Roma Education Project

Start date:         June 28, 2004                    End date:   May 31, 2014    

Project budget:           $ 4,530,760               

Implementer:             Foundation Open Society - Macedonia (FOS-M)


Objectives

Help Roma students remain in the school system and improve their performance and attendance, by means of positive interventions in preschool and primary school. Earlier components of this project also assisted secondary school and university students.


Current Components

Roma Education CentersFour informal centers in targeted Roma settlements in Skopje (1), Kumanovo (2) and Prilep (1) assist up to 250 preschool children annually to prepare for regular school.  They provide after-school tutoring and homework support for 900 students in 1st through 9th grade, and work with parents to raise their awareness about the importance of education.


Achievements/Impact

Over 90% of assisted preschool Roma children have successfully enrolled in first grade and over 94% of participating primary school children completed their grades and progressed to the next one.  Project beneficiaries continue to show higher GPAs.  Of the 262 secondary school students who received four years of scholarship and mentoring assistance between 2004 and 2008, 200 successfully completed secondary education.  In addition, 98 out of 102 secondary school students from the second scholarship and mentoring intervention group (from 2008/09 to 2009/10) completed secondary education, and over 77% of Roma university scholarship recipients progressed to their next level.

Other academic support:  In the period 2004-2009, the project provided scholarship and mentoring assistance to a total of 364 secondary school students and 135 university students.  Additionally, teacher training was provided to around 400 teachers from eight project primary schools in intercultural education and education for social justice, dealing with diversity, interactive teaching methods, and school improvement.


Sustainability/Legacy

The REP has helped 298 Roma secondary students to complete studies. This success and advocacy led the Ministry of Education and Science to take over the REP model of scholarships/mentorships for high school students since 2009 and continue to implement the project.  Eighty-four scholarship and other academic support Roma recipients have graduated from university since 2004. Most of them are already employed in public administration, schools, NGOs and international organizations, and therefore are in a position to advocate for Roma inclusion and to participate in making decisions relevant to Roma community and the country as a whole.

In addition, the project is building sustainability by ensuring that teachers are well equipped with new child-centered teaching methods and more responsive to needs, teachers appreciate cultural differences and deal better with prejudice, and local curricula are more responsive to cultural diversity. Since 2011, the project has worked to move education support for Roma students directly into the partner schools in addition to the specialized Roma Education Centers. Roma parents are increasingly aware that education is the only way out of poverty. Many now actively participate in school activities serving as members of Parents Councils and School Boards.


Contact Information

Contact at USAID:      

Deputy Education Office Director: Lela Jakovlevska, AOR: ljakovlevska@usaid.gov

Chief of Party: Spomenka Lazarevska:  slazare@soros.org.mk

Information Officer: Suzana Pecakovska: specako@soros.org.mk

Website: www.soros.org.mk

Last updated: February 21, 2013

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