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.
Four informal Roma Education Centers in targeted Roma settlements in Skopje (1), Kumanovo (2) and Prilep (1) prepare 180 preschool children annually to successfully enroll 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.
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. 200 out of the 262 secondary school students, who received four years of scholarship and mentoring assistance between 2004 and 2008, 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, while over 77% of Roma university scholarship recipients progressed to their next level.
Other support: In the period 2004-2010, 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 453 teachers from eight project primary schools in intercultural education and education for social justice, dealing with diversity, interactive teaching methods, and school improvement.
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-nine Roma scholarship and other academic support 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 decision making relevant to Roma community.
The project is building sustainability by ensuring that teachers are well equipped with new child-centered teaching methods and more responsive to student’s needs, teachers appreciate cultural differences and deal better with prejudice, and local curricula are more responsive to cultural diversity. 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.
Last updated: November 18, 2013