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CAHROM (2018)12

Strasbourg, 30 November 2018

AD HOC COMMITTEE OF EXPERTS ON ROMA AND TRAVELLER1 ISSUES (CAHROM)


__________

CAHROM THEMATIC VISIT ON


ENHANCING THE EFFECTIVE REALIZATION OF ROMA CHILDREN’S COMPULSORY SCHOOL EDUCATION
AND ADDED VALUE OF ENSURING ACCESS TO VOCATIONAL EDUCATION FOR ROMA YOUTH
Chişinău and Vulcăneşti, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April 2018

FINAL THEMATIC REPORT


approved by the experts of the thematic group and endorsed by the CAHROM at its 16th plenary meeting
(Strasbourg, 16-19 October 2018)

1
The term “Roma and Travellers” is used at the Council of Europe to encompass the wide diversity of the groups covered by the work of the Council of
Europe in this field: on the one hand a) Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari; b) Balkan Egyptians (Egyptians and Ashkali); c)
Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal); and, on the other hand, groups such as Travellers, Yenish, and the populations designated under the
administrative term “Gens du voyage”, as well as persons who identify themselves as Gypsies. The present is an explanatory footnote, not a definition of
Roma and/or Travellers.
CAHROM (2018)12

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. INTRODUCTION page 3
1.1 Context of the thematic report and visit page 3
1.2 Introduction to the situation in the Republic of Moldova, hosting country page 7
1.3 European and international texts of reference page 9
1.4 Composition of the thematic group of experts page 9
1.5 Programme of the thematic visit and main issues addressed page 10

II. SIZE, COMPOSITION, LANGUAGE, LIFESTYLE AND SITUATION OF THE GROUPS


COVERED BY THE REPORT page 10

III. COMPULSORY AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY FRAMEWORK


AND PRACTICES page 10

IV. CONCLUSIONS, LESSONS LEARNED, GOOD PRACTICES IDENTIFIED AND ENVISAGED


FOLLOW-UP page 11
4.1 General conclusions on the topic page 11
4.2 Specific conclusions of the thematic group of experts page 14
4.3 Lessons learnt by the experts page 14
4.4 Good practices identified page 15
4.5 Envisaged short-term and mid-term follow-up page 17

APPENDICES: page 19

Appendix 1: Official invitation letter received from the Moldovan authorities


Appendix 2: Programme of the CAHROM thematic visit in the Republic of Moldova
Appendix 3: List of experts and participants in the thematic visit
Appendix 4: European and international standards and reference texts
Appendix 5: Size, composition, language, lifestyle and situation of the groups covered by the thematic visit
Appendix 6: Compulsory education including vocational - legislative and policy framework and practices in
countries participating in the thematic visit
Appendix 7: UNICEF materials on project conducted in Vulcănești village

ADDENDUM: Experts’ and participants’ presentations and other relevant documents page 20

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CAHROM (2018)12

I. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Context of the thematic report and visit


The issue of the level of education among Roma communities in Europe has been a matter of serious concern
and efforts, both at national and international levels for decades2. Education has become a priority and one of
the main areas of member states’ interventions in the framework of all existing national Roma integration
strategies, and the subject of high financial and organisational investments. Unfortunately, the results are still a
far cry from satisfactory. Moreover, as many countries do not collect educational data-related to Roma pupils
and youth, it is hard to gauge the progress made where actions have been taken in the field of education, but
also to obtain such basic information as the level of enrolment of Roma children in compulsory schooling and
their transition to secondary education. Ignoring the school compulsory education in case of Roma pupils is
blatant proof of the systemic marginalisation of Roma across Europe.

