&<)$1)! #'! '*)-1'.)! )971%#&'$%(! )P1(72&'$6! "#$%&'$'&()!*+,#&-./!01!234/ M\Y>MY\~!H%.&2+!I6+!v!b-%2#&$%+!J6!aMNSNc6!?7(#7-%(!@$#)((&<)$1)!&$!#4)!F14''(+!5)(&6'$!7)! 86&9:7&7;9'&9$/ 15aMc+!MTR>MWM! 43 Flecha, R. (2000). Sharing words: Theory and practice of dialogic learning. Lanham, M.D: Rowman & Littlefield.

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For instance, if an assembly open to any family and the community should be announced, it should be carried out in the most convenient schedule, that which guarantee the participation of the most. And also use properly dissemination channels such as word-of-mouth and not to expect that an information note at the door of the school or delivered among children will be enough. Attitude of teachers should be explain directly to families, to invite them to the school and to encourage and motivate them to feel that school belongs to everybody. In decision making processes everybody has to feel that they can give their opinion, that they can explain what they think about and that their contributions are important. If these spaces are based on egalitarian dialogue, contributions will be valued according to the arguments and not according to the position of power of those who make them (teachers versus families). Contributions from families and community should become real actions. Once this happens, the school has sense for everybody. There are many experiences which have as main aim to improve school failure, early school leaving and Roma children drop-out and which include families and community in the decision making processes. In the next section, a selection of experiences carried out in different European countries in which these practices are the usual ones are going to be described. For instance, the decisive participation developed in the School as Learning Communities44 in Spain. In Bulgaria, family decisive participation is developed through “Parent Clubs” in those schools that participate in the “Decreasing the drop-out rate among roma children” program. In Greece, those mothers that belong to the training groups of the Socio-Medical Centers for Romas (Women’s Place in Aliveri – Nea Ionia, Volos) have a participative role in the educational activities decision making. The same thing happens in Ireland, through the “Roma Families Learning RoFaL Comenius Regio Project. The importance of parental involvement in children’s education”. In Romania, families have also an active role in decision making, through the “A Good Start (pre-school)” project.

Inclusion Roma culture In order to overcome the model of white and occidental school historically defined by the European educative systems, a demand arisen by the Roma community is the inclusion of Roma culture in schools45. The inclusion of Roma culture in schools can be done in different and complementary ways such as family and community participation in decision making spaces, as we have seen, but

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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also in other educative spaces, as we will see. One way could be the inclusion of contents related to the Roma culture in the curriculum. Some countries have an experience in this way. For instance, the “Roma culture classes” included in the State School Curriculum in Bulgaria. At present, more than 230 schools in Bulgaria have introduced it into their classes. Classes are elective but more than 5000 Roma and non-Roma students are participating on them. Although this action is fundamental for the recognition and visibility of Roma culture, it is not enough in order to contribute to overcome the school failure and early school leaving of Roma children. That is why, in many of the schools which includes this curriculum in their classes are also implementing other complementary actions such as empowerment and involvement of parents to participate actively in school life, training for all teachers to work effectively in a multicultural environment and maintaining high levels of activity among students through the establishment of Student Parliament or Council, as it is the case of the schools which develop the “Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children” programme, described below.

Roma role models in the school. Inclusion of Roma role models in the school is an action consequence of family and community participation which contributes to eliminate the false dichotomy between education and Roma identity. As a consequence, the lack of Roma references in school is overcame: when it is created a self-confidence atmosphere among teachers and families and Roma adults expend some hours in the school, develop different tasks, collaborate with teachers, attend coordinating meetings or enrol to training courses such as computers or literacy, it is produced a mutual enrichment which generates a change of attitudes in all the involved parts (teachers, families and children). If a child see her grandmother, a Roma woman of respect within the community, collaborates inside her class with her teacher or participates in the school association of families, she establish a clear bringing together between her two worlds46. It has been shown that families’ view of school is radically transformed, changing also their relation with teachers, with other families and having a direct impact on aspects such the reduction of early school leaving and the increase of motivation among Roma children47

The fact of having Roma teachers or other professional or Roma graduates as volunteers in schools is also a way to include Roma role models. Some researches have shown that those students belonging V\

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to ethnic minorities who have as a tutor a person from their same ethnic group, get better marks48. A professional from Roma culture becomes a referent or model who involves breaking down some stereotypes. In the research carried out in Spanish schools with high percentages of Roma students, interviewed Roma and non-Roma teachers explained that in those schools with Romaní teachers, they help to Roma students, specially Romaní, to consider their access to University as well as to become a teacher as possibilities. This Romaní teacher becomes also a reference for non-Roma students because also breaks down stereotypes about Roma culture and the role of Roma women inside society49. The inclusion of Roma role models in the school trough decisive family and community participation and family and community education in Schools as Leaning Communties in Spain50; or in Roma Families Learning RoFaL Comenius Regio Project “The importance of parental involvement in children’s education” in Ireland is described below.

Heterogeneous groups: interactive groups, other inclusive and interactive actions One of the actions which is contributing to overcome school failure, drop-out and early school leaving of Roma children is the organization of classes in heterogeneous groups which includes not only all the resources of professionals but also representatives of families and community as well as any other professional which support teachers at class51. This action is being developed in different European countries. A description of Interactive Groups which include Roma parents and members of the community and which is developed in Spanish schools will be described further; but this action is contributing to include Roma role models in the schools and a key element of self-confidence and motivation for Roma students. Moreover, they contribute to reduce problems of coexistence and to accelerate learning, which break down stereotypes and promote solidarity and respect for the diversity52.

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Other experiences based on inclusive actions which use interactive and dialogic methodologies will be described further in the “Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children” programme in Bulgaria and “A Good Start in School” in

Romania. Bellow it is described the positive effects of the

heterogeneous grouping through cooperative and dialogic learning. The effects of heterogeneous grouping on achievement: Cooperative and dialogic learning53 improve academic achievement and coexistence in heterogeneous classrooms. In cooperative learning, students work in heterogeneous learning groups, maintaining both group goals and individual accountability. This practice also has positive effects on achievement and self-esteem54. Despite sometimes teachers or parents worry that cooperation between students with different levels of attainment will hold high achievers back, there is no support from research for such claim. Indeed, high achievers gain from cooperation (relative to high achievers in traditional classes) just as much as low and average achievers do55. Dialogic and cooperative learning also succeed in including students with disabilities in mixed groups to work with non-disabled peers. Cooperation and dialogue between disabled children and their nondisabled peers increases academic achievement and self-esteem for all students. Non-disabled students are less likely to reject their mainstream classmates, and there are significant improvements in relationships between mainstreamed academically disabled students and their non-disabled peers. For slower learners, cooperative learning benefits are also superior to the ones obtained in competitive learning situations because in the latter is harder for students with a slower pace to compete successfully56. The cooperative and dialogic models are based on positive interdependence within a group of students57. They aim to organise the classroom so that students become a valuable resource. Thus, students who need help can rely on support and feedback from their peers. This structure helps to accommodate students with diverse abilities and produces more meaningful interactions between students as well as a sense of positive interdependence, which also contributes to better peer relations.

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Other effects: Heterogeneous groups may increase students’ self-esteem and help create positive peer relationships. This is especially important in classrooms with students from different backgrounds. In that sense, a relationship has been found between students helping each other in heterogeneous groups and students feeling control over their own fate in school, and also with being cooperative and altruistic58. Moreover, when working dialogically and cooperatively students from families with low socioeconomic status and who were at greater risk of suffering social inequalities have better attendance and behaviour. Diverse interactions also help students develop positive values and attitudes. In a study on the effects of collaborative interactions in relation to achieving more inclusive settings, it was found that those interactions not only promoted mathematical learning in small groups, but also mutual respect, solidarity and the acceptance of diversity59. Moving beyond mixture and streaming, an increasing number of schools are implementing inclusion. Instead of separating the 24 children by ability (the 17 “best” students with one teacher and the seven struggling students with another teacher), the two teachers can collaborate in the same classroom and group the 24 children into four heterogeneous groups in which students work collaboratively. Other adults, family members or other volunteers can participate in the classroom and provide extra support to the students. This is, for example, the structure of Interactive Groups, which research has found to be a very successful way of heterogeneous grouping. Inclusion classrooms arrangements are succeeding, since they enhance instrumental learning (in all subjects) and also help students with learning values and in their emotional development. They also go beyond cooperative learning, restricted to students, and move towards dialogic learning60, which engages family members and the whole community in the entire learning process, including the regular classroom activities.

Family and Community participation in educational activities Another of the actions which is contributing to overcome school failure, drop-out and early school leaving of Roma children is the family and community participation in educational activities61.

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

57


Considered as key agents for social change, teachers have been the ones who have received most training. While the focus on these professionals might have contributed to improve teaching practice, families and community members have not participated in these educational provisions. International surveys are also mainly focused on teachers’ training, not recognizing the importance of educating family and community members. The extension of all the educational provision to all social agents (including family and community members) that interact with the students constitute a crucial and necessary step, if school and home are to be better aligned and more cultural and educational interactions with students are promoted at this setting.

Since the 1970, social reproduction researchers62 have been studying the relationship between student achievement and the educational level of family members. These analyses helped to explain how the social capital inherited by children from their families and their social context determine their academic performance. However, they ignored many other aspects that have also great influence and through which this relationship can be reversed. By focusing only on the family educational level, social reproduction researchers have legitimated this reality and disregarded any possibility of transforming it. Social reproduction analyses have rarely been translated into research efforts focused on strategies to overcome or change such situation. This perspective has been also included in international surveys. Studies such as PIRLS 2006 and PISA 2006 collect data on the number of books children have at home or the number of hours families and children spend reading. Though these indicators may be useful to provide information about educational resources available in the households, they do not shed light on strategies for improving school performance. If we analyse the connection between parents’ educational level and student performance only using data such as the number of books at home, we risk concluding that children’s educational achievement will rise if they have more books at home. If we use data on families’ educational level, the risk will be that no solution would be available until society would increase the levels of education of all families. As a consequence, it is clear that other crucial aspects through which room for transformation do exist. Being one of them the idea that children’s performance improves as they are exposed to more cultural and educational interactions with social agents, and particularly with family members. A possible indicator would be the number of courses family members engage in, and how this promotes these kinds of interactions and enhance students’ achievement. Contrary to the reproductionist theorists, psychologists from the socio-cultural tradition63 argue that by acting on and transforming the socio-cultural context of learning it is possible to improve children’s learning processes and their higher-order thinking abilities. The interactions these children have with \M

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


all the people around them, including teachers, relatives, and peers are key for such socio-cultural transformation. Specifically, socio-cultural psychology stresses that children only reach higher levels of cognitive development when they interact with adults, not only with their teachers, and with more skilled peers. If interactions with community members are key to learning, children’s learning will benefit from investment in the education of all the adults with whom they interact.

Education initiatives for

mothers, for example, are important because they are the ones most involved in monitoring and providing a model for their children’s education64. Accordingly, actions such as dialogic literary gatherings65, in which family members read and discuss literary classics, contribute to creating new educational expectations that have a direct impact on the family learning environment. When nonacademic families participate in these literacy activities, they create new reading practices, cultural roles and models for interaction66 that influence their children’s learning and thus their academic performance. Some of the experiences described further which are developing Family and Community participation in educational activities are the Learning Communities67 in Spain, in the Socio-Medical Centres for Roma (Women’s Place in Aliveri – Nea Ionia, Volos) in Greece, in the “Roma Families Learning RoFaL Comenius Regio Project. The importance of parental involvement in children’s education” in Ireland and in the A Good Start (pre-school) programme in Romania.

Spaces for dialogue, debate and decision for Roma students The creation of spaces for dialogue, debate and decision for Roma students is another action which contributes to avoid the early school leaving. The creation of these spaces for dialogue allows the Roma students who traditionally are excluded from decision making spaces and of debate to become active protagonists of their learning processes and to decide about those questions related to life in the school which directly affect them. This action is being implemented in different ways in the European countries. For instance, the Student Parliament or Student Council created in thos schools which develop the “Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children”68 programme in Bulgaria. Another example to create spaces for

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Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

59


dialogue are the Roma Students Meetings pursued from the Roma Association Women Drom Kotar Mestipen in Spain69. In Bulgaria, Student Parliaments or Student Councils are promoting that students have an space to make their voice heard, express their interests and needs and to participate in the decision making processes around questions of the school and of them in the school. In the Roma Students Meetings70, Romaní students, mothers and grand-mothers debate about the education they want and Romaní women who have access University share their experiences with other women and girls. Both experiences are contributing to overcome drop-out and early school leaving among Roma children. These will be described further.

How we have chosen of the successful educational experiences selected in ROM-UP! Project Starting from the communicative methodology , through which all people involved in the research project participate in an egalitarian dialogue, the Quality Evaluation Group (hereafter QEG), formed by academic and non-academic Roma and non-Roma people with different profiles –CSO participants, teachers, researchers– is aimed to assess the obtained results, re-orienting them if neccesary. One of the QEG main purposes is to guarantee that Roma people’s voice is present in decision making, especially the voice of those more discriminated, such as non-academic Roma women. That’s the reason why there are 4 non-academic Roma people, two of them women. Once the QEG was constituted, and all the educational experiences were submitted by partners in the consortium, the 22 experiences were classified, depending on whether they accomplish the criteria or not. The selection criteria were the following: a) To have been developed in low-income and disadvantaged communities. The case must apply to low-income socio-cultural contexts, with a population facing exclusionary situations, in one of all the following fields (already analysed by INCLUD-ED): education, employment, health, housing, and social and political participation. \R

!I)(<%-+!H6~!J%-)$%+!H6~!H7&U+!J6~!H%..)(+!F6!aMNSSc6!y',!#'!I'*)!:-'.!K',)->L%2)9!#'!D&%('<&1! H)(%#&'$2Å!J)22'$2!:-'.!H'.%}'.)$6!J#+*)($"&_*#+"$%&*1&J5#3$,0*"+!U;!aMc+!MSR>99V6! YN ! ?)$#-)! ':! H)2)%-14! &$! C4)'-&)2! %$9! K-%1#&1)2! #4%#! A*)-1'.)! @$)`7%(&#&)2! a?H^"c6! MNSN6! 'J2<'F& eT& A,+#3,#+$%& (%(/(",4B& $3,0*"4& *1& 4*30$%& $6(",4& $"5& )*%030(4& ,-$,& 3*""(3,& 4*30$%& (W3%#40*"f0"3%#40*"& & O0,-& (5#3$,0*"$%& (W3%#40*"f0"3%#40*"6!@E?JBD>^D!K-'8)1#6!F#-%#)<&)2!:'-!&$1(72&'$!%$9!2'1&%(!1'4)2&'$!&$!^7-'0)!:-'.!)971%#&'$+!MNN\> #4 MNSS6! \ ! G-%.),'-/! K-'<-%..)6! ! ?&#&U)$2! %$9! Q'*)-$%$1)! &$! %! b$',()9<)>L%2)9! F'1&)#=6! ?@CV>?C>MNN\>NM[\NT6! D&-)1#'-%#)>Q)$)-%(!:'-!H)2)%-14+!^7-'0)%$!P*//0440*"6!

60

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


b) To have relevant quantitative evidence of the improvement of the Roma educational situation (e.g. official tests scores, graduation rates, transfer to high school, etc.) in comparison to other communities that shared similar characteristics. The cases must show quantitative evidence already published in reports and/or official data, by public institutions, research projects RTD, or scientific articles published in journals (included in the ISI web of knowledge). c) To have relevant qualitative evidence (e.g. satisfaction, recognition of the transformation undergone etc.) about how it reached the improvement. The cases should show qualitative evidence, including the voices of the people targeted, either member of the community, administrative, policy makers, etc., showing that the implementation of the experiences already improved the social situation of the people targeted. d) Have been developed with a strong community participation level. The cases should include the participation of the community in the whole process: development, management, and evaluation. e) Transferability to other contexts. f) Inclusive experiences that overcome any kind of segregation.

