The project is designed to address the problems of poor quality of education and high drop-out rates among Roma in the primary education with focus on the first graders.
The project “Enrollment and continuity in the education process” is financed by Roma Education Fund.
Project mission is Full inclusion of Roma children in regular primary education through (a) better access to quality education for Roma pupils and (b) minimize or eliminate the drop-out level of Roma pupils.
The project will continue to be implemented in (1) Kumanovo, (2) Municipality Gazi baba (Skopje), (3) Prilepand (4) Shtip
About the project
According to NRC’s data in four targeted municipalities there 231 Roma children at an enrollment age in first grade. The mediators visited the schools with which they cooperate, as well as local education inspectors and they compared NRC’s data with the ones from the Ministry of interior
In the meantime the mediators visited the families of all children whose names were on the lists and informed them about the necessary documentation for enrollment, as well as that the enrollment takes place in May and that they should enroll their children on time.
According to data from the schools, in the four municipalities there is a total number of 217 Roma first graders, enrolled in the 2010/2011 school year. All families were visited and was concluded that 14 children moved abroad.
The mediators on a request from the schools visited over 630 of their pupils’ families (from first to eight grade), mostly because o irregular attendance and failure of the parents to appear in school.
8 mediators were engaged to work with children in 4 municipalities: Gazi baba (Memet Memet, Sara Sejfula), Kumanovo (Irfan Martez, Martina Asanovska), Prilep (Denisa Selimoska, Nuri Dervishoski), Shtip (Sabina Asanovska, Ajsha Demirova).
In cooperation with schools, lists were created for 114 pupils with whom additional work is being done for adopting of basic school terms and techniques.
On May 4th the coordinator of the working group that will work on the document for inclusion of Roma mediators in the education process realized the study visit which was planed according to the project. During the visit, the coordinator Redzep Ali Cupi met with Mrs. Angelina Skarep from the Ministry of education of Republic of Serbia, with representatives from the project “Education for everyone”, project of the European Union and the Ministry of education through which work is being done on qualifications of pedagogical assistants, with the coordinator of the Roma Decade in the Government of Republic of Serbia as well as with 5 Roma that work as pedagogical assistants.
Training for mediators – The first training was held in the period from 24-26 March in Hotel Biser in Struga. Two trainers were engaged from Center for Competencies and Certification – Skopje for the first two days. 10 candidates were present at the training for mediators, 8 of whom were chosen. On the final day two representatives from MoES were engaged. The second training was scheduled for 10-12 June 2011.
On the advertisement for mediators a total number of 23 candidates applied: 6 for Gazi Baba, 7 for Kumanovo, 7 for Prilep and 3 for Stip.
Meetings with schools and education institutions – we organized meetings with 6 schools, 4 education advisers and 4 local education inspectors. All of them show interest in cooperation and are positive towards the current effects from the project. They accept the mediators and will try to realize positive cooperation with positive effects for the Roma community.
Visit of Roma families – the mediators visit families of first graders with who they work in schools, as well as other families for which they receive information that their children do not regularly attend classes or that the parents fail to appear when asked by the school. The parents accept the mediators and their role (the most common reason is lack of means for clothing and shoes). The mediators inform them about their parental obligations obligations, as well as for the sanctions to which they will be exposed if they do not send their children to school. The analyses for attendance in the 2010/11 are ongoing and will be avalible in the next quartal report.
Working with children in schools – Lists are created for 114 pupils with whom additional work is being done to overcome basic difficulties in adopting the school material. This number does not include pupils from a school in Kumanovo, due to a reccomendation from the school to begin work from September 2011. Their explanation was that they lacked the space, but for the following school year they will make a different schedule and will include the mediator’s activity as obligatory in school.
Study visit – we evaluate the activity as postive because of the transfer of experience by representatives from the Ministry of education of Republic of Serbia, the coordinator of the Decade, as well as the pedagogical assistants. Their experiences, in acceptable frames, will be delivered in front of the work group and placed in the document for inclusion of the mediators in the education process.
Parental meetings – 2 parental meetings have been organized. From a total number of 30 invitees, 19 parents were present. The parents of the first graders that visit additional classes were invited. During the meetings information were exchanged about thier children’s results, discussions were made in relation for improvement of attendance, as well as about the meaning of cooperation between the parents and the school. The parents that did not attend the meetngs were additionally visited by the mediator with a reccomendation to attend the next meeting as well.