Compulsory education is usually presented as the indispensable minimum requirement to acquire the
necessary knowledge and skills for basic social inclusion, employment and active citizenship, while the
prognosis of labour market specialists leave no illusions as to future job requirements: in the forthcoming 20 to
30 years at least half of today’s existing jobs will disappear, and they are, unsurprisingly, mainly the low-skilled
ones. The new types of jobs will be connected to high competencies, flexibility in the labour market and
combined with lifelong learning: 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working
in completely new job types that do not yet exist. In such a rapidly evolving employment landscape, the ability
to anticipate and prepare for future skills requirements, job content and the aggregate effect on employment is
increasingly critical for businesses, governments and individuals in order to fully seize the opportunities
presented by these trends - and to mitigate undesirable outcomes3. In the case of Roma children, discussions
and efforts still focus on the issue of completing primary education. How will the younger generation of Roma
secure job opportunities, especially given the fact that Roma constitute the youngest population in Europe?

According to the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) Roma survey – data in focus. Education:
the situation of Roma in 11 EU Member States4 from 2011 many alarming facts are visible:
 On survey average: 17 % of Roma children were never in education with the highest rates in Greece
(44%), Portugal (32%), France and Romania (24%) and with the lowest rates in Hungary (3%), the Czech
Republic and the Slovak Republic (1%).
 On survey average: 27 % of Roma children have not completed primary education with the highest
rates in France (44%), Spain (43%), Romania (35%), and Bulgaria (31%) and with the lowest rates in the
Slovak Republic (17%) and the Czech Republic (10%).

2
From the list of CAHROM thematic reports and the countries involved in the thematic groups, one can easily deduct the main priorities and challenges.
The most numerous thematic visits - 10 out of 30 in total in the period of 2012-2017 - were related to education: on reducing school drop-outs and
absenteeism of Roma pupils ( the Netherlands, 12-14 March 2012), on inclusive education as opposed to special schools (Czech Republic, 1-3 October
2012), on inclusive education as opposed to special schools (Slovak Republic, 3-5 October 2012), on school drop-out and absenteeism of Roma girls
(Finland, 24-26 October 2012), on inclusive pre-school education for Roma children (Czech Republic, 19-21 November 2014), on schooling of Roma
migrant and Travellers children (France, 5-7 October 2015), on vocational training/education for Roma (Poland, 26-28 November 2015), on testing
systems and diagnoses for Roma children with allegedly mild mental disabilities (Hungary, 9-11 March 2016), on Roma mediation with a focus on
school mediators/assistants (Lithuania, 25-27 April 2017) and on the teaching of Roma history, including the Roma Holocaust, in textbooks and school
curricula (Slovak Republic, 7-9 November 2017). Endorsed thematic reports are available on: https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/cahrom
3
The Future of Jobs. Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, World Economic Forum, 2016, p. 3.
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf
4
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic and Spain.
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CAHROM (2018)12

 On survey average: 47 % of Roma children have completed primary education with the highest rates
in the Slovak Republic (67%), the Czech Republic (66%), and Hungary (63%) and the lowest rates in
France (30%) and Greece (29%).
 On survey average: 10 % of Roma children and youth have completed secondary and higher
education with the highest rate in the Czech Republic and Poland (20%), the Slovak Republic (15%) and
Hungary (13%) and with the lowest rates in France (4 %), Spain (3%), Greece (2%) and Portugal (1%).
 On survey average: 27 % finished school after the age of 16 or were still in education after the age of
16 with the highest rates in the Czech Republic (47%), Hungary (44%), Poland and the Slovak Republic
(41%) and with the lowest rates in Spain (18%), Italy (16%), Portugal (10%) and Greece (4%).
 On survey average: 56% of Roma children leave school before the age of 16 with the highest rates in
Bulgaria (67%), Spain (66%), and Italy (63%) and the lowest rates in Hungary (53%), the Czech Republic,
Greece and Romania (52%), France (49%) and Poland (45%).