The experiences were analyzed based on the submitted information, asking for additional information if there werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough evidences. Once the additional information was collected, the experiences were analyzed, being identified the kind of actions that have been developed in each case. 6 kinds of Successful Educational Actions were identified. These 6 Successful Educational Actions are developed through the 11 selected experiences. The 6 Successful Educational Actions that have been identified are: 1) Family and Community participation in decision making processes. 2) Inclusion Roma culture. 3) Roma role models in the school. 4) Heterogeneous groups: interactive groups, other inclusive and interactive actions. 5) Family and Community participation in educational activities. 6) Spaces for dialogue, debate and decision for Roma students.

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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The 11 experiences through which the 6 Successful Actions have been developed are: ! Decisive family/community participation. Spain ! Roma students meetings. Spain ! Family and Community Education. Spain ! Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children. Bulgaria. ! Roma culture classes in state school curriculum. Bulgaria. ! Socio-Medical Centres for Roma (Women’s Place in Aliveri – Nea Ionia, Volos) Greece. ! Interactive Groups: Heterogeneous ability classrooms with reorganization of resources. Spain. ! Dialogic Literary Gatherings. Spain. ! Roma Families Learning RoFaL Comenius Regio Project. The importance of parental involvement in children’s education. Ireland. ! A Good Start in School. Romania. ! A Good Start (pre-school). Romania.

June 11 a Quality Evaluation Group meeting took place, in which the 22 potential experiences were discussed, being finally proposed 6 successful educational actions and 12 experiences, amongst those offering more evidences. June 13 the QEG meeting’s minutes were submitted to all partners, in order to obtain feedback, so the proposal could be jointly agreed.

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Successful Educational Experiences Description

of

the

successful

educational

experiences

selected in ROM-UP! Project The 11 experiences through which the 6 Successful Actions has been developed are: • • • • • • • • • • •

Decisive family/community participation. Spain Roma students meetings. Spain Family and Community Education. Spain Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children. Bulgaria. Roma culture classes in state school curriculum. Bulgaria. Socio-Medical Centers for Romas (Women’s Place in Aliveri – Nea Ionia, Volos) Greece. Interactive Groups: Heterogeneous ability classrooms with reorganization of resources. Spain. Dialogic Literary Gatherings. Spain. Roma Families Learning RoFaL Comenius Regio Project. The importance of parental involvement in children’s education. Ireland. A Good Start in School. Romania. A Good Start (pre-school). Romania.

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Decisive family/community participation - SPAIN! !

Methodology Decisive family and community participation is a Successful Educational Action implemented in Schools as Learning Communities in Spain. Learning Communities project is developed in more than 150 schools, from pre-school education to primary and secondary education and adult education. In those Schools as Learning Communities with high percentage or Roma students the educational success includes the reduction of drop-out and early school leaving being a success for all. Decisive family and community participation to engage more representatives of the different groups in decision-making, thus implementing a form of democratic organization. This type of organization includes the voices of all participants in managing the centre; it draws on the idea of “cultural intelligence”. Families and other members of the community participate actively in decision-making processes; in cooperation with teachers, they decide on issues related to learning, the organisation or the school, and/or ways to resolve and prevent conflicts and organise school activities. Because of this approach, the value placed on the contributions of individuals is based not on the status position of the individuals, but on the arguments and contributions they provide; these arguments may come from a more academic or a more practical direction. Two examples are the families’ assembly and the mixed committees. The Families’ assembly is an procedure well-established in one of the schools studied in Spain. This assembly was set up to decide on important issues, such as how to organize classroom interactions and how to deal with the increasing numbers of immigrant children attending the school. Families of various cultural backgrounds and levels of education (even some with no formal education), along with teachers and volunteers, agreed to implement the educational actions that would best respond to the students’ educational needs and requests. As a result of this assembly two decisions were made. First, all the pupils would remain within their classrooms, and would not be separated into different classrooms according to their learning level. Second, all the resources and support would be applied within the regular classroom; these include support teachers for children with special needs, along with volunteers and family members. The mixed committees are a body for decision-making that are form ed by people from of all the groups in the community: families, teachers, students, and other representatives of the community. The mixed committees become, as a community member mentions, one of the main organs to implement it. Basing decision making in mixed committees means having high expectations regarding the abilities of the families for participating in the management of the centre and not only in peripheral aspects.

!

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

65


In order to promote the participation in the Mixed committees all the voices are being taken into consideration and all the people are equally im portant in the com m ittee. The management of the school through mixed committees has fostered the involvement of fam ily m em bers since their opinion has the sam e validity as that of the rest of the teaching staff in these spaces. This is the case of a mother, who explains that her motivation to participate in these spaces is the possibility to decide about relevant aspects of the school. Meetings are carried out firstly in order to make decisions and then a meeting is held in order to inform people about what was decided, it is not simply a case of holding the meeting and people saying they want this and that, and that’s it, no. Later the parents are informed of what was decided and the results of the previous meeting. (…) Everyone participates in all of the meetings here, everyone. (Mother, Mare de Déu School).

Elements that foster participation There are certain strategies that enhance participation. Following there are the main strategies identified: 1. Flexibility in the participation processes promotes a greater amount of community involvement, since the opportunities for participation are not limited to one unique moment or task within a specific timeframe. In fact it is the community itself who decides how and when it wants to and is able to participate. A person from an organisation in the community in the Mare de Déu de Montserrat school explains it in this way: If I wanted to participate more or if I wanted to come in the afternoons to the school as a volunteer the school is completely open, (…) I am excluding myself due to personal and work-related reasons and so on but if it only depended on the school it is always open, always. (Community member, Mare de Déu School) As a consequence, families can feel that the school is taking their needs and problems into consideration, according to a person from an organisation in the community: The school keeps an eye on that a lot and sometimes will hold the same meeting twice, once for those who can make it, which mothers come to and once for the fathers to come to, why not? […] the year when they did the dream phase again, they held two meetings with the fathers on dreams and one with mothers from 3 to 5pm and one more with the fathers at 10 o’clock at night so that the fathers could also talk about their dreams. (Community member, La Paz School) 2. Fam ily and com m unity participation in school is related to incorporating their opinions into the decisions and activities which are carried out. This increases when the space of interaction are based on egalitarian condition of dialogue and prevail validity claims. People

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


participate when they feel their participation is considered important and has a real impact, as this teacher explains: Well I think that people become involved above all when they believe that their participation is real, no? Active participation, participation which involves being listened to and taken into account (â&#x20AC;Ś) the proposals are taken into account, they are debated, arguments are provided for them and the opinion of the community is what makes things move forward. (Teacher, Mare de DĂŠu School)

Description of the targeted area and people Decisive family and community participation is being developed in Schools as Learning Communities in Spain. There are more than 150 Schools as Learning Communities in pre-school education, primary and secondary education and adult education. These Schools are located in a very diversity of places. Those which are located in social disadvantaged territories and with high percentages of Roma students are contributing to equality of results among all children. This successful educational action together with other such as Interactive Groups, Family and Community Education and Dialogic Literary Gatherings, among others, are contributing to improve the academic achievements of Roma Children, and to overcome drop-out and early school leavingYS.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level Pre-school education, primary and secondary education

!

Result achieved. Quantitative evidences72 A large body of literature indicates that family and community involvement in schools enhances student achievement. For students from minority cultures, community participation is especially important, as it contributes to better coordination between the activities carried out at home and those undertaken in the school. YS

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67


The types of family participation in the school are also addressed in the children’s and families’ questionnaires. According to the families, a high percentage of relatives participate in educative – including receiving education themselves, and helping students in the classroom and in afterschool hours– and decisive forms of participation in both schools. It is remarkable that in La Paz School in the 4th round 100% of the respondents reported these types of participation in the school. !

Table 8. Types of participation in the school. 1st to 4th round. Families’ questionnaire. !

Mare de Déu de Montserrat!

! Propose and organise activities! Help the pupils in classrooms! Help the pupils out of the school timetable! Give classes to the families! Receive education! Help pupils in the classroom or after school! Decision-making meetings! Curriculum design and/or evaluation! Attendance to informative meetings! Attendance to school festivities!

La Paz!

1st Year!

2nd Year!

3rd Year!

4th Year!

1st Year!

2nd Year!

3rd Year!

4th Year!

43,8%!

!

!

!

62,5%!

!

!

!

68,80%!

!

!

!

75,0%!

!

!

!

56,3%!

!

!

!

0,0%!

!

!

!

25,0%!

!

!

!

0,0%!

!

!

!

!

50,0%!

37,0%!

38,1%!

!

77,8%!

70,0%!

100,0%!

!

55,0%!

48,1%!

49,5%!

!

33,3%!

80,0%!

100,0%!

!

52,5%!

68,3%!

67,0%!

!

55,6%!

53,3%!

100,0%!

!

12,5%!

28,0%!

16,5%!

!

11,1%!

3,3%!

75,0%!

!

80,0%!

52,4%!

46,4%!

!

44,4%!

40,0%!

75,0%!

!

60,0%!

30,5%!

4,1%!

!

33,3%!

30,0%!

25,0%!

Source: Own creation based on data from the families’ questionnaire. ! !

68

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


!

Figure 14: Types of family and community participation in Mare de Déu de Montserrat and La Paz School. Source: Own creation based on data from the families’ questionnaire. !

As regards the children’s perspective, also high percentages can be appreciated in these forms of participation, but especially high percentages are found as regards their participation in activities related to helping students learning, either in the class or in afterschool activities, probably because this is the type of participation children experience more directly. In Mare de Déu de Montserrat school, this percentage reaches the 82% of pupils who report this type of participation in the 3rd round, and in La Paz the 81% also in the 3rd round. However, high percentages are also obtained as regards family education, as almost the 60% of students in Mare de Déu de Montserrat and the 64% in La Paz reported this type of participation in the 4th round.

! Table 9. Types of participation in the school. 1st to 4th round. Children’s questionnaire. ! ! Help pupils in class activities! Help pupils in activities after school! Help children in learning activities! Help organising or attending school

Mare de Déu de Montserrat 1st Year!

La Paz

2nd Year! 3rd Year! 4th Year! 1st Year!

2nd Year!

3rd Year! 4th Year!

81,20%!

!

!

!

77,14%!

!

!

!

31,90%!

!

!

!

17,14%!

!

!

!

!

50,00%!

82,31%!

74,80%!

!

75,00%!

81,82%!

76,92%!

50,00%!

41,43%!

41,54%!

37,40%!

51,43%!

35,71%!

42,86%!

52,31%!

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

69


celebrations! Come to school to learn!

31,30%!

50,00%!

58,46%!

59,35%!

17,14%!

51,79%!

57,14%!

64,62%!

Decision-making!

!

23,57%!

24,62%!

23,58%!

!

23,21%!

40,26%!

49,23%!

Meetings!

!

42,86%!

48,46%!

38,21%!

!

19,64%!

53,25%!

50,77%!

Source: Own creation based on school data. ! !

!

Figure 15: Types of family and community participation in Mare de DĂŠu de Montserrat and La Paz School. Source: Own creation based on data from the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s questionnaire.

!

Results achieved. Qualitative evidences In La Paz School, one of the decisions taken jointly with the whole community is the elaboration of the school constitution, the rules of coexistence, and the prevention and resolution of conflicts. The implication of the families and the whole com munity in the creation of the school rules and in the actions carried out in case of non-compliance of these rules, has contributed to

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preventing and reducing conflicts and the improvement of the coexistence in the school, as well as increasing and the student’s sense of responsibility, since the school rules were agreed upon along with the families. A primary teacher, describes how one of the mixed committees, in charge of coexistence, promoted community participation in this issue in order to im prove coexistence: In the beginning there were very serious behavioural problems. (...) [and] the coexistence committee, which is in charge of working on all these issues, (...) we telephoned family members so that they are able come and also collaborate, so they are aware of what has happened and able to collaborate (...) [and] so that they can contribute. (Teacher, La Paz School) As a result of this democratic participation in decision making, an im provem ent in the behaviour of the children has been noted in the classroom. Participation has enabled to increase and improve also relations between community members. This involvement also affects positively the resources the school has to improve the learning levels and living conditions of the whole community. Of course, we have changed, some houses, some blocks of neighbours, some families who already work in volunteer bodies ... I think it had never been seen in this neighbourhood before, right? We have created a group of friends. I always say it. These are no longer volunteering mothers (...) There are mothers who spend more hours here than teachers. So no ... I think it has improved a lot. (Mother, La Paz School) In the process of transforming a school into a Learning Community, the phase of dream is realized when all school members envision the ideal school. They make requests and wishes that guide the decisions and changes that will take place in the school. The phase of dream is done in the beginning of the transformation process and is repeated periodically to gather emerging needs. Everyone in the community (students, teachers, family members, non-teaching staff, organisations, and social services) jointly and in a dialogue, expresses their priorities in relation to the school which should be fulfilled in the following months and years. One of the mothers from the Mare de Déu de Montserrat School points out that this phase allows taking part in the decision-making about how to organise the school. They do an activity which is called dreams, in which you write down on a piece of paper the way you would like the school to be, what you would like the school to have, it’s a bit like that, a bit like amongst the things you do… its decided a little bit amongst everyone, if something needs to be done in the school, or needs to be changed, they are interested in what. I see that in the school and the parents participate so then they get the parents involved in everything, in volunteering, in the school board meetings, they participate in everything! C4&2!9).'1-%#&1!'-<%$&2%#&'$%(!.'9)(!'$C)6!&+':!9:+6&7)-$'&:+!$%%!'D)!(:&9)6!-)<%-9()22!':!#4)!2'1&%(!2#%#72! ':!#4)!&$#)-('17#'-!%$9!#4&2!%((',2!&9)$#&:=&$<!%((!#4)!9&::)-)$#!$))92!%$9!0-&'-&#&)26!G%.&(=!0%-#&1&0%#&'$!&$! 9)1&2&'$! .%/&$<! 0-'1)22)2! 4%2! %(2'! %! 9&-)1#! &.0%1#! '$! 14&(9-)$6! C4'2)! :%.&(&)2! ,4'! 0%-#&1&0%#)! .'2#! &$! 9)1&2&'$>.%/&$<!0-'1)22)2!4%*)!.%$%<)9!#'!7)9-)$6)!$E6)+'))&6F!':!#4)&-!14&(9-)$+!%2!#)%14)-23!

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!"#$%"&'()#*$+,$-"#$.#+.'#$/"+$.0)-&%&.0-#$0)#$-"#$+*#1$/"+$)0)#'2$3&11$1%"++'B&,-$,&04B&0,& 04& 3%($+B& Q(3$#4(& ,-(& 0/)%03$,0*"& *1& ,-(& /*,-(+& *+& ,-(& 1$,-(+@& hij& K*#& 3$"& 4((& ,-$,& ,-*4(& 3-0%5+("&$+(&/*+(&/*,0?$,(5B&,-(+(&04&$&6+($,(+&/*,0?$,0*"B&,-(K&3*/(&/*+(&,*&43-**%@&& !

References ! •

Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities (CREA). 2011. REPORT 9: Contributions of local communities to social cohesion. INCLUD-ED Project. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education, 2006-2011. 6th Framework Programme. Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society. CIT4-CT-2006-028603. DirectorateGeneral for Research, European Commission.

Díez, D., Gatt, S., & Racionero, S. (2011). Placing Immigrant and Minority Family and Community Members at the School’s Centre: the role of community participation. <#-:=)$+! >:#-+$%! :?! <7#9$'&:+, @A2B4, 184–196.

INCLUD-ED Consortium. (2009). In European Commission (Ed.), Actions for success in schools in Europe. Brussels: European Commission.

Oliver, E., de Botton, L., Soler, M. & Merril B. (2011). Cultural intelligence to overcome educational exclusion. "#$%&'$'&()! *+,#&-./! 01! 234/! 267-276; Ramis, M., & Krastina, L. (2010). Cultural Intelligence in the School, 5)(&6'$!7) 86&9:7&7;9'&9$/!0G(2), 239-252

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Contact details

72

Title

Romani Association of W om en Drom Kotar Mestipen

W eb

www.dromkotar.org

Phone

+34 933 043 000

e-mail

&$:'°9-'./'#%-6'-<;

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Roma students meetings - SPAIN !

