Successful inclusion of the Roma in education II (UVRVIZ II)

Project name: Successful inclusion of the Roma in education II
Project duration period: 1. 9. 2011–31. 8. 2014
Funding value: 1,675,860 eur
Funding sources: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and the European Social Fund

Partners:

Target group: Roma adults (Roma assistants, parents of pupils and pre-school children), Roma children and Roma pupils, staff of primary schools and nurseries, the management of primary schools and nurseries

Summary (project goals and purpose)

One of the important measures for the successful inclusion of Roma children and pupils in the education system is the functioning of Roma assistants in residential areas and schools, which was introduced by the first project UVRVI in the period from 2008 to 2010. The inclusion of Roma assistants in schools, which include a larger number Roma pupils, contributed significantly to the increased presence of Roma children at classes and to the increased contact of the parents of Roma pupils with school. In addition, thirty-one (31) members of the Roma community acquired knowledge to achieve the standards posed by the national vocational qualification for a Roma assistant.

The project UVRVI II influenced the quality of Roma assistants’ work since aiming only at school attendance is no longer enough. The main objectives of the project were: more successful achievement of the standards of knowledge of Roma pupils in primary schools, reducing the drop-out rate of Roma children and pupils in nurseries and primary schools, ensuring the highest possible level of transition from primary to secondary school, enabling more effective inclusion of the Roma in pre-school and elementary school, in accordance with the solutions posed by the Strategy of Education in the Republic of Slovenia. To this end, we ensured the continued employment of Roma assistants.

Their work consists mainly of direct participation in the classroom and helping children in agreement with the professional school staff, assisting pupils in tackling linguistic problems (in Slovenian and Romani language / dialect), helping pupils in extended stay and other forms of staying at school with homework, assessing the children’s needs in their inclusion into the environment and assisting them, caring for the inclusion of Roma pupils in classes and active participation in classes, encouraging children to actively participate in workshops, in events, games and other activities of schools and nurseries, helping parents or guardians to communicate with the professional school or nursery staff, encouraging Roma parents or guardians for better cooperation with the school / nursery, motivating children and parents or guardians for children’s regular attendance in daycare / school, encouraging children and parents to acquire a profession, etc.

Within the project, Roma assistants have been trained for work in schools and nurseries and for obtaining a higher level of education.

In addition, we have updated the model of mobile guidance service for the Roma, which is intended to encourage the Roma to get more involved in education, to raise awareness of adults and young people about the importance of literacy, to complete primary school and obtain vocational education, to assist parents at encouraging children's learning and school activities, and to raise the level of functional literacy among adult Roma, etc. We designed and implemented a pilot programme for working with parents, workshops for the promotion of vocations and the elimination of prejudices, and we developed materials that are intended to help Roma assistants with their work and the teaching aids for children and pupils. Together with teachers and school management we created guidelines for the preparation of the plan which allows nurseries and schools to perform a more effective inclusion of Roma parents in the nursery or school work.

Project results

  1. co-financing the work of 26 Roma assistants with different levels of education within full-time employment in the first school year of implementation, in the second school year the work of 20 Roma assisstants and in the last school year the work of 20 Roma assistants, uniformly distributed throughout the geographical areas in which the Roma live in Slovenia;
  2. co-financing the work of project teams with a Roma assistant in nurseries (7) and primary schools (31);
  3. we designed two teaching aids; 
  4. we developed and implemented pilot programmes for Roma adults and children; 
  5. we carried out the training of Roma assistants to raise the level of education (264 hours);
  6. we created the guidelines for the preparation of the plan of primary schools and nurseries, with which a school or a nursery determines activities with a purpose to ensure more effective inclusion of the Roma in pre-school and primary education (cooperation with the parents of Roma children, learning about Roma culture, history and identity and overcoming stereotypes and prejudices); 
  7. we supplemented the model of mobile guidance service for the Roma

The project manager was Marjeta Gašperšič, head of the project team at the Development and Education Centre Novo mesto (RIC Novo mesto). Further information about the project is available at ric@ric-nm.si.

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Funding sources