One of the basic problems seems to be the realisation of compulsory school education and its enforcement by
states, according to law obligations vary from country to country: starting age of 3 to 7, ending age of 15 to
almost 19 (graph 1) and duration of compulsory education between 9 to 13 years (graph 2)5:
19 Compulsory education age (incuding pre-school)
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
CHE*
LUX

GRB*

LVA

MKD
ALB

LTU

POL
CZE

MLT

BEL*

FRA

HRV

IRL

LIE

PRT

SWE
NLD
SRB

DNK

MDA
MNE
HUN

CYP

BIH

ESP

NOR
GRC
BGR

FIN
TUR

DEU*

ISL

ITA

ROU

SVN
UKR

EST
AUT

SVK

Duration of compulsory education (in years)


14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
0
GRB*
ALB

LTU
HRV
LIE

MNE

LVA

LUX
SRB

CZE

CHE*

MLT

BEL*

MDA
POL
PRT

MKD

NLD
BIH

SWE

DNK

FRA
CYP

NOR

GRC
IRL
EST

ESP

ITA

BGR

ROU

TUR

DEU*

HUN
SVN

AUT

FIN

ISL

SVK

UKR

AUT

*differences on local level, most common chosen here

5
Data for school year 2017/2018: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2017. Compulsory Education in Europe – 2017/18. Eurydice Facts and Figures.
Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union, p. 4
https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/fpfis/mwikis/eurydice/images/d/df/Compulsory_Education_2017_18.pdf
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CAHROM (2018)12

Graph 2 clearly shows that the duration of compulsory education differs: 9 years (in 9 countries), 10 years (13
countries), 11 years (in 8 countries), 12 years (in 7 countries) and 13 years (in 4 countries). However that fact
has not impact on the opportunities, or rather the lack thereof, offered to Roma pupils to pursue quality
education which can assure them access to the labour market, economic independence and integration.
Moreover, the compulsory duration of school duty should, at least, offer them vocational skills should they, for
any reason, not want or are not able to pursue their education to the tertiary level.

According to the Midterm review of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 20206:
Regarding progress in access to education, participation of Roma in early childhood education has improved
since 2011 in most of countries from 47% in 2011 to 53% in 2016: Attendance of compulsory secondary
education has also improved, from 86% to 90%; and secondary school drop-out rates have decreased from 87 %
to 68 %, leading to an average increase of Roma staying in secondary school. However, the share of Roma
students attending classes where “all classmates are Roma” has increased (from 10% to 15%).

The reasons for schools drop-outs reported in the above mentioned FRA survey are:
 Of economic nature: high costs, need to work, etc. – on survey average: 37% with highest rate in
Greece and Romania (55%);
 Of practical nature - restricted access due to: distance, lack of documents, illness, dismissal, failure, etc.
- on survey average: 14%;
 Of personal nature: marriage, pregnancy7 – on survey average: 8% with highest rate in Poland (18%);
 Of the individual conviction that the achieved level of education is sufficient: on survey average: 28%
with highest rate in Slovak Republic (41%), followed by Bulgaria (38 %), Czech Republic (36%), France
(30%) and Hungary (29%).

Based on those results the obstacles in enrolment of Roma children in education system can be defined as
those connected to a system and/or infrastructure: lack of documents, distance and lack of public
transportation, connected costs (textbooks, school starter kit, etc.) and to an individual perception within the
Roma families (motivation, need/will to engage children in contributing to household incomes, subjective
sense of school environment openness and safety – especially important in case of Roma girls, etc.

In light of this information it is worthy to mention a few attempts to limit the school drop-out rates.

In June 2017, Bulgaria introduced a vast survey on school drop-outs and the continuation of education after
completing primary school. Findings from that search are as follows:
- 130,000 children do not attend school in Bulgaria, the majority of them are Roma children;
- students dropping out after completing primary education are the largest group of drop-outs: 6.33%
of students (2,763 out of 42,221) who graduated from primary school are not enrolled in secondary or
high schools (compared to 3-4% in previous years);

6
Material sent by Non-discrimination and Roma coordination Unit, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers to Member States in March 2018 for the
meeting of National Roma Contact Point, 16 March 2018, Brussels.
7
According to Eurostat, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Slovakia are the countries with the highest proportion of births of teenage mums , respectively:
12.3%, 11,9%, 9% and 8,4%. As it relates to Greece and the Netherlands, EU countries participated in the visit, the rate of teenage birth giving is: 3.2%
(Greece) and 1,3 % (Netherlands). In 2015 the highest number of birth given by girls aged 10-14 was in Romania - 351, followed by Bulgaria - 138 and
France -117; in case of Greece - 30 and the Netherlands – 0.
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- the presence / absence of a secondary school in the respective locality is a statistically significant
factor affecting enrolment in secondary education: the percentage of non-enrolled primary school
pupils who are the only ones living in their respective location is almost doubled: 8.97% compared to
5.03% of the primary school graduates in the cities;
- drop-out students are not evenly distributed across schools and regions, and there is an over-
concentration in certain municipalities and schools.