Methodology! A action being developed in the context of the Integrated Plan of the Roma People of Catalonia, are Roma students meetings organised by the Roma Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen. The goal is to increase the presence of Roma girls and women in training activities both encouraging young girls to stay in education through high school and university but also to prom ote training for adult Roma wom en. As it is presented here education is being a key element to increase their social participation, contributing to overcome the situation of social exclusion of the Roma community. The women from the communities where the meeting is being held are directly involved in the preparation of the contents of the congress as well as on its dissemination with the support of the Drom Kotar Mestipen Association. A similar agenda is usually followed in these meetings, seeking a twofold goal: on the one hand, the presentation of experience of Rom a girls and women who are studying at different levels and who are positive role m odels for the rest of the participants and, on the other hand, on the working groups with all participants to share experiences and concerns, and discuss different alternatives and proposals.

Description of the targeted area and people Roma girls, young women, mothers and grandmothers traditionally excluded from opportunities for participation deciding on their education and future. The Roma students meetings are addressing Roma women, particularly those with no academ ic degrees, although the activity is open to all Roma women concerned with the education of their community. These events are organized in different neighbourhoods with a significant presence of Roma population.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level Different critical issues for the Roma community are tackled in the context of these meetings: overcoming Roma school drop-out, increasing role models in schools and universities, (Drom Kotar Mestipen, 2007; 2008; 2009).

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Result achieved. Quantitative evidences Thirteen meetings have already been organised in different provinces in Catalonia witnessing an impressive increase in the numbers of participants, so the last edition gathered over 200 participants from different places in Catalonia (Drom Kotar Mestipen, 2009). This activity has proved to be very successful in involving Roma women without academic qualifications that are usually excluded from social participation

!

Results achieved. Qualitative One of the positive effects identified is the fact that these women become actively engaged in the organisation and development of this activity which has become an empowering tool that leads to their further social engagem ent in the Roma community, in their neighbourhood and schools. Through these meetings Roma women, girls, adolescents, mothers and grandmothers share a special discussion forum to dialogue about the education of Rom a wom en. In these spaces of dialogue -created by the same people who have traditionally been at the margins of public debate and decision making- they can exchange and decide on common requests, interests, and needs. This promotes that they become the protagonists of the actions of the initiated processes of personal and collective transformation to improve their social situation. As for the results, these meetings are contributing to foster educational inclusion of Roma people in many different ways. To start with, they constitute a forum where Roma women exchange their experiences in the educational institutions of all levels and together look for possibilities on how to increase the educational success of Roma students, for example, by providing additional support and incorporating Rom a people in the school which are role models for Rom a girls and boys. Furthermore, these meetings have a strong impact on setting high

educational

expectations for Roma students and motivating Roma families and increasing their expectations. This is achieved -among others- by organizing round tables of Roma women in higher education or with university degrees. By sharing their experiences, they act as role m odels in the Rom a com m unities proving that it is possible to access higher education and work in professions like lawyers, doctors, teachers and others (Drom Kotar Mestipen, 2007; 2008; 2009). Another evidence of their success is its high impact in terms of networking as they provide a forum to discuss a wide range of issues and express the concerns of the Rom a wom en. After these encounters som e of these wom en becam e involved in associations or created their own new associations, increasing their participation in the community as a result of their experience of active participation in these events. The meetings helped to express and formulate the necessities and ideas for many further activities to continue working together for the inclusion of the Roma.

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Roma women are becoming direct interlocutors with public administration in the local, national and European dom ains As one of the most critical impacts of the Roma students meetings, it is relevant to highlight the 1 st International Congress of Roma W omen: The Other W omen. One of the key elements to stress is the fact that the idea of the congress arose from the proposals of the Rom a wom en taking part in the Rom a Students’ m eetings. The possibility to have a context of dialogue and discussion enabled them to think of such an event. The congress is the result of the work of different associations of Roma women throughout Europe, promoted and facilitated by the Drom Kotar Mestipen Association. It took place in Barcelona in 2010 from 8th-10th October and gathered 300 Roma women from 14 European countries. Most of the participants represented m ost excluded Rom a groups as m any of them have low educational levels. For most of the women, this was the very first time that they were given voice to express their concerns and dreams as Roma women. Unlike other public spaces for debate of vulnerable groups, the very Roma women where the ones who spoke out and exchanged their experiences, discussed ways to overcome discrimination of Roma in different areas, and especially how to foster educational success of Roma pupils and university students (Catalan Television, 9th of november de 2010). As a result of the direct dialogue among the Roma women from different European countries, relevant conclusions were gathered with concrete proposals for the inclusion of the Rom a wom en in all spheres of society. Education stood out among them as a fundamental elem ent therefore. One of the most relevant impacts of this congress, is that for the first time, the very Roma women -without intermediaries-, defined their priorities in the Final Conclusions. These key messages were directly sent to the European Commissioner of Education, Culture and Multilingualism and Youth, who did also take part in the congress through video-conferencing. From this exchange, plans for future actions, stemming from these women’s ideas are set out (Responsible of the Drom Kotar Mestipen, personal communication).

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References •

Asociación Gitana de Mujeres Drom Kotar Mestipen [Roma Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen] (2007). Annual report.

Asociación Gitana de Mujeres Drom Kotar Mestipen [Roma Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen] (2008). Annual report.

Asociación Gitana de Mujeres Drom Kotar Mestipen [Roma Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen] (2009). Annual report.

Catalan Television, 9th of november de 2010 4##0355,,,6TMV61%#5*&9)'5TSVMVYM

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4##0355,,,6TMV61%#5$'#&1&%5[[RTN[51%#%(7$=%5^(>0-&.)->?'$<-)2>@$#)-$%1&'$%(>9)>D'$)2>Q&#%$)2> %0'2#%>0)->()971%1&'>1'.>%>*&%>0)->%>(%>&$#)<-%1&'>2'1&%(>&>(%L'-%( •

Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities (CREA). 2011. REPORT 7: European policies: Education and social cohesión. INCLUD-ED Project. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education, 2006-2011. 6th Framework Programme. Citizens and Governance in a Knowledge-based Society. CIT4-CT-2006-028603. Directorate-General for Research, European Commission.

Melgar, P., Larena, R., Ruiz, L., & Rammel, S. (2011). How to Move from Power-based to Dialogic Relations? Lessons from Roma Women. European Journal of Education, 46(2), 219–227.

Contact details

76

Title

Romani Association of W omen Drom Kotar Mestipen

W eb

www.dromkotar.org

Phone

+34 933 043 000

e-mail

&$:'°9-'./'#%-6'-<;

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Family and Community Education - SPAIN

Methodology It refers to the participation of parents and community members in learning activities offered at the school an addressed to them. In the following, the elements of participation that have contributed to the success of these types of participation as well as the improvements obtained are presented. In the first place, it is noteworthy that the activities of family and community education correspond to the demands of the families and the community members (literacy, numeracy, ICT, etc.). The analysis demonstrates that the participation of family and community members in training activities improves children’s academic results. This improvement can be observed not only in the increase related to the acquisition of basic competence according to the curriculum but also as in the positive effect on other aspects, such as a reduction of absenteeism and an increase of the registration, as results from this research and which provide insight into the different mechanisms that promote this improvementYT. Family education helps to bring educational practices in school closer to learning practices at home. Family and community education helps families to transmit a positive attitude towards learning, which then reflects in learning more and better and having more motivation to learn. Family training also causes the rise of families’ expectations towards their children. By participating in family education, parents start to understand the education system as well as realise that they themselves can learn and interact with other social referents, and thus become aware that also their children can succeed in this educational system, which translates into holding greater expectations for their own children’s learning possibilities. At the same time, the fact of children observing their parents engaging in similar educational activities as they do improves their relation with their parents. According to previous literature, family training enables parents to help their children in their learning process. According to the evidence collected, family training, which is designed democratically, allows improving the level of education of the parents. As a result, family education allows that families increase their skills for reading, writing and talking about school issues with their children, and hence, it promotes the increment of the academic interactions between children and their families.

YT

! C4)! )*&9)$1)2! 24',$! %-)! #4)! -)27(#! ':! `7)2#&'$$%&-)2! %$2,)-)9! L=! :%.&(&)2! %$9! 2#79)$#2! :-'.! #,'! 1%2)>2#79=! 1%--&)9!'7#!&$!#4)!@E?JBD^>^D!K-'8)1#6!C4)2)!1%2)>2#79&)2!%-)!#4)!F14''(!%2!J)%-$&$<!?'..7$&#&)2!I%-)!9)!DÇ7!9)! I'$#2)--%#!%$9!J%!K%U!F14''(+!#4)!:&-2#!'$)!('1%#)9!&$!#4)!"7#'$'.72!-)<&'$!':!?%#%('$&%+!%$9!#4)!2)1'$9!'$)!&$!#4)! "7#'$'.'72! -)<&'$! ':! ?%2#&((%>J%! I%$14%! &$! F0%&$6! ! ?)$#-)! ':! H)2)%-14! &$! C4)'-&)2! %$9! K-%1#&1)2! #4%#! A*)-1'.)! @$)`7%(&#&)2! a?H^"c6! MNSS6! 'J2<'F& gT& P*",+0Q#,0*"4& *1& %*3$%& 3*//#"0,0(4& ,*& 4*30$%& 3*-(40*"@! @E?JBD>^D! K-'8)1#6! #4 F#-%#)<&)2!:'-!&$1(72&'$!%$9!2'1&%(!1'4)2&'$!&$!^7-'0)!:-'.!)971%#&'$+!MNN\>MNSS6!\ !G-%.),'-/!

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These findings are supported by previous works that stated that improving parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; reading skills allows greater opportunity for low-income parents to match the school culture. This justifies the emphasis put on the need to ensure equity in the distribution of literacy programs. In sum, the case studies analysed have shown that this parent participation serves to empower them, and that they can help promote further education development in their children as well as greater social cohesion.

Description of the targeted area and people Family and Community Education are carried out en Schools as Learning Communities in Spain. There are more than 150 Schools as Learning Communities in pre-school education, primary and secondary education and adult education. These Schools are located in a very diversity of places. Those which are located in social disadvantaged territories and with high percentages of Roma students are contributing to equality of results among all children. This successful educational action together with other such as Interactive Groups, Family and Community Education and Dialogic Literary Gatherings, among others, are contributing to improve the academic achievements of Roma Children, and to overcome drop-out and early school leavingYV.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level Courses for family members are organized in these schools. One main characteristic of these courses is that they are organised to respond to their needs as they themselves express. This is possible because the family members are participants in the entire organisation of the activities for their own education, from the choice of the subject to the timetable. This characteristic promotes a greater degree of participation of family members in the courses. Volunteers and other people employed by the town council have given IT classes, literacy classes and different talks on subjects requested by the families.

Results achieved. Qualitative The main motivation of the families is to be participants in their own learning and thus educators understand and incorporate the needs of the participants into their classes. A teacher from Mare de DĂŠu de Montserrat School, explains that the courses are organised to respond the education needs expressed by the participants. YV

! @E?JBD>^D! ?'$2'-#&7.6! aMNNRc6! @$! ^7-'0)%$! ?'..&22&'$! a^96c+!!3,0*"4& 1*+& 4#33(44& 0"& 43-**%4& 0"& J#+*)(6! ]-722)(23! ^7-'0)%$!?'..&22&'$6!! !

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The family education in the school is… “a la carte”, in other words, in their dream the parents decided, they said, they expressed what they wanted, and which subjects they wanted to learn and we try to respond to that (…). (Teacher, Mare de Déu School) The classes are adapted to the training needs of the families but also to other needs such as schedules. In this sense, there is flexibility in the timetable. In Mare de Déu de Montserrat for instance, since the school year 2008-09 activities are implemented on days and hours allowing the participation of working families. As regards promoting specifically the participation of mothers, certain actions have been noted to be necessary, such as having a person taking care of the youngest children (free of charge) while the mothers were learning. A mother explains how the implementation of this measure has facilitated mothers’ participation: it was a very a very big step as well, which went very well, the fact that they had someone (…) who looked after the baby sitting service while the mothers were studying, working… were… […] And they want to continue next year. (Mother, Mare de Déu School)

References !

Christou, M., & Puigvert, L. (2011). The role of “Other Women” in current educational transformations. International Studies in Sociology of Education, B0(1), 77 – 90.

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Flecha, A., García, R., & Rudd, R. (2011). Using Health Literacy in School to Overcome Inequalities. <#-:=)$+!>:#-+$%!:?!<7#9$'&:+, @A2B4, 209–218.

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Oliver, E., de Botton, L., Soler, M. & Merril B. (2011). Cultural intelligence to overcome educational exclusion. "#$%&'$'&()!*+,#&-./!01!234/!267-276

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Rogoff, B.; Goodman Turkanis, C. & Bartlett L. (2001) Learning together: Children and adults in a school community. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Santa Cruz, I., Siles, G., & Vrecer, N. (2011). Invest for the Long Term or Attend to Immediate Needs? Schools and the Employment of Less Educated Youths and Adults. <#-:=)$+!>:#-+$%!:?! <7#9$'&:+, @A2B4, 197–208

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Soler, M. (2004). Reading to share: Accounting for others in dialogic literary gatherings. in Aspects of the Dialogical Self. International Cultural-Historical Human Sciences, ed. Marie-Cécile Bertau. Berlin: Lehmanns Media.

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Contact details

80

Title

Romani Association of W omen Drom Kotar Mestipen

W eb

www.dromkotar.org

Phone

+34 933 043 000

e-mail

&$:'째9-'./'#%-6'-<;

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Decreasing the drop-out rate among Roma children - BULGARIA

Methodology The project “Decreasing the Dropout Rate of Roma Children from School” is a three-year program implemented by Center Amalipe - Bulgaria with grant support Foundation.

from “America for Bulgaria”

Its main target is to reduce the dropout rate of Roma children liable to school

attendance. The project activities aim also at handling the issue of school absences, dissatisfactory school marks, the relatively low percentage of Roma who continue their education at secondary schools (high schools), the carelessness of Roma parents about school life and school management structures. The project activities are initiated in concord with the principle that a well-functioning school is the best guarantee for the attracting, retention and success of students. It is also the best environment contributive to successful educational integration of Roma children. A well-organized school knows how to involve parents, has the resources to offer a wider range of educational opportunities outside the one-shift classroom and applies modern methods of teaching (including intercultural interactive education). The main concept of this project is that dropout is pedagogical issue and educational resources are necessary to overcome it: social activities are not self-sufficient but rather complementary solution in this case. A change in the overall school environment is necessary: changes in teaching methods applied in curricula, organization of the learning process with parent participation. Interactive and intercultural education is the best basis for mastering the dropout issue: an example in this respect are the schools teaching the non-compulsory subject ‘Ethnic Folklore – Roma Folklore’. In 2010/2011 school year Center Amalipe gained experience in terms of co-work with schools, totally 34 schools in 10 regions of Bulgaria, 13 of them were ‘mentoring’ and 21 ‘pilot’ schools. One of the main approaches applied in the program is the division of schools into two sub-categories mentioned above. In this respect, mentoring school is the school which has gained certain amount of experience and is successful in its efforts to attract and retain Roma children in school and pilot school is a school which is supported by the mentoring in the development and implementation of its dropout prevention program. In the second project year, 2011/2012, Center Amalipe introduced the “Program for Reduction of the Dropout Rate of Roma Children” in 90 schools (34 ‘mentoring’ and 56 ‘pilot’ schools) in 20 regions of Bulgaria. The methods applied together with pilot schools to achieve these results proved in the long run effective. The school programs for dropout prevention and student retention is an essential tool for planning activities targeted at keeping students in school. Each school identifies initially its specific

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objectives and target group, then the specific activities targeted at retaining and attracting the children depending on the specific problems it faces. General trend of all school programs is that they envisage activities in four key areas: - W orking with teachers – trainings (divided into seven moduli) for all teachers to work effectively in a multicultural environment. These trainings are conducted on the basis of the ‘Teachers teaching teachers’ method: mentoring teachers have been trained after which they are due to conduct a training module once a month in the pilot schools following a preliminarily set plan; - Engaging parents - empowerment and involvement of parents to participate actively in school life by creating a Parent Club which meets on a regular basis to plan on organization issues targeted at active school life of their children and dealing with cases of children at risk of dropping out; participation of parents of Roma ethnicity in a Board of Trustees, establishment and conducting Parental Discussion Forums on specific topics and problems or on their own initiative. Each school has the option to choose which of these three forms to use depending on the state of its parent community; - M aintaining high levels of activity am ong students - through the establishment of Student Parliament/Council and its active work on dropout prevention through applying ‘peer education’ approach, etc.; - Introduction of multicultural and interactive education - in all project schools ‘Ethnic Folklore - Roma Folklore’ classes have been introduced which played key role in keeping children at school. In addition, intercultural elements have been incorporated in the mandatory school subjects. Many extracurricular activities brought about variety in the learning process. The great mission of the Program is !"# !$%&# !'(# )*'""+# ,&!"# -# .+-*(# /"%# (0(%1#*',+23# The basic approach is that knowledge is achieved in sharing values and culture. This is something that any one student can be good at. The program is based on several basic principles:

1. Every student can be a winner! Each student is good at something. This can be a field from the curriculum or to remain outside it. The idea of what a student is good at may offen be different from what we imagine as “good at. .. "A student may be good at Math, but another may be good at being a leader and organizing others, or be good at navigating in the woods, or a good musician, etc. Our approach is: To find the area in which a student is good at; To help him/her become a winner in this area by building on their knowledge and skills in a way acceptable to society;

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To develop additional skills in other fields that lie in the curriculum stepping on the basis of what weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve already found the student is good at, ie make the transition from what the student is a winner to what the society would perceive as a winner. For example, a student who is a good musician can further develop this skill into things that are useful in and outside school. He/she can easily learn how to make a budget for the concert or the manifestation of his future band and so not only to develop their skills in Mathematics, but also to see its practical application of this subject in life.

2. Setting High Expectations Everyone strives to achieve what is expected of him. Very often the development of Roma children is determined by the low expectations that others (especially teachers) have about them. To convince students that they can achieve things, we should have in mind that many of the barriers are formed by the environment in which they lives and overcoming them requires a multifaceted impact, including also the environment. Eg. many Roma children believe they can not succeed because they are Roma: raising their awareness and pride in their identity is an important step for the formation of the belief that they can succeed. Therefore, in order the children to achieve better results and to constantly develop we should be setting newer and higher expectations before them. The key to the success in working with each child is not to be satisfied with what is already achieved but make him or her want to pursue the next goal to the next skill. Each child must be demonstrated that he or she can suceed and to further set higher goals and expectations. However, expectations should be realistic and achievable and should require intensive work and effort of each student. Every child must learn that if he or she puts enough efforts s/he can succeed and achieve the objective which has been set and this will lead to a change in his/her life. Every child must learn to believe that "I can ..." and "I want to ...Âť Once the targets (whether general for the group or individual for each student) have been set, they must be recorded in a visible place in the classroom or school.

3. The school can be attractive for every child! To be attractive a school has to be recognized by the children, their parents and the community as "their" institution. In order to achieve this it is necessary the people from the community to find something of their culture in school, the school environment to be attractive for every child and the school to engage in community life. On the other hand, it is necessary to see any practical benefit of the school's program and all teaching learning process to cover areas that provide life skills. ("Non scholae, sed vitae discimus" - "Not for school but for life we learn"). Our approach is:

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To support the implementation of intercultural education in schools - by curriculum and extracurriculum forms â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in order to help children and parents from minority groups to see their culture in school, and to foster the formation of tolerance among all children and parents; for example Roma culture classes. To organize various extracurricular activities as a means of engaging the school with the life of the local communities and an opportunity to develop studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; skills while having fun; To introduce various forms of participation of parents and representatives of local community in the school life: active, rather than formal participation of the parents in school board, their participation in class and extracurricular activities

4.The school can be a well functioning system A well organized school is the best guarantee for attractibng, keeping and achieveing successful results of students. It is also the best environment for successful educational integration of Roma children. Well organized school knows how to involve parents, has the resources to offer a wider range of educational opportunities outside the one-shift classroom and apply modern pedagogical methods of work (including interactive and multicultural education). Our approach is: Em powering parents: through various forms of parental participation in school management (eg school boards, etc..) and by emphasizing the equal participation of Roma parents; Activating students through various forms of student governance and by emphasizing the equal participation in them of Roma pupils; Assisting teachers: a teacher in the Bulgarian school carries the spirit of the Renaissance. S/he applies innovative methods for working with students and educational integration of Roma children. An example of this are the teachers teaching Roma culture classes. We support methodically their efforts, their successful further development and to find their rightful place in school and social hierarchy; Assisting the Director: largely the success of a school, and often even its future depends on the managerial skills of the director. We assist the directors of schools in which Roma children are taught to organize and steer their school to attract additional resources and more. So that it can successfully integrate minority children and provide quality education. One of the basic approach of the program is increasing Roma parents participation not just as simple participants in the initiatives organized by the schools included but also as active members in school life. One of the key elements of the program is establishing parents clubs in all participating schools. The Parents clubs participate in the decision-making process regarding school life, in the discussions

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


about measures and actions for reducing the drop-out rate in the given school, as well as act as a monitoring body of school policies affecting the equal access of Roma children to school and the quality of education. Furthermore, as a result of the project intervention many of the schools hired Roma as teachers or non-pedagogical personnel.

Description of the targeted area and people The major focus of action is Roma community in general and specifically Roma children. Roma children drop out of school in high numbers. According to a survey carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science Roma children compose 21 % of the students at first grade and only 7,8 % at 8th grade. This means that two thirds of Roma children who attend 1st grade drop-out without obtaining any educational degree. This affects their chance for success later in life. In addition, many Roma children have relatively low school grades and meet serious educational difficulties at school. Infrequent attendance and many absences (!"#$%#!"!# &'()('%#*) often characterize the presence of Roma in primary and junior high schools. These foster additionally the dropout process among them. Furthermore, Roma parents do not participate in school life; they often perceive school as an alien (even hostile) institution. As a result they are not deeply engaged with schooling and do not support actively the education of their children. This also increases the dropout rate in Roma community. During the first year the Program included 7755 students from 1st to 8th grade (51% Roma students and 49 % Non-Roma students). In the second year of the Program the number of students has increased to 19584 students.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level Elementary and primary education

Result achieved. Quantitative evidences75 In the first year of the project it covered 34 schools: 13 mentoring and 21 pilot schools in 10 districts in Bulgaria. 7755 students entered the classrooms of the project schools at the beginning of the school year. One of the goals of the program however is to raise the tolerant attitudes in the

YW

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classroom therefore it has covered both Roma and non-Roma students: 51 % of the students in the project schools were Roma and 49% non-Roma. 7558 students finished successfully the school year. During the first school year: - 307 children got additionally enrolled during the school year - 176 children went abroad - 254 children were moved and continued their education in other schools - 74 children dropped-out As a result of the project interventions the dropout rate at the end of the first term was 0.58%, while at the end of the second term â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 0.38% compared to 2.47 % average dropout rate in the project schools in 2009/2010 school year. - 924 students participated in the Roma SIP classes divided into 52 groups (one of the schools having 5 groups). The project has a significant direct impact on the pupils included in the Roma culture classes: - The average number of absences (including all absences, excused and unexcused) in the project school during school year 2010/2011 has dropped to 40.66 absences per student compared to 110 which is the critical line accepted by the Ministry of Education as an indicator for a student in risk of dropping-out. At the same time the average number of absences per student of those students participating in the Roma SIP class is 22.55 (including all absences, excused and unexcused) which shows that the concentrated intervention of the Roma SIP classes significantly reduced the absences rate with around one half. Moreover, only four out of 924 students included in the Roma culture classes have dropped-out which is 0.43 %. - The average marks of the pupils involved in the Roma culture classes are relatively higher (4.61) compared to the marks of the eight-graders (4.01), but at the same time still lower than those in the elementary classes (4.68 in 1st and 4th grades). - Furthermore 59.56 % of the Roma students in the eight grade continued their education in highschool which is also to high extend due not only to the various elements of the drop-out prevention program but also to the campaigns organized in the project primary schools with the active participation of the students supported from the Emergency fund. As a result of the combined effort 297 Roma children continued to secondary education compared to 105 students in the previous year. - 48 children and teachers participated in the visit at the Bulgarian Parliament. During the second school year of the program the average number of absences per student was reduced from 40.66 (during the previous year) to 18.35. In addition, the drop-out rate of the students

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participating in the Roma culture classes was reduced to 0.22 % at the end of the first term; the absences of these student have been reduced from 22.55 (during the previous year) to 12.76.

Results achieved. Qualitative The quality of the initiative was assessed several times by high-level officials from the Ministry of education – Minister of Education (see the movie “Mission Amalipe”), Deputy Minister of Education Milena Damianova from one side and from people participating in the program: teachers, students and parents (feedback questionnaires and remarks from people participating in the initiative). - 70 % of the schools organized celebrations for April 8th during the first year. These celebrations were an indicator not just for the raised interest of students towards educational activities, but also an indicator for the increased parents participation in school life. - More than 1000 children participated in the 8th edition of the Chiildren Roma Festival Open Heart which took place on June 4 – 5 in Veliko Turnovo. Their feedback from the participation in this event shows the impact the project initiatives had on them. Furthermore, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science has assessed the benefits of the Program and has included key elements in several educational policies: each school is required to prepare its School program to reduce drop-out in the new School Education Law. The introduction and implementation of these programs is supported via a National Program. Different methods utilized by the current pattern are recommended in the various programs and projects managed by the Ministry of Education. The Program ‘Decreasing the Dropout of Roma children from School’ becomes an example of how a successful initiative of an NGO can be institutionalized by the Ministry of Education thus reaching out to hundreds of thousands of children.

References +"!'), $- ."/01"'!#2"(3# 0#-4&5 # '&4",-!'!&(' “6.-4#7"” [Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance] (2012) Annual Report 2011. +"!'), $- ."/01"'!#2"(3# 0#-4&5 # '&4",-!'!&(' “6.-4#7"” [Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance] (2011) Decreasing the Drop-out rate among Roma Children: special issue (July 2011). bTV (2011, Feb.22) Discussing the reducing of the drop-out rate among Roma children. http://www.btv.bg/news/bulgaria/obrazovanie/story/720860026Obsajdat_preventsiya_za_otpadaneto_na_detsa_ot_uchilishte.html, last accessed: 2012-05-22

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Az Buki Newspaper of the Ministry of education (2012). Every school with a strategy how to overcome the problem of the early school leavers. Issue No.4/2012 Council of Ministers (2011). Monitoring report for 2011 for the Implementation of the National Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion. http://nccedi.government.bg/page.php?category=73&id=1706, last accessed: 2012-05-22 National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues (2012). Report for the activities of the NCCEII for 2011. http://nccedi.government.bg/page.php?category=73&id=1706, last accessed: 2012-05-22 Ministry of Education and Science (2010). Strategy for educational integration of children and students from the ethnic minorities Council of Ministers (2011). Action plan for the Implementation of the National Roma Integration Strategy More than 50 publications for the implementation of the model in various regional and national newspapers Website of the initiative: http://romaeducation.com/index.php/bg/

Contact details Title

AM ALIPE-Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance

W eb

www.amalipe.com

Phone

+34 933 043 000

e-mail

t_krumova@yahoo.com,

www.romaeducation.com

amalipe.edu@gmail.com

! ! ! !

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Roma culture classes in state school curriculum -BULGARIA

Methodology The inclusion of Roma culture classes into the curriculum of state schools in Bulgaria is a program which has been established and developed by Center Amalipe (Bulgaria) since 2002. The core of the program is the introducing of the subject â&#x20AC;&#x153;Folklore of the ethnoi in Bulgaria - Roma Folkloreâ&#x20AC;? (Roma culture classes). It is an elective course included in the curriculum of state schools. The classes are divided according to the age differences into 2nd to 4th grade and 5th to 8th grade. The aim of the program is: 1. Preventing the dropout of Roma children by bringing the school close to the Roma family (through including elements of Roma culture in school curriculum) 2. Strengthening the identity of Roma children and raising their motivation for higher school achievements 3. Making children of non-Roma origin familiar with Roma culture and thus help them overcome prejudices and accept Roma kids. The Roma culture subject is being taught not only to Roma, but also to Bulgarian and Turkish children. The subject is taught in Bulgarian, the learning aids published illustrate the variety of Roma folklore, its relations to the folklore of other ethnicities in the context of the Bulgarian national culture. For the purpose, a complete set of methodological aids (textbooks, workbooks, teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s books, interactive audio and video materials) is published which have been dispatched to schools teaching this subject free of charge. The Groups: All the groups are heterogeneous including not just Roma kids (which are around 53 %), but also children of Bulgarian (28%) and Turkish (19%) origin. The Roma folklore classes target the non-Roma students as well: one of their major functions is teaching tolerance. At the same time all Roma groups are presented in the classes (depending on the regional specifics): Roma kids with Romani, Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian mother tongue. The fact that some of the children have preferred Turkish or Vallachian consciousness did not turn into a serious obstacle for the successful functioning of the groups. The children from the Millet and Rudari groups found many things from their own traditions in the textbooks and this made them join the classes and activities with pleasure. The teachers in Roma folklore are from the same school. All of them had undergone a special training at the beginning of the school year about what is Roma culture and how to work with Roma children in a mixed environment.

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The Classes: The teachers base their Roma folklore classes on the interactive techniques. The student activity and interest are the leading factors in the organization of a lesson. These are the classes where the lowest number of absences has been registered. Teachers’ approach: Teachers are required to use interactive techniques and create attractive school environment; all classes are open for parents and other community members; some of the classes take place out of the school – in the community. Everyone strives to achieve what is expected of him. Very often the development of Roma children is determined by the low expectations that others (especially teachers) have about them. To convince students that they can achieve things, we should have in mind that many of the barriers are formed by the environment in which they live and overcoming them requires a multifaceted impact, including also the environment. Eg. many Roma children believe they can not succeed because they are Roma: raising their awareness and pride in their identity is an important step for the formation of the belief that they can succeed. The basic approach of the program is the belief that each student is good at something. This can be a field from the curriculum or to remain outside it. The idea of what a student is good at may offen be different from what we imagine as “good at. .. ". A student may be good at math, but another may be good at being a leader and to organize others, or being good at navigating in the woods, or a good musician, etc. Our approach is: To find the area in which a student is good; •

To help him/her become a winner in this area by building on their knowledge and skills in a way acceptable to society;

To develop additional skills in other fields that lie in the curriculum stepping on the basis of what we already found the student is good at, ie make the transition from what the student is a winner to what the society would perceive as a winner.

To be attractive a school has to be recognized by the children, their parents and the community as "their" institution. In order to achieve this it is necessary the people from the community to find something of their culture in school, the school environment to be attractive for every child and the school to engage in community life. On the other hand, it is necessary to see any practical benefit of the school's program and all teaching learning process to cover areas that provide life skills. ("Non scholae, sed vitae discimus" - "Not for school but for life we learn"). The basic approach is:

To support the implementation of intercultural education in schools - by curriculum and extracurriculum forms – in order to help children and parents from minority groups to see their culture in school, and to foster the formation of tolerance among all children and parents;

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


To support the introduction of various quality extra-curriculum activities in order to ensure the diversify of the curriculum and bring it closer to the needs of students: ECA "Ethnic Folklore Roma folklore" is an example in this regard;

To organize various extracurricular activities as a means of engaging the school with the life of the local communities and an opportunity to develop students’ skills while having fun;

To introduce various forms of participation of parents and representatives of local community in the school life: active, rather than formal participation of the parents in school board, their participation in class and extracurricular activities

Description of the targeted area and people The major focus of action is Roma community in general and specifically Roma children. Roma children drop out of school in high numbers. According to a survey carried out by the Ministry of Education and Science Roma children compose 21 % of the students at first grade and only 7,8 % at 8th grade. This means that two thirds of Roma children who attend 1st grade drop-out without obtaining any educational degree. This affects their chance for success later in life. In addition, Many Roma children have relatively low school grades and meet serious educational difficulties at school. Infrequent attendance and many absences (!"#$%#!"!# &'()('%#*) often characterize the presence of Roma in primary and junior high schools. These foster additionally the dropout process among them. Furthermore, Roma parents do not participate in school life; they often perceive school as an alien (even hostile) institution. As a result they are not deeply engaged with schooling and do not support actively the education of their children. This also increases the dropout rate in Roma community. At present more than 230 schools in Bulgaria have introduced these classes including more than 5000 students.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level Elementary and primary education

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Result achieved. Quantitative evidences76 The Roma culture classes have proved to be a successful model for: •

Introducing minority (Romani) culture and traditions in the curriculum of state schools through the subject “Folklore of the ethnoi in Bulgaria – Roma folklore”

A mechanism for raising Romani children interest and engagement towards schooling through recognizing their own traditions in the school issues.