As a follow up, the inter-institutional mechanism for returning children back to school was established with
representatives of all related state agencies and NGOs at the national and local levels (11,602 specialists
organised in 1,103 teams): teachers, parents, police officers, social workers, health mediators, etc. Those teams
visited homes of children not attending school and spoke to the parents. As a result, many of the children
returned to school. However, according to information from the Bulgarian Ministry of Education, many of them
attended school for several months but ended up not returning. Nonetheless, it shows that constant and
recurring pressure can be effective up to a certain point.

Spain also worked on collecting data on schooling. According to the Executive Summary: Roma Students in
Secondary Education in Spain. A Comparative Study, 64% of Roma youth fail to complete their compulsory
secondary education studies (ESO) compared to 13% for the population as a whole. Moreover, the illiteracy rate
of the Roma community stood at 8.7% in 2011 compared to 2.19% for the whole of Spain. By age 16 the Roma
enrolment rate declines to 55%, far below the 93.5% for the rest of the population. In 2007, only 2.6% of the
Roma population had gone on to higher education compared to 22% of the population as a whole. (…) at age
15-16 the vast majority of Roma who remain in school are enrolled in middle level vocational training or an
Initial Professional Qualification Programme (PCPI). The situation is even worse in the case of Roma girls and
young women. (…) As for the level of education achieved by Roma youth aged 16 to 19, 62.7% have completed
primary school, 24.8% have earned their ESO diploma and only 7.4% completed non-compulsory secondary
education (high school or intermediate-level vocational training). At these ages, the difference with the general
population is quite significant; for that same age bracket, 47% of the general population earned their ESO
diploma and 24.7% finished non-compulsory secondary education. (…) As regards the youngest age bracket
(between 15 and 19), 43.3% of the Roma population neither studies or works, 30.4 percentage points above the
national rate (which stands at 12.8%). In the next age bracket considered (20 to 24) the gap with the national
indicator narrows: 48.5% of Roma youth are not engaged in any sort of training or labour activity compared to
27.4% of the general population. For both age groups, the percentage of Roma women who neither study nor
work is higher than Roma men with differences ranging from 6.7 percentage points for the youngest bracket to
8.8 for the 20 to 24 year old group 8.

One of the Spanish NRIS objectives is to raise the number of students completing ESO. In 2007 the figures were
78.1% for boys and 71.7% for girls - the goal by 2020 is to reach 90% range for boys and girls. The Fundación
Secretariado Gitano launched in 2009 the Promociona Programme , financed by the European Social Fund, with
the ultimate goal to reduce early school leaving, to help young Roma to achieve higher academic standards at
the end of primary education, to complete the compulsory secondary level of education and to continue
middle and/or higher studies and vocational training in order to improve access to the labour market for Roma
youth. Figures of the above mentioned Promociona programe for the 2014/2015 school year show that stable

8
Fundación Secretariado Gitano, Executive Summary: Roma Students in Secondary Education in Spain. A Comparative Study, p.7, p. 14, see: Addendum.
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CAHROM (2018)12

investment and pressure for schooling bring results: out of 1 276 students from 373 schools enrolled into the
programme - 75% of the boys and 89.5% of the girls (a total of 82.25 %) earned their secondary school, and
87.8% of the boys and 75.3% of the girls (a total of 81.55%) programme participants continuing post-
compulsory studies.