A mechanism for awakening parents (community) engagement with the school

A mechanism for overcoming prejudices against Roma on behalf of the other ethnoi and thus preparing the environment in mixed schools for accepting Roma children.

A mechanism for getting educational and local authorities engaged with the problems of Roma education

Most of the principals and the teachers pointed out the following successful results: •

high level of presence in the Roma folklore classes. Almost everywhere this leads to raising the presence of all classes and more responsible attitude towards school of all students included in the program;

raising the self-dignity of the Roma children

overcoming the prejudices towards Roma kids on behalf of their school fellows of Bulgarian and Turkish origin.

Turning the classes into real teams

Enriching the vocabulary of the students;

Raising the language proficiency of the children and their knowledge, especially in the major subject as literature, history and music

Engagement on behalf of the parents and regular contacts with them. During the 2010/2011 school year, ‘Ethnic Folklore - Roma Folklore’ subject (Roma culture classes) is taught in over 230 schools across the country and to more than 5,000 students (from Bulgarian, Roma, Turkish origin). A profound survey was carried out among 924 students. The results that these students achieved in the academic 2010/2011, clearly illustrate the need for incorporating ‘Ethnic Y\

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Folklore - Roma Folklore‘ subject into national school curriculum. The average number of school absences per student of those who attend Roma culture classes fell to 22.55 (including all absences, both justified and unjustified, in all subjects), compared to 110, which is the critical limit adopted by the Ministry of Education as an indicator of students at risk of dropping out. In addition, drop-out rate among students involved in the Roma culture classes was 0.43% - 4 out of 924 students, compared to the average dropout rate for the country - about 2%.

Results achieved. Qualitative The quality of the initiative was assessed several times by high-level officials from the Ministry of education – Minister of Education (see the movie “Mission Amalipe”), Deputy Minister of Education Milena Damianova from one side and from people participating in the program: teachers, students and parents. Thanks to Center Amalipe we developed our knowledge and practical skills for work in multicultural environment. We gave you our trust; as a result the children have won, the parents have won and the society as a whole has won. We will be happy if you give us the chance to continue working together… School principal, Tsanko Tserkovski Secondary School Nikola Kozlevo village, Shumen district What impressed me in the work is that the children feeling my interest towards them increased their interest towards school. Roma culture teacher, “St.St.Cyril and Methodius”, Yasenovetz village, Razgrad District.

The number of absences is much lower in the days when Roma folklore class is studied. Gradually this influences the other subjects as well. School principal, “P.Hilendarski” school, Harsovo, Razgrad District. I can not afford coming to school without my homework prepared because people will stop respecting me. I saw what it is people to respect you! A student, “Hristo Smirnenski” school, Vodoley village, Veliko Turnovo

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References •

Az Buki Newspaper of the Ministry of education (2006). Two page presentation of the model once monthly from March to December 2006.

Az Buki Newspaper of the Ministry of education (2012). Every school with a strategy how to overcome the problem of the early school leavers. Issue No.4/2012

bTV (2011, Feb.22) Discussing the reducing of the drop-out rate among Roma children. http://www.btv.bg/news/bulgaria/obrazovanie/story/720860026Obsajdat_preventsiya_za_otpadaneto_na_detsa_ot_uchilishte.html, last accessed: 2012-05-22

Council of Ministers (2006). National Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion

Deyan Kolev. (2007). “Intercultural education and Roma culture classes: a Framework for successful education

integration

of

Roma

children.”

Bulgarian

language

and

literature.

No.5/2007.

http://liternet.bg/publish22/d_kolev/interkulturnoto.htm

EUMAP (2007). Equal Access of Roma to Quality Education, Vol. 1 (Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Serbia)

Kolev Deyan, Krumova Teodora, Zahariev Boyan (2006). Evaluation Report for the Implementation of Phare BG 0104.01: Roma Population Integration”

Kolev, D. T. Krumova, M.Metodieva, B.Zahariev, G.Bogdanov (2007). Annual Report on the Roma integration Policies in Bulgaria in 2006.

Kolev, Krasteva, Krumova (2003). Razkazani patista: pomagalo za uchenitzite ot 5-8 klas (Roads retold: a textbook for the students from the 5th to the 8th grade). Co-author. Veliko Turnovo: Astarta.

Krasteva, Kolev, Krumova (2003). Istorii kray ognishteto: pomagalo za uchenitzite ot 2-4 klas (Stories by the Fireplace: a Textbook for the students from the 2nd to the 4th grade). Co-author. Veliko Turnovo: Astarta

Krumova, Teodora (2009). Analytical assessment report of the needs, the introduction, monitoring and evaluation of new/ alternative forms of out-of-school and extra-curriculum activities for raising tolerance in school and prevention of dropping-out within Technical assistance for the implementation of the educational component under “Improvement of the situation and inclusion of

the

disadvantaged

ethnic

minorities

with

a

special

focus

on

Roma”

project

(Europeaid/122905/D/SER/BG) •

Krumova, Teodora (2011). Building an alternative: successful models for raising the quality of education in rural areas. Available at www.osf.bg (in Bulgarian)

Ministry of Education and Science (2010). Strategy for educational integration of children and students

from the ethnic minorities

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


More than 50 publications for the implementation of the model in various regional and national newspapers

National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues (2012). Report for the activities of the

NCCEII for 2011. http://nccedi.government.bg/page.php?category=73&id=1706, last accessed: 201205-22 •

National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues (2012). Report for the activities of the

NCCEII for 2011. http://nccedi.government.bg/page.php?category=73&id=1706, last accessed: 201205-22 •

Website of the initiative: http://romaeducation.com/index.php/bg/

!"#$%& '( )"*+,"$#-."/0- +-(123 - $21"&(#$#2/$ “4)(1-5"” [Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance] (2012) Annual Report 2011.

!"#$%& '( )"*+,"$#-."/0- +-(123 - $21"&(#$#2/$ “4)(1-5"” [Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance] (2011) Decreasing the Drop-out rate among Roma Children: special issue (July

2011).

Contact details Title

AM ALIPE-Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance

W eb

www.amalipe.com

Phone

+34 933 043 000

e-mail

t_krumova@yahoo.com,

www.romaeducation.com

amalipe.edu@gmail.com

Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

95


Socio-Medical Centers for Romas (Women’s Place in Aliveri)- GREECE !

Methodology This action was developed during the operation of Socio-Medical centre (Roma Support Office) in Aliveri of Nea Ionia in Volos, and has been providing services to Roma residents since 1998. The activity was initially funded by the Community Initiative Integra, programme Multi Roma Action Hellas (1998-2001), the Greek Ministry of Interior under the National Plan for Romas in Greece (2000-2004), the Greek Operational Programme of the third community support framework with 75% co-financing from the ESF (2005-2009) and by national funding combined with resources of local authorities until today (2009-2012). For the period 2012-2014 the programme is co-financed from the Greek NSRF. •

These “Social and Medical centres for Romas” aim at social integration at local level based upon a local action plan for Rom as

Their methodology is the holistic approach (education-employment-health-housing-free time activities, civil & civic rights). They are focused on women & children.

The development of several actions was based on quantitative research to identify the needs of residents in conjunction with m ethods of qualitative analysis type Spiral YY.

Our main idea is that wom en are a key player towards the economic and the educational transformation of the area.

!

Description of the targeted area and people In Aliveri of Nea Ionia Volos reside permanently or temporarily over 1,225 people of Roma origin (data 2010, KEKPA-DIEK). This neighbourhood has the characteristics of an isolated and bounded area by a railway line, the torrent Xirias and a regional road linking Nea Ionia district to the Melissiatika area. In Aliveri when we started working in 1998 most of the children (over than 80%) didn’t go to school and women were too busy with the households or helping their husbands at work to deal with their children. In addition, education was not a value for families (according to previous researches -1998more than half of the population was illiterate or functionally illiterate). This is the reason why we started actions to prom ote the education as a value am ong the residents and school enrolling for kids. YY

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ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


Efforts to change the situation in education started from the very beginning (1998 and more intensively after 2000). With time we realized that these efforts were “blocked” by children’s parents due to lack of respect for education as a value in the community. Consequently, we had to approach these members of the family who were closer to the children and could influence their educational status: their mothers and grandmothers. So, we decided to change this situation by intervening both to wom en & children. We expected that women who could be more open to new ideas and practices would be a “conspirator partner” towards the integration especially for children’s education and employment, so there could be a long term influence of the other members of the family, especially the fathers That’s why, firstly, we found mostly young open-minded Roma women from the area, and started a discussion group with a coordinator (the coordinator was our mediator who was of Roma origin and was living in the community too). •

We visited women into their houses

They met each other and decided to form a group in order to facilitate a meeting place outside of the house

they took the initiative to make the place more friendly and comfortable

They all wrote their thoughts, feelings and expectations in a common album

The group of women together with centre’s staff shaped a program of interest (eg interest in health issues, children, employment and Greek language lessons), which then was implemented. Women’s main interest was to improve their language since their main way of communication was Romani and this was a great obstacle in communicating with public services. Furthermore, they identified the need of learning how to ask for services from public organizations (how to be understandable and ready to contribute by themselves to this service)

The first group of 7-10 women decided to start with the Greek language lessons so, we asked from the Primary education regional office for teachers’ volunteers. A lot of teachers expressed their will to do so and the lessons began (3 women took degree of elementary education)

The next step was to organize the lessons more intensively and to include teenage girls in order to reduce the phenomenon of early marriage. In cooperation with the women we came in contact with Adult Education Centres driven by the Greek Ministry of Education and apart from the Greek language lessons they also attended counselling courses with the aim of empowerment (2 women took degree of elementary education, 5 more teenage girls got certifications of attendance and 1 girl continued to secondary school).

In 2006 a Vocational Training Institute offered a subsided course on establishing enterprises and we decided to include this activity into our meeting place both as a reward for the women as well

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97


as a motive for other women to take part (20 women were trained for establishing their own enterprises) •

In parallel, our centre’s educator kept the children of the team occupied within creative activities and started making efforts to enrol the kids to public school. These children never went to school or had a high drop – out rate. The educator started bringing the children in contact with Greek language and alphabet through interactive games. So, women could take part in activities without having to worry about the children.

Their program of interest was each time enriched and varied due to their needs and the reality of their lives (a lot of women had to move constantly all around Greece for work purpose). They continued having Greek language lessons with the help of the centre’s mediator through creative games and adult teaching techniques and then moved to other interests

They agreed that the meeting place had to work as a free attended drop-in centre for every woman in the community but they all had to follow the rules. The place was managed by the women-core (whose husbands had a stable job and didn’t have to follow them all around the country) but every woman with her children could take part in every activity according to her interest or the limitations of her working life. Also, for the first time women agreed that some men or young boys could also attend courses if they wanted to.

The main goals of the above program were: to develop self-confidence, skills and to prepare for a future job.

Their activities are up to now: cooking/dancing, sports activities, handicraft & decorative activities, talking/discussing/learning of Internet, fill applications/arrange appointments to public services by themselves, learn to read/write through creative games and adult teaching techniques, organizing subsided courses by Vocational Training Institutes (in 2009 & 2010 31 more women were trained by these institutes), inviting experts in health/kids/beauty/employment, visiting market places/learn ways to be accepted and surpass prejudices, visiting established women cooperatives.

!

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level •

Women’s place as an action has positive impacts both to children’s education as well as to adult education.

The spread of the necessity and of the value of education for Roma families in Aliveri impacted positively to increase enrolments in primary school and to limit school drop - out

The creative free time occupational activities of children through street work and cognitive games (focusing mostly to basic methods of writing and counting) increased the interest for education

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The tutorial support of Roma pupils in families whose parents are illiterate helped them stay in school

Results achieved. Quantitative evidences •

Since the establishment of Women’s meeting place (2006) there has been organized 1-2 meetings on average every week (depending of course on their travels for work). Additionally, once a month they organize an activity involving children or other women of the community.

In parallel their children became more and more constant attending the creative free time occupational groups. Our educators have now daily groups which are attended by 8-15 children and deal with: preparation for school, handicraft, group games and other leisure time activities.

As a consequence, these women started to be more interested in their children’s education: according to school, the enrolments are doubled since 2006 and the drop-out percentage dropped around to 10% from 40% (their children go to the nearby public school). Also, around 45 children attend kindergarten every year for the first time and the same number goes for secondary school too.

Interest for their own education as well as for employment has risen too: so far, 20 women have been trained to establish their own enterprises and 31 more have been taught Greek language lessons. 5 women took degree of elementary education, 5 teenage girls took certifications of attending these classes and 1 of them continued to secondary school. It is also worth saying the fact that slowly some men expressed their will to attend classes: 9 men attended Greek language lessons and 2 more took degree of compulsory education.

1 woman from the community worked as a cleaner in the courses and 1 more worked as a mediator. Additionally, 2 more worked as street cleaners in the municipality of Volos and 3 women decides to take subsidies to start up their own SME

!

Results achieved. Qualitative •

The change that has been observed through this action was really big: these women come from an isolated community and some of them face poverty and bad living conditions. Things that other roma women from more developed neighborhoods take for granted (education, work, participating in community activities), were limited or forbidden for women in Aliveri.

They succeeded in promoting both their children’s education as well as theirs. They realized the strength of their voices, became more active and empowered and claimed their rights. They

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learned to take advantage of the services offered by local authority and start thinking of the idea of nursery schools for the kids •

Common activities between women & their children are also frequently organized, and for the first time, our women and their children as a group, take part in extroverted activities with the aim of “building bridges” with non-roma groups. For example, educational and other excursions, walking to town, participation in educational games and happenings together with non-roma children, activities of awareness in the town for the annual celebration of the 8th April (World Day for Roma) etc.

In 2010 2 women (accompanied with our roma mediator) travelled to Barcelona to take part in the 1st International Congress of Roma Women.

In 2011 women started focusing on employment: they formed groups in the meeting place where –with the help of the staff- look for jobs via newspapers and internet, are in contact with possible employers, are prepared to meet and have interview with them, fill applications for jobs, even look for work abroad. Recently, they have come up with the idea of creating women cooperative and have started talking about it.

!

References •

Region of Thessaly. (n.d.). The 5 best practices of Thessaly. Retrieved May 22, 2012. The socialmedical center for Romas in Aliveri, Nea Ionia Volos, Greece voted as one of 5 best practices in Region of Thessaly during the implementation of 3rd Greek CSF (Regional Operational Plan-ROP) (4##0355,,,6#4)22%(&%6<-5L)2#0-%1#&1)25L)2#W64#. )

ESFHellas, Best Practices of the Community Support Framework in Greece, (n.d.). Retrieved May 22, 2012. (4##0355,,,64)((%2/026<-5L)2#0-%1#&1)250-'8;)$6%20Å0@9¢WN )

Municipal Enterprise IONIA, Quarterly newsletter, (2003-2011). Retrieved May 22, 2012, from (4##0355&%#-'/'&$'$&/%6$)#5&$9)P6040Å'0#&'$¢1'.;1'$#)$#v*&),¢%-#&1()v&9¢TR[3$),2()##)-2>&%/>$> v1%#&9¢TS3'::&1)2>:'->-'.%2v@#).&9¢WT ). Reports and statistics for its actions have been intensively documentated in a series of 3-months newsletters . Most of them have published also on the website of the National Network of Sociomedical centers for Romas)

ESFHellas, As Olga, Markos, Irini say…, Athens 2009, pages 38- 43. Retrieved May 22, 2012, from 4##0355,,,6)2:4)((%26<-5)$<(&245L0;)$5&$9)P64#.(

Nea Ionia Municipality, URBAMECO –an URBACT Fast Track project, Presentation in CostantaRomania 2008, 4##03557-L%1#6)75:&()%9.&$5K-'8)1#25BH]"I^?A5)*)$#2;.)9&%5$)%;&'$&%;0-)2)$#%#&'$;&$;1'$2#%$#% ;2)0#;N[609:

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Contact details Title

KEKPA-DIEK, M unicipal Enterprise for social care, M unicipality of Volos

W eb

www.kekpa.org

Phone

+30 24210 85841, Fax: +30 24210 68954

e-mail

iak.ionia@gmail.com

planning@kekpa.org

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Interactive Groups: Heterogeneous ability classrooms with reorganization of resources - SPAIN

Methodology Interactive Groups is a Successful Educational Action which is carried out in ever more schools. This action is developed in School as Learning Communities. Interactive Groups are achieving educative success among all children, including those for the most vulnerable groups such as Roma children. Interactive groups are a form of classrooms organization that promotes both increased academic results and better social cohesion. It consists of grouping students in small heterogeneous groups (in terms of gender, culture, academic attainment, special needs, etc.) and incorporating into the classroom human resources that already exist in the school and in the community but that are in many cases misused. This resource means families, volunteers, support teachers, etc. Several activities are proposed by the teacher and every small group work on them with the help of a family member or a volunteer who become part of the group. This additional adult in each group has the function of motivating learning interactions among students. Interactive groups entail organising the classroom into small heterogeneous groups of pupils (e.g. four groups of five pupils) and including several adults, one per group. Each group works on an activity involving instrumental learning for a period of time (e.g. 20 minutes). Then, the groups rotate and work on a different activity with a different adult. These adults are other teachers, family members, volunteers from the community, and other volunteers; they are in charge of fostering interactions among the children to solve the assigned tasks, and they also expose them to a wider and richer range of learning interactions. In interactive groups children learn in interaction with their peers, who are of various levels of ability, some of them academically stronger. The groups provide more opportunities for mutual help among children with different learning levels and paces, as well as with a wide range of diverse adults. Ania Ballesteros, a 10-year-old pupil from one of the successful low-SES schools, described her experience at the INCLUD-ED Final Conference: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Without interactive groups, some children would have fallen behindâ&#x20AC;?. Instead, in interactive groups, academically strong pupils become a resource to help the others. At the same time, this approach guarantees that the higher performers do not wait for the rest to catch up, and they reinforce their meta-cognitive abilities while they explain to the others how to solve the task. Increased interactions accelerate learning for all the pupils and promote solidarity among classmates.

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Description of the targeted area and people Interactive Groups is a Successful Educational Action which is carried out in ever more schools. This action is being developed in School as Learning Communities. There are more than 150 School as Learning Communities in Spain. Interactive Groups are achieving educative success among all children, including those for the most vulnerable groups such as Roma children.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level Pre-primary, primary and secondary education

Result achieved. Quantitative evidences78 In one of the studied schools (Montserrat, Terrassa), for example, in the period between 2001 and 2007, the proportion of students who achieved basic competence in reading comprehension rose from 17% to 85%; in the same period the number of students of migrant origin rose from 12% to 46%. These results make it possible to overcome long-standing assumptions that explain a particular schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s results based on the composition of its student body. The neighbourhood of Montserrat where the school is placed has a high level of Roma population. This neighbourhood has low income and underprivileged social and economic conditions. All the Roma children of the neighbourhood attend the school. The case of one school (La Paz â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Albacete) demonstrates thar Successful Educational Actions (SEAs) make it possible to achieve maximal results with the existing resources. In a five-year period (20052006 to 2010-2011), while interactive groups and others successful educational actions started to be implemented, the number of enrolled students increased much more than the number of teachers. As a consequence the number of students allocated to each teacher increased from 5,88 to 8,05. During the same period, the students greatly improved their achievement levels; only one year after the school implemented interactive groups and other successful educational actions (SEAs), the students doubled their test scores on six competences. This positive progress was maintained at the school. These data show that im plementing SEAs allowed the existing resources to be used m ore efficiently. This can do be seen through the number of students attending the school per each 1.000 Euros of monthly expenditure increased from 2,39 to 3,28. While the school expended less per pupil, the results improved as a result of implementing SEAs. This school is placed in one of the poorest neighbourhood of Spain where the large majority of the population is Roma. Roma children of the neighbourhood together with non-Roma children attend this school.

Y[

!D%#%!'L#%&$)9!:-'.!#4)!@E?JBD>^D!K-'8)1#!1''-9&$%#)9!L=!?H^">B]6!?)$#-)!':!H)2)%-14!&$!C4)'-&)2!%$9!K-%1#&1)2! #4%#! A*)-1'.)! @$)`7%(&#&)26! MNSS6! 'J2<'F& gT& P*",+0Q#,0*"4& *1& %*3$%& 3*//#"0,0(4& ,*& 4*30$%& 3*-(40*"@! @E?JBD>^D! #4 K-'8)1#6!F#-%#)<&)2!:'-!&$1(72&'$!%$9!2'1&%(!1'4)2&'$!&$!^7-'0)!:-'.!)971%#&'$+!MNN\>MNSS6!\ !G-%.),'-/!

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Results achieved. Qualitative Interactive Groups encourages peers to help each other and, as students are heterogeneous as regards their level of attainment, learning improves. This is how Lucía, a Roma girl who participates in interactive groups and who has improved her learning level and her behaviour in class describes very simply from her experience how solidarity and cooperation between the students is prom oted in these groups: Ah! In a group, and what do you do? So how do you work [together]? Between two [students], me and Mada, Mada helps me, I help her, Rafi helps Ramonchi, Ramonchi helps Rafi (Lucía, Roma girl). A primary teacher from La Paz school, supports this idea and adds her reflection based on her observation of these groups that the inclusion of families into Interactive Groups increases the effort and m otivation the children put into their work, and as a consequence their academic performance improves: Specifically the parents who came along to Interactive Groups (…) you could see that their daughter or son became involved, made an effort, became motivated, helped the others, became incorporated into the dynamic… becoming very productive children. (Primary teacher, La Paz School)

The incorporation of families into the classroom contributes to an improvement in coexistence and better behaviour. The students behave better and concentrate on learning activities when their relatives or other children’s relatives are present. Both family members and teachers have identified this improvement. This is the case of an illiterate mother from La Paz school, who observes that when she participates in the classroom the student’s behaviour improves. Before I come in they are making such a racket which is too much, eh? And one of the little girls says, “Juan’s mummy is here” and they sit down. [And I say] “Well come one everyone calm down and you’ll see what happens [if not] eh! You’ll see!” and all of the kids sit there to do what the teacher says and everything goes well, and the teacher is there with them [and the teacher said] “ if I hadn’t seen this with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed it” and she also said “when are you next coming?” (Mother, La Paz School).

The students themselves see the advantages of this heterogeneous way of organizing the learning and they feel that it helps them progress in their learning. As a child in Mare de Déu del Montserrat School said, in these groups he feels more and her learning accelerates; Because that way they help you and you learn more

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Just as a teacher in the Mare de Déu de Montserrat School states, interactive groups allows the acceleration of the learning both for the students who are in a more underprivileged position -avoiding an exclusionary curricular adaptation-, as for those students with a higher level. This is possible due to the fact that som e of them acquire new knowledge while the others consolidate it through an inter-subjective learning process. Those who help definitely learn as well. Let’s see, if a boy has to explain a problem to his classmate (…) when he explains it he has to go through a sm all reflection process in his head, lower his level of understanding let’s say and then communicate it verbally to his classmates so that they can understand it. Therefore this is a reasoning process which he goes through and which really helps him to learn m ore and really becom e aware of what he knows, you see? (Teacher, Mare de Déu school) In doing so, this organization ensures that all of them are progressing in their learning and that none of them is left behind. This is possible because the resources are introduced in the classroom instead of being the students those who are placed out of the classroom, allowing for increased interaction among pupils and a faster acquisition of the competencies. One mother from the Mare de Déu de Montserrat school explains how the introduction of the new resources allows paying more attention to all the students. When smaller groups are created you can spend m ore tim e with them when you are doing reading or when you are doing [multiplication] tables or whatever, there are always more people and for teachers of course it is not the same to have a group of 6 or 7 as it is to have a group of 25 (Mother, Mare de Déu School). As the additional support is introduced in the classroom and the students are not put outside, labelling is avoided, specially for those groups which are more vulnerable to educational failure such as SEN students and migrant students. One of the Mare de Déu de Montserrat teachers notices the learning improvement of these students when they are included in the classroom with support and through the interactions. They concentrate better on their work and learn more. [...] There are children for example who have just arrived and after a year and a half you can see that they can already speak, you can see they have integrated into the class, they can follow the class along with the others. W hen before these children were taken out of class, they were like separated and when they were in the classroom they were passive (Teacher, Mare de Déu School). As interactive groups count on heterogeneous students and volunteers, this classroom organisation allows to multiply the interactions both in num ber and in diversity. This means that students have the opportunity to get to know other role models, life options and professions, and modify their own expectations, as this mother in Mare de Déu de Montserrat school explained:

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If the children were saying “What do you want to do?”, “To be a builder, my father is a builder”. “I want to be a truck-driver because my father is a truck driver”. On the other hand now for exam ple I do have a child who says that he wants to be a teacher. W hy? Because he can see volunteers who com e in who are university people, they are doing degrees and we also explain to them look… here’s L. (a volunteer) who is in the university (Mother, Mare de Déu School) Interactive groups also offers the possibility to interact with adult members of the cultural minorities the students belong to, in the context of a learning activity. These adults become role models for the students and motivate them for engaging in the learning activity. Family participation in classrooms and learning spaces also increases their motivation to continue studying and educating them selves. This is an important transformation as the majority of the families in La Paz school have low educational degree. The case of Ramón, a Roma father, exemplifies how he has become more interested in learning and then this motivation is now shared with his child: I come along and I sit down with my child, (…) who is studying mathematics, next to me. For example, let’s see. Firstly, I become motivated. (…) 90% of the population [in the neighbourhood] do not know, they hardly know how to read, and write (…), they know zero about accounting, zero about history, zero about, I don’t know, about anything. So, well, they become motivated. (Member of the Roma Cali Association). (Roma father, La Paz School) Furthermore, opening up the learning spaces to the whole community as occurs with interactive groups has increased the trust families have in the school. Now, they can know better what happens in the school and the classroom and trust has increased between families and teachers, and thus a better coordination among them has achieved. A Roma mother explained it in this way: We, the mothers, have the freedom to go to see our kids, and before you could not, before it was just from the doorway and from the outside, there were no meetings which I knew about, if there was no school, they gave the children letters, there was none of this trust like there is now between the teachers and us, there is a lot of trust and the school is now (…) we have a lot of information, if anything happens to us they call us. (Roma mother, La Paz school)

References •

Mircea, T., & Sordé, T. (2011). How to turn difficulties into opportunities: drawing from diversity to promote social cohesion. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 21(1), 49 – 62.

Tellado, I., & Sava, S. (2010). The Role of Non-expert Adult Guidance in the Dialogic Construction of Knowledge, Revista de Psicodidáctica, 15(2), 163-176.

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Elboj, C., & Niemelä, R. (2010). Sub-communities of Mutual Learners in the Classroom: The case of Interactive groups, Revista de Psicodidáctica, 15(2), 177-189.

European Parliament resolution of 9 March 2011 on the EU strategy on Roma inclusion (2010/2276(INI)).

Herrero, C., & Brown, M. (2010). Distributed Cognition in Community-based Education, Revista de Psicodidáctica, 15(2), 253-268.

Gómez Alonso, J.(2002): Learning Communities: when learning in common means school success for all. Multicultural Teaching, Vol. 20, Num, 2, Spring, p. 13-17. Staffordshire: Trentham books.

Elboj, C.; Puigdellívol, I.; Soler, M.; Valls, R. (2002). Comunidades de aprendizaje. Transformar la educación. [School as Learning Communities. Transforming education]. Barcelona: Graó.

Contact details Title

Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities of the University of Barcelona

W eb

http://creaub.info

Phone

+34 93 403 50 99/51 64

e-mail

crea@ub.edu

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Dialogic Literary Gatherings - SPAIN

Methodology Gatherings are organized in schools other organizations with mothers, fathers, other members of the community and children. At these sessions, people share the reading of classic works of literature, from writers such as Kafka, Joyce, Dostoyevsky, GarcĂ­a Lorca, and Cervantes. Through engaging in dialogue about the literature, participants deepen their understanding of language and engage in debates based on their own life experience. It is ultimately a very empowering experience. In the Gatherings, participants choose the classic work of literature they want to read and how many pages they are going to read in each session. Participants read the agreed pages at home and choose a paragraph they want to share with the others. Once together in the Gathering, people who have chosen a paragraph make a request to take the floor to the moderator. It is the moderator who gives the floor. Then the person reads his paragraph and explains why he has chosen it. Then, the floor is open to those people who want to give their opinion about the same paragraph, and the process goes on till the end of the paragraphs.

Description of the targeted area and people Gatherings are organized in schools with mothers, fathers, and other members of the community. Dialogic literary gatherings are aimed at adults who do not have a university-level education. Anyone interested can attend; it constitutes a way not simply to learn, but also to open the school to the community. Dialogic literary gatherings are also conducted with children, as an after-school activity or as a part of the regular curriculum. Dialogic literary gatherings are held in those schools that have become Learning Communities and other organizations of adult education. Las sesiones de las tertulias es una vez por semana.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level At these sessions, people share the reading of classic works of literature, from writers such as Kafka, Joyce, Dostoyevsky, GarcĂ­a Lorca, and Cervantes. Through engaging in dialogue about the literature, participants deepen their understanding of language and engage in debates based on their own life experience. It is ultimately a very empowering experience.

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Results achieved. Qualitative evidences

Evidences show that the activities of family education lead to following improvements:

1. The creation of opportunities in which children and their relatives can share their knowledge and work together at hom e thus improving their motivation and academic competences. These learning spaces are very significant for the increase of academic interactions between relatives and their children, as this teacher explained: The mother brings the folder containing the vocabulary sheets and the child brings his folder containing his homework sheets, they can often talk about the same things (…) the mum and the child are experiencing an academic situation [together] and they can interact, [they can say] well I have helped you or at least ask each other what they have been doing. If the child is more motivated, he or she will learn more. (Teacher, Mare de Déu School) These classes have a clear effect on enriching the relations within the Roma families, immigrant families and y autochthonous ones. Consequently this not only affects the learning but also the connection between the school and the family, new family interactions and the progressive transformation of the overall children’s learning context, as this teacher in La Paz school explains: It is also beneficial to the children to see that their family is… something so close to them, as close to them as the school is and the way in which they [mothers] are also implicated in the school and they also come along to learn. Therefore, I think that it is very good, well, because it establishes more links between the family and students and also us (Teacher, La Paz School). 2. Due to family and community education the opportunities families have to be able to help their children with their homework have increased, and this contributes to their academic attainment: A teacher explained that most of the teachers in the school have noticed that since these classes began children do their homework better: In staff meetings we have sometimes discussed the fact that specific families that are doing classes, well, until now the children never did their homework and now they do it. (Teacher, Mare de Déu School) 3. Increased learning interactions and learning contexts have lead to increased expectations of children’s academ ic possibilities. A teacher compares the evolution of these expectations as a result of family education activities. Since there are classes this means that parents open up their expectations for their children a little bit, perhaps they used to say that well, fourth or sixth year of secondary school was as far as their children could go and now they talk about university (…) It used to shock me a lot Successful educational experiences promoting the integration of Roma in and through education

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when I arrived, that the children when they were 14 would immediately talk about the fact that when they were 15 or 16 they would already start working, but now they say, I want to be a vet, I want to go to university. (Teacher, Mare de Déu School) 4. Families’ participation has lead in occasions to increasing fam ily participation in other activities in the school as a result of knowing better the school and the opportunity for participating they have there, as this teacher explains: Well it has an impact on them understanding how things work in the school. This means that more parents then collaborate (…). Once they see how it works, well the parents become more involved and they are more aware because sometimes people do not collaborate because they are unaware of how it works and so then they just give up. (Teacher, Mare de Déu School) 5. Particularly, family education classes are important for families so they can help their children and m otivate them to study m ore since they act as role m odels for studying, as a Roma mediator in La Paz school noted: The parents learn and then afterwards they can help their children, this also means that they [the children] are enriched and they are more motivated to continue studying. (Roma member community, La Paz School) 6. Family courses have an impact on student’s behaviour. In some cases, children whose relatives take part in family education groups are now more well-behaved. A teacher explains it in the case of a boy whose mother participates in literacy classes in La Paz: (…) the first year and the second year in the case of JM whose mother came along to literacy classes, and I think his sister did as well and so this motivated him, seeing his mother coming one day a week…and well the fact that she was also learning and that she was starting to read letters and that she was happy, well this meant that he behaved better. (Teacher, La Paz School) 7. Fem ale participants in fam ily education courses becom e the protagonists of their own progress and increase their self-esteem . In the La Paz state school, most of the people who participate in literacy courses and other types of classes are Roma women without any education. Most of them have learnt how to write and read in these classes. These activities promote also the empowerment of these women. A community member explains it as regards the course for being school canteen monitor: I think that it is a La Paz success, that they way in which they feel part of the team, I really do have to thank the team very much (...) The fact they see themselves in their white coats and the fact the kids call them teacher, well its like putting a crown on the virgin [Mary], and they feel a bit, their ego is inflated, and I think they are the ones who are most positive about the course, to see that two weeks before the end of term that none of them have left the course,

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the attendance is very regular, that the most they could be is missing a one or two hour class because they had to go to the doctor, for us it is surprising, surprising when you look at experiences in the other courses. (volunteer, La Paz School)

References •

Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities. 2011. REPORT 9: Contributions of local communities to social cohesion. INCLUD-ED Project. Strategies for inclusion and social cohesion in Europe from education, 2006-2011. 6th Framework

Flecha, R. (2000). Sharing Words. Lanham, M.D: Rowman & Littlefield.

Pulido, C. & Zepa, B. (2010) La interpretación interactiva de los textos a través de las tertulias literarias dialógicas. Signos 43 (2), 295-30.

Racionero, S., & Padrós, M. (2010). The Dialogic Turn in Educational Psychology, Revista de Psicodidáctica, 15(2), 143-162.

Serrano, M. A., Mirceva, J., & Larena, R. (2010). Dialogic Imagination in Literacy Development, Revista de Psicodidáctica, 15(2), 191-205.

Tellado, I., & Sava, S. (2010). The Role of Non-expert Adult Guidance in the Dialogic Construction of Knowledge, Revista de Psicodidáctica, 15(2), 163-176.

Contact details Title

Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities of the University of Barcelona

W eb

http://creaub.info

Phone

+34 93 403 50 99/51 64

e-mail

crea@ub.edu

!

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Roma Families Learning (RoFaL) Comenius Regio Project - IRELAND The Importance of parental involvement in childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education

Methodology The RoFal project is a Comenius Regio project funded by the European Union. The project looked at encouraging parental involvement in childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s education through supporting families to help their children learn, increasing parent and child interaction time on literacy based activities and supporting parents own numeracy and literacy needs. Over the course of two years the project supported more than 55 parents to engage in Family Learning Classes. The project targeted the Roma community in Ennis, Co. Clare. The Roma Community in Ennis is estimated to be around 300 including children. Clare Family Learning Project worked in partnership with many agencies to maximise the use of resources and the ability to reach parents in the Clare region. A number of statutory and non-statutory agencies were closely involved in the project; Ennis Educate Together National School, the Home School Community Liaison teacher, the School Completion Project in Ennis Community College and Clare Immigrant Support Centre all of whom work closely with the Roma Community in the area. The project was managed and implemented through the Clare Family Learning Project, which hosted monthly meetings of the project in Ennis. Their international partner organisation was Aydin Il Milli Egitim Mudurlugu in the Aydin Provence, Turkey. The m ain objectives of the project were: !

To increase the integration of a minority community (Roma) in the education and schooling of their children

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To promote cooperative activities between local and regional authorities in partner countries

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To support families to help their children learn

!

To increase parent and child interaction time on literacy based activities

!

To support parents own literacy and numeracy needs

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To encourage the notion of lifelong learning.

These objectives were achieved through a number of activities including the Family Learning Classes. Questionnaires were administered at the start of the project requesting information on what parents would like to learn about as well as some key information on their own educational background and aspirations for their children and themselves.Venues for the classes were selected as close as possible to the school, if not in the school so that parents could attend after they had dropped their children off at school.

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The project developed a brochure that was translated into Czech, which outlined key points about starting school in Ireland, ways to support children and how the school system works. The organisations involved in the Clare Fam ily Learning Project intend to continue meeting monthly as the collaboration has helped them to support families better and is a quick and easy way to find out what is happening to families, issues in the community that might impact on school attendance etc. The project has worked well in terms of building a relationship between Roma families in the area and relevant primary schools. Initially, it was felt that many Roma parents were anxious about entering schools or approaching school staff due to previous negative experiences or perhaps a lack of trust. The project has created a good foundation of trust and communication between parents and schools from which further initiatives which include community representatives can hopefully emerge. Along with other organisations, the project has contributed to the rise in the transfer rate of Roma students from primary second level schools.

Description of the targeted area and people There are approximately 300 members of the Roma community including children currently living in Ennis, Co. Clare. These families are from the Czech Republic and Slovakia and have been living in Ennis for a number of years. Their children were at risk of leaving school early due to erratic school attendance. Parents in the community have poor English particularly with regards to reading and writing and are mainly unemployed. Parents often have a limited understanding of the Irish school system. The project worked with the four primary schools in the area focusing on Ennis Educate Together National School as this school has the highest percentage of Roma pupils at 60%.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level The project focused on improving knowledge and relationships with Roma families, supporting families to help their children learn and supporting parents own education needs, it did this in a number of ways. Firstly, The Clare Family Learning Project worked in partnership with local agencies to maximise the use of resources and the ability to reach parents in the Clare region. A number of statutory and nonstatutory agencies were closely involved in the project; Ennis Educate Together National School, the Home School Community Liaison teacher, the School Com pletion Project in Ennis Community College and Clare Immigrant Support Centre all of whom work closely with the Roma Community in the area. The collaboration helped the organisations involved to offer more

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rounded support to Roma families and provided an efficient way to find out about difficulties families may be experiencing or issues in the community that might impact on school attendance etc. There were issues with absenteeism among Roma children in primary classes; it was felt that an initiative which developed parental involvement in the school might work to combat this. A 16 hour, 8 week programme of Family Learning Classes was developed. Classes were arranged at convenient times and locations for local Roma parents. As part of the classes, childcare facilities were provided. Initially a questionnaire which was translated into Czech was distributed to families to gauge what subject areas parents would be interested in attending classes on. At first, attendance rates were quite low however there was a steady increase throughout the project with 100% attendance rates at a number of classes near the end of the project. The classes were usually held in the parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; room in primary schools which encouraged and strengthened the relationship between the schools and Roma parents â&#x20AC;&#x201C; developing a relationship of trust overtime. By the end of the project participants appeared to be far more comfortable in engaging with the school and staff. The project developed a brochure that was translated into Czech which outlined key points about starting school in Ireland, ways to support children and how the school system works to encourage pupil and parent involvement in the education system.

Results achieved. Quantitative evidences !

55 parents involved in Family Learning Classes

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100% transfer of Roma children from primary to second level education.

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31 respondents to questionnaire on educational needs and background

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Development and dissemination of brochure outlining key points about starting school in Ireland, ways to support children and how the school system works.

!

Parents attending mainstream classes in the adult education centre

Results achieved. Qualitative

114

!

A Czech Slovak evening for parents and their children was held in Ennis Community College.

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Significant increase in the number of parents attending adult education

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A funding proposal for a community translator has been submitted.

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Significant increase in school attendance.

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


!

Establishment of network of agencies from the local area working collaboratively on issues affecting Roma families.

At the end of the project parents were significantly more comfortable in their childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school environment. Parents were engaging with staff and local authorities on a range of issues.

References !

http://www.rofalproject.com/

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Online sheet on Leargas website giving overview of project on page 6: http://www.leargas.ie/media/ComeniusRegioFundedProjects2010.pdf

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Case study of RoFaL project on Leargas website: http://www.leargas.ie/programme_extra.php?prog_code=7125&content=9138

Contact details Title

Pavee Point Travellers Centre - Ireland

W eb

http://paveepoint.ie/

Phone

+35 3187 80255

e-mail

hilary.harmon@ pavee.ie

! !

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A Good Start in school - ROMANIA !

Methodology The first step of the program was the selection of a community to implement an intensive pilot training program for children. Two criteria were used to choose the location: the existence of a Roma community facing school dropout and difficult adaptation of Roma children to school demands; and the genuine interest of local authorities in the success of the program, indicated by their direct involvement in the activities. After the location was selected, a feasibility study based on a questionnaire was conducted in the Roma community in order to respond to the real needs of the community. The next stage of the program consisted of the organization of a training seminar for the projectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s teaching staff. The training emphasized the importance of adapting the educational content to the childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s characteristics (age, family environment, characteristics of the community); valuing the motivational and intellectual potential of the children; and using a teaching strategy based on games to increase the accessibility of the actions. Based on the experience of this pilot program, the subsequent projects on early education created and implemented by Romani CRISS included an intercultural dimension. Thus, in 2006, 2007, and 2008 Romani CRISS organized summer kindergartens for children who were about to enrol in elementary school. The activities aimed to undermine the cultural and ethnic stereotypes, promote cross-cultural dialogue and exchange of experiences among the participants, help participants assume their collective identity, and make them aware of the richness of Roma traditions. Besides that, Romani CRISS organized intercultural activities in regular kindergartens with an ethnically mixed population of students. The activities focused on expressing artistic skills (painting, molding, doll making, and acting) and acquiring information regarding Roma history and traditions. Kindergartens provide children with the necessary abilities for a successful integration into the primary school. During the program, participants improved their oral communication skills, made use of their imagination and creativity, and acquired basic math knowledge. Therefore, we believe that making kindergartens available to children from disadvantaged groups might increase their school participation and their ability to be competitive. Inter-culturalism facilitates the educational inclusion of minority children. Our approach was based on the principles of tolerance, respect for human rights, and acceptance of diversity as normal. Roma participants were keen to find out about their cultural heritage and the cultural differences in society, and showed a particular interest in topics that were relevant to their cultural background. Therefore, we support the incorporation of inter-cultural activities in the official education system.

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Description of the targeted area and people Within the project were included a number of 30 Roma children aged 6-12 who either haven’t attended kindergarten or primary school, or faced academic failure or dropout from school from Panciu locality, county of Vrancea in Romania. City Panciu settlement is situated in the north-east of Vrancea County. Population as of January 1, 2000, the population of Panciu (including that of villages, districts considered) was 9637 people, mostly of Romanian (30 Roma, 8 Hungarians). Most sources of income Roma families earn their living in various seasonal activities such as agriculture, masonry, scrap collection, or in many cases, the child allowance. City education network has 5 kindergartens, 6 primary and secondary schools and a theoretical high. Many educated Roma children have left school early because of the precarious situation of family and school activities mismatch requirements. For the most part, these children did not attend any kindergarten.

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Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level The program “A Good Start in School” intended to improve the adaptability and school performance of Roma children from Panciu, Vrancea County. It was a joint initiative of UNICEF, the Romanian Ministry of Education, and the Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies (Romani CRISS) that tried to address the problem of high school dropout rates among Roma children.

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Results achieved. Quantitative evidences •

Intensive training of Roma children organized in August, 2001. The average daily duration of activities steadily increased from 4 hours a day in the first week, to 5 hours in the second week, and 6 hours in the third week.

Training for enrolment in the elementary school on topics such as: language development, mathematical skills, environmental knowledge, games and creative activities, civic education, artistic activities, physical education, music, and dance.

Foundation of an Educational Support Centre that provided children with additional after-school support. At the Educational Support Centre, children could do the homework for the next day, prepare for classes, and receive help whenever it was needed.

Organizing a training session for the teaching staff.

A percentage of 56% of the children who promoted to the next level of studies

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Results achieved. Qualitative The schedule of the activities mirrored the original plan, and the children’s participation was outstanding. The children responded positively to the teachers’ expectations and acquired skills and abilities useful not only at school, but also in the everyday life. Nonetheless, the program faced several obstacles due to children’s bilingualism (for fear of marginalization, some children refused to speak Romani language); children’s household labour; parents’ illiteracy; and widely spread stereotypes and prejudices.

References •

Handbook of ECD Experiences, Innovations, and Lessons from CEE/CIS http://www.issa.nl/news/Handbook%20of%20ECD%20Experiences,%20Innovations,%20and%2 0Lessons%20from%20CEE_CIS%20.pdf

A Good Start for School – intercultural program for optimizing the adaptation of the Roma children to school requirements, http://www.romanicriss.org/rap_narativ_start_scoala_mec_unicef.pdf

A Good Start for School, Final Report; http://www.civica-online.ro/proiecte/ise_start_raport.pdf

Guide for positives practices for the education of the Roma children http://www.oportunitatiegale.ro/pdf_files/Ghid%20practici%20pozitive%20pentru%20ed.%20copi ilor%20romi.pdf

Report regarding the implementation of the strategy of the Romanian Government for the improvement of the situation of Roma, at one year after the approval http://miris.eurac.edu/mugs2/do/blob.pdf?type=pdf&serial=1046446920802

From theory to genuine effective practices – the case of Roma from Romania, Margareta Matache, 2009, http://rapidlibrary.com/files/tp-2-magda-matache-from-theory-to-genuineeffective-practices-the-case-of-roma-from-romania-1-ppt_ulzy8nybr9i89on.html

Evaluation of programmes targeting roma communities in Romania http://www.google.ro/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CC8QFjAB&u rl=http%3A%2F%2Ferc.undp.org%2Fevaluationadmin%2Fdownloaddocument.html%3Fdocid%3 D503&ei=u-rHT93QKoPA0QW_vO2EDw&usg=AFQjCNFuVx9liOwiAjN0SN8gnyNLSGLjw&sig2=OErwwG2zQgR08cC2pd9TEw

The success of the Romanian model in Rroma education and in teaching Rromani as a mother tongue, Ph.D. Gheorghe Sarau http://www.google.ro/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&sqi=2&ved=0CCsQFjAB&ur l=http%3A%2F%2Fadministraresite.edu.ro%2Findex.php%3Fmodule%3Duploads%26func%3Dd ownload%26fileId%3D1613&ei=5OfHT8KbPKi-0QXbdiqDw&usg=AFQjCNHjRVZrj1m6JeDI_BZrKO-q0NjvKw&sig2=URryKhUDkiGG1lqyuroaDQ

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Contact details Title

Romani CRISS - Roma Centre for Social Intervention and Studies

W eb

HHHI-:F$+&9-&66I:-J

Phone

Tel: +4 021 310 70 70

e-mail

:??&9)K-:F$+&9-&66I:-J

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A Good Start (pre-school) - ROMANIA

Methodology “A Good Start” project is funded by the European Union. It supported more than 4,000 children from ages zero to six to access early childhood education and care services in 16 locations across four countries (Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia). Although the project mainly targets Roma it also supports non-Roma children and families. A Good Start’s partner non-governmental organizations work with national and local governments in the different locations to build sustainable partnerships able to increase and improve the range of services provided to young children over time. It is managed and implemented through a cooperative partnership between the Roma Education Fund and three international partners, the International Step by Step Association, the Spanish Fundacion Secretariado Gitano, and the Slovak Governance Institute, and several partner NGOs active in social inclusion and education of Roma children in the target countries. In Romania, the project was implemented in two counties, Bihor and Dolj. Romani CRISS was the NGO responsible for the implementation of the project in Dolj county, locality Craiova – Mofleni. The main objectives of the project were to increase the access of Roma and non-Roma children to early childhood education quality services and to improve the results of the early development and preparing the children for school and furthermore, for life opportunities. These objectives were achieved through a range of activities based on the needs of the Roma communities where the project is implemented. The project was designed based on field research conducted by REF and its partners before writing the application to get an overview of the quality of early education and school education in each target village. Roma Education Fund and its partners will use the experience gained in this project to help improve policies by disseminating information about services available for Roma children in the EU member states and candidate countries. "A Good Start" has as target a number of 5.000 children, aged 0 to 6 years, helping them to participate in early education programs and care services in 16 locations in four countries (Hungary, Macedonia, Romania and Slovakia). In these communities, national and local authorities will work with NGOs to achieve sustainable partnerships in order to increase the range of services provided to young children over time. This project will be an important start to a long and effective support of Roma children according to their development needs.

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Description of the targeted area and people M ofleni is a community situated at the margins of one of the neighbourhoods of Craiova, Dolj County. A number of almost 100 children up to 6 years old live here. The children speak Romani at home, some of them learned French while they travelled in France with their parents and they were enrolled in crèches or kindergarten there. The Roma parents are illiterate and the families live in a medium of 5-6 persons in the same room. They have no access to water, no electricity, no roads, and no heating system. The school and the kindergarten in the neighbourhood are segregated on an ethnical basis, the teachers have anti Roma prejudices and the quality of the education is very poor. The non Roma parents living in Mofleni send their children to a different kindergarten and school; the interactions between Roma and non Roma are very limited. There is no family doctor, no health personnel in the area or in the neighbourhood. Parents work without a permanent contract, and the little children are taking care of by the older brothers and sisters (7-10 years old). Children have no toys or books in their houses.

Educational Issues that the project focused on, education level â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Good Startâ&#x20AC;? project in Mofleni had two approaches, an institutional one and another one centred to the community. For the institutional approach, a series of activities were implemented, activities aiming to raise awareness of the authorities regarding the importance of education and the situation of the Roma children from Craiova. Another issue addressed was the one of interculturality in the kindergarten from Mofleni, Craiova, which was included in the project; the activities developed came to support the kindergarten from the community and to raise awareness of the teachers working there, regarding the importance of the Roma culture and interculturality; the kindergarten teachers benefited of a program of mentoring and of trainings aimed to develop their knowledge and to help them acquire new methods and technics, adapted to the multicultural environment they were working in. The kindergarten was also equipped with materials and equipment for the activities of the children. Regarding the approached focused on the community this was implemented by opening a centre for parents and children from 0 to 6 years old. Here have been implemented educational activities for the children, with the purpose of developing their abilities and preparing them for school and kindergarten. The parents have also been involved in the activities and meetings that were organized within the centre. Awareness raising campaigns have been organized within the community and doorto-door visits, organizing discussions and meetings with the parents on topics related to importance of education, health and care of the children between 0 and 6 years, educational sessions with mothers and pregnant women. The health mediator working in the project offered support for the members of the community for the immunization of the children, for enrolling the people to the general practitioner or for obtaining their identity documents. Also, within the project, the parents have been

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supported in the process of enrolling their children to kindergarten and to school, and with school materials and accompaniment, in order to help them participate in classes and maintain a high scholar attendance. At the centre the children benefited of the expertize of one psychologist and one speech-therapist and two teachers. The project had as main target group the preschool and ante-preschool children, with ages from 0 to 6 years. At the same time, during the project there have been organized activities for the parents, with the aim of realizing parental education.

Results achieved. Quantitative evidences ! 60 parents involved in workshops for non-formal education ! Accompaniment to kindergarten â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 17 children transported daily, as an average, to kindergarten and to the center ! 164 educational sessions and play activities, implemented during the project with a participation of 10-30 children for session ! Therapy sessions for children with psychological counselling and speech therapy: 41 sessions on psychological counselling and 56 speech therapy sessions on an average of 4-5 children/session, 17 children involved in total ! 62 counselled mothers concerning the importance of early childhood education ! Awareness campaigns concerning the importance of education - 159 participants ! Awareness campaigns for the authorities â&#x20AC;&#x201C; involving 50 persons ! Immunization campaign and enrolment to the family doctor ! Mentoring for the teachers from the kindergarten in the community ! 312 households visits to the community ! Workshops on health - 83 participants ! Material support - clothes, school supplies and gifts (toys, snacks, etc.) for approximately 50 children, beneficiaries of the project ! Accompanying the people from the community when accessing health services, social services ! Organizing campaigns and supporting the parents for enrolling their children to school and kindergarten - approximately 100 children enrolled to school and kindergarten during the project

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Results achieved. Qualitative Interviews and focus-groups have been made with the beneficiaries of the project by the World Bank that will be included in an evaluation report. This report was not published yet, but the parents interviewed during this process declared that the activities of the project were very helpful for them and for their children, since they had support for enrolling and sending their children to school and kindergarten and the children’s attendance to school and kindergarten has increased. They were also declaring that the project was helpful for them, because it determined them to change their attitude towards the importance of education and towards their children. One of the mothers declared at the end of the project that “The project was very good because it changed me, it made me realise that I should pay more attention to the education of my own children, as much as I can. Of course, because of the job and because I don’t know how to read and write I’m not able to help my children so much, but now I know that they need more attention from my part.”, Enciu Maria, mother participating at A Good Start project. The parents learnt the importance of education and changed their way of thinking, encouraging their children to participate in classes. Another important result achieved within the project was that children have been familiarized with the Romanian language, since most of them were speaking Romani language at home and had a problem at kindergarten and at school, where they had to learn in Romanian. “They learnt how to talk Romanian from the centre, because in our house we don’t speak Romanian, we speak only Romani.” Daniela Udrilescu, mother participating at A Good Start project. “When we were learning about fruits I used to show them an image and ask what was that. They answered in Romani and I answered back in Romanian; so, we started to learn Romanian language, repeating the words also in Romanian and in Romani”, Catalina Vasile, Roma teacher at the educational centre opened within the project.

References •

“A Good Start”- increase the access to quality educational services for Roma children, 4##0355,,,6-'.%$&1-&226'-<50-)UOMN0-'&)1#OMN<''9OMN2#%-#609:

A GOOD START - The EU ROMA PILOT, 4##0355,,,6-'.%)971%#&'$:7$96475<''9>2#%-#>)7>-'.%> 0&('#

Press Conference: "A Good Start" Project, 4##0355,,,6-'.%9)1%9)6'-<50-)22;1'$:)-)$1);%;<''9;2#%-#;0-'8)1#

“A Good Start”, Roma Education Fund, 4##0355,,,6-'.%)971%#&'$:7$964752&#)259):%7(#5:&()259'17.)$#25%;<''9;2#%-#;L''/()#6MNNS609:

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Preliminary education, Summary: Panel on Pre-school Education 4##0355,,,6*&2)<-%9&$1(72&'$6'-<50%<)50-)(&.&$%-=>)971%#&'$3SRY5

ECEC of disadvantaged Roma children in Central and Eastern Europe, “A Good Start” project Scaling up Access to Quality Services for young Roma children 4##03550%$)(67$&1):6'-<6#-5*)-%5%005*%-5:&()25)5%5)%-(=>)971%#&'$>%$9>1%-)>:'->-'.%>14&(9-)$>&$> 1)$#-%(>%$9>)%2#)-$>)7-'0)>O^MO[NORT>0-)2)$#%#&'$>':>O^MO[NOR[%><''9>2#%-#O^MO[NORR> 0-'8)1#609:

‘A Good Start’ Scaling up Access to Quality Services for young Roma children, High-Level Event on Roma inclusion, 23 May, 2011, Slovakia, 4##0355,,,6<''<()6-'57-(Å2%¢#v-1#¢8v`¢v)2-1¢2v2'7-1)¢,)Lv19¢Yv*)9¢N?Q^£G8"Qv7-(¢4##0OT" OMGOMG)16)7-'0%6)7OMG-)<&'$%(;0'(&1=OMG1'$:)-)$1)2OMG-'.%MNSSOMG9'1OMG1'$1(72&'$2OMGMTN WMNSS;L)-172600#v)&¢2#TyC> ${ybK]N£§Ä;{$]D,v72<¢"G£8?E^E7%.4bJ"ÄSA4S"A%EJ§'/"FIU]<v2&<M¢SAN-;Xy-XT\£yI1W£ y9D£,

“A Good Start, Survey Spotlight on its Localities and households”, 4##0355,,,6'0'-#7$&#%#&)<%()6-'509:;:&()25-):>%<2>4'72)4'(9>27-*)=>21-))$;N609:

Intercultural Dialogue and the Roma: The Key Role of Women and Education "Initiatives, Programmes, Studies", 4##0355,,,6))216)7-'0%6)75-)2'7-1)259'125FA?TTY;%99&#&'$%(>&$:'609:

Contact details

124

Title

Romani CRISS - Roma Centre for Social Intervention and Studies

W eb

HHHI-:F$+&9-&66I:-J

Phone

Tel: +4 021 310 70 70

e-mail

:??&9)K-:F$+&9-&66I:-J

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Index

1! 10 Common Basic Principles for Roma Inclusion, 4 1st International Congress of Roma Women, 75

A! A Good Start project, 120 Action plan for the development of the Roma population, 13 Aliveri, 99 Amare Rromentza, 42 America for Bulgaria, 81 an improvement in the behaviour of the children, 71 Aydin Provence, Turkey, 112

EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies, 5, 6, 26, 46 EU policies, 3 European Commissioner of Education, Culture and Multilingualism and Youth, 75 European Social Fund, 7

F! Family and community participation in school, 66 Family courses, 110 first Circular (F1/206/14-04-1987), 29 Folklore of the ethnoi in Bulgaria – Roma folklore, 92 Fundacion Secretariado Gitano, 120

G!

B! Bank for Development of the Council of Europe, 39 Basque plan for the integral promotion and social participation of the Roma. 2008-2011, 17 Bihor, 120 building bridges, 100 BULGARIA, 21

C! Chiildren Roma Festival Open Heart, 87 Clare Family Learning Project, 112, 113 combat of exclusion, 3 Comenius Regio project, 112 Community Support Framework for Greece (2007-2013),, 29 Consejo Estatal del Pueblo Gitano, 18 Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009, 4 Council conclusions on an EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, 6 Council Directive 2000/43/EC, 4 Council of Europe, 39 Craiova, 121 Craiova, Dolj County, 121

D! Decade of Roma Inclusion, 39 Decreasing the Dropout Rate of Roma Children from School, 81 Dialogic Literary Gatherings, 108 Dolj, 120 drop-out, 91 drop-out rate, 86

E! ECA, 91 Emergency fund, 86 Ennis Educate Together National School, 113 EPEAEK, 31 ESF, 7 Ethnic Folklore - Roma Folklore, 93 Ethnic Folklore - Roma Folklore’, 92 Ethnic Folklore – Roma Folklore’, 81

126

Gatherings, 108 General data about the Roma in Romania, 37 Government Decree No 4/11.01.2005, 23

H! health mediator, 121 holistic approach, 96 Human Resources Development Operational Programme (HRD OP)., 25

I! improve coexistence, 71 in Veliko Turnovo, 87 INCLUD-ED, 102 Integra, 96 Integral Plan for the Roma population in Catalonia 20092013, 15

L! La Paz School, 68 La Paz success, 110 Learning Communities, 108 Learning Community, 71

M! Mare de Déu de Montserrat, 69 Mare de Déu de Montserrat teachers, 105 MECT – The Direction for Minorities- Romania, 43 MES, 24 MEYS, 23 Mission Amalipe, 87, 93 Mofleni, 121 Mofleni, Craiova, 121 Multi Roma Action Hellas, 96

N! National Policies, 9

ROM-UP! The inclusion of Roma through quality successful educational experiences


National Programme for the Development of School Education, 23, 24, 26 National Roma Integration Strategy in Spain, 14 national strategy for improving the situation of the Roma people from Romania, 39 National strategy for Roma integration in Greece (20122020), 32 Nea Ionia Volos, 96 Non scholae, sed vitae discimus, 83, 90 Not for school but for life we learn, 83

O! Open Society Institute, 39 Operational programmes, 31 Order 5083/26.11.1998, 41 Order no. 1540/ 19.07.2007, 41 Order no.1529/18.07.07, 40 Order Number 3577, 41 Ovidiu Rom, 42

P! Panhellenic Cities Network for Romas, 30 Panhellenic Federation of Greek Romas Associations, 30 peer education’, 82 PER Regional Center, 42 PHARE programs, 43 POSER, 30 preschool and ante-preschool children, 122 Presidential Commission Report 2007:8, 37 Program for Reduction of the Dropout Rate of Roma Children”, 81 promote training for adult Roma women, 73 PROROMI, 37

R! Regional policies for the Romas in Greece, 36 RoFal project, 112 Roma Center “Amare Rromentza”, 42 Roma community in Ennis, 112 Roma Education Fund, 120

Roma in an Expansive Europe. Breaking the circle of poverty, 39 ROMA NETWORK, 30 Roma SIP classes, 86 Roma students meetings, 75 Romani CRISS, 42 Romas Integrated Interventions’ Programme in the Region of Thessaly, 36 Rudari groups, 89

S! Save the Children, 42 School Completion Project, 112, 113 second Circular (C1/206/14-04-1987),, 29 SEICSEM, 24 self-dignity of the Roma children, 92 SES, 102 Slovak Governance Institute, 120 Social and Medical centres for Romas, 96 SPAIN, 11 student’s sense of responsibility, 71 Successful Educational Actions (SEAs), 103

U! United Nation’s Program for Development, OSCE, 39 University of Bucharest, 41 University of Ioannina, 31

V! Vallachian consciousness, 89 Vocational Training, 97

W! White Paper, 3 White Paper on Education and Training, 3 women cooperative, 100 Women’s meeting place, 99 World Bank, 39 World Day for Roma, 100

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ROM-UP! is financed by the European Commission over a period of one year, from April 2012 until March 2013. The project includes eight European partners. The main goal of ROM-UP! is to create an International Romani Network to raise awareness of the successful educational experiences that have been scientifically proven to be effective in promoting the social integration of Roma children and all the students in general, in terms of pursuing educational success. The specific objectives of the project are: • Disseminate successful educational experiences in promoting Roma education; • Develop strategies to carry out successful actions in the participating countries; • Involve Roma in the selection of good educational practices carried out in their communities • Establish networks of coordination between the coordinators, Roma communities and education agents in order to overcome Roma educational exclusion. ROM-UP! will contribute to achieve the main goals of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020, offering explicit, detailed and concrete successful educational measures to be transferred and implemented in different European contexts. This will involve a tangible improvement of Roma people's life conditions, especially, the most vulnerable. ROM-UP! will offer concrete successful measures in order to ensure that all Roma children have access to quality education, ensuring primary school completion, reducing the number of early school leavers and promoting the access to tertiary education.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Partner organisations: AMALIPE Centre for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance Website: www.amalipe.com Contact: Teodora Krumova Email: t_krumova@yahoo.com Utilities for Social Protection and Solidarity - Municipal Training Institute of Volos Website: www.kekpa.org Contact: Nikolaos Antonakis Email: antonakis.nikos@gmail.com Centre of Research in Theories and Practices that Overcome Inequalities of the University of Barcelona Website: www.creaub.info Contact: Adriana Aubert Email: crea@ub.edu

Coordinating organisation: Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen Website: www.dromkotar.org Contact: Ana Contreras Fernandez Email: info@dromkotar.org

Generalitat de Catalunya, Department of Social Welfare and Family Website: www20.gencat.cat/portal/ site/bsf/?newLang=en_GB Contact: Violant Cervera Godia Email: vcervera@gencat.cat Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies Website: www.romanicriss.org Contact: Margareta Matache Email: magda@romanicriss.org Pavee Point Travellers Centre Website: www.pavee.ie Contact: Frances Keyes Email: fran.keyes@pavee.ie European Roma Information Office Website: www.erionet.eu Contact: Marta Pinto Email: marta.pinto@erionet.eu

Project website: www.rom-up.eu


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