One of the recommended tools as (relatively) efficient for the education of Roma pupils, especially in relation
to school enrolment and for the creation of Roma role models, are Roma school mediators. Of a total of 6,082
Roma mediators working in CoE members states9 2,368 work as Roma school mediators (39 %), and in the
countries which participated in the thematic visit, the number of mediators working specifically as school
mediators is as follows:

- Republic of Moldova: 010 (est. number of Roma population: 107,100)


- Bosnia and Herzegovina: 14 (est. number of Roma population: 58,000)
- Greece: 4211 (est. number of Roma population: 110,00712)
- Hungary: 19213 (est. number of Roma population: 750,000)
- The Netherlands: 0 (est. number of Roma population: 40,000)
- Poland: 9214 (est. number of Roma population: 25,000)
- Slovak Republic: 1,28715 (est. number of Roma population: 490,000)
- Ukraine: 216 (est. number of Roma population: 260,000).
-
1.2 Introduction to the situation in the Republic of Moldova – hosting country
According to the UNDP report 2007: Roma in the Republic of Moldova 21 % of adult Roma are illiterate
(compared to 2% of non-Roma) that means that one fifth of the Roma population is excluded from social and
economic life. Apart from the group of illiterate Roma, only three out of ten Roma have primary education, and
another three out of ten have secondary education/gymnasium level (including incomplete or vocational
education). The Education Index is one third lower for Roma (0.641) than for non-Roma (0.910) and is the most
important difference between Roma and non-Roma in Moldova, as compared with other components of
Human Development Index. This suggests that closing the education gap could effectively contribute to the
human development of Roma and bring them closer, in terms of human development, to the majority
population17. 43 % of Roma children age 7-15 do not attend school; primary education (7-11) covers less than
70% Roma pupils, and secondary (12-15) less than 50%. Persons with college and higher (academic) education
are estimated as 4% of Roma. Reasons for school drops outs are similar to those presented by FRA, mentioned
above: economic (34%) , no need for further education (14%), the need to bring income to the household
(85%), marriage (8%), illness (7%), distance (5%), discrimination (2%), nonetheless it must be noticed here, that

9
Data collected for the purpose of CAHROM thematic visit on Roma mediation (with a focus on school mediators/assistants), held in Vilnius, Lithuania,
on 25-27 April 2017, and updated in November 2017 during 14th CAHROM plenary, see report from the visit https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/cahrom
10
Roma community mediators have been institutionalised in the Republic of Moldova. However, they are not labelled as school mediators and work
mainly as health and social mediators. The total number of Roma Community Mediators hired by local governments varies from year to year (2013 - 15
mediators hired in 2013, 48 in 2014, 15 in 2015, 9 in 2016).
11
In Greece there are in total 127 Roma mediators. They do not have a particular “specialization” like “school mediators” or “health mediators”. They are
working in all areas, accordingly to local needs. However, 42 of them are working in practice in school environment.
12
Data collected by Greek authorities on the basis of mapping of the Roma settlement, conducted by the Special Secretariat on Roma Social inclusion.
13
Another 119 work as Roma employment mediators in Hungary.
14
Another 20 work as Roma health mediators in Poland.
15
Another 229 work as Roma health mediators, another 860 as Roma employment mediators and another 533 as community mediators in the Slovak
Republic.
16
Another 19 work as Roma health mediators in Ukraine.
17
Roma in the Republic of Moldova, UNDP Moldova, 2007, p.62.
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when it comes to answers to detailed questions approx. 1/3 of Roma respondents refused the answer or
answered “I do not know”. Study on the situation of Romani women and girls in the Republic of Moldova ,
UNDP Moldova in co-operation with UN Women and OHCHR, 2014, excerpt data concerning the differences
between Roma girls and boys: only 52% of Roma girls and 55% Roma boys are involved into primary education,
only 14% of Roma girls and 17% Roma boys are involved into secondary professional education, only 63% of
adult (16+) Roma women are literate18.

A comprehensive UNICEF report: Roma children and Their Access to Services. Participatory Assessment of
Barriers. Qualitative Sociological Survey gives a decent overview of the educational situation of Roma children
in the Republic of Moldova, with a focus on barriers in access to education: Schooling is perceived by Roma as a
tool in which children learn to read and write, with their school education usually ending at primary classes.
Cases of further education in the secondary school or university are an exception. Enrolment of girls and boys is
uneven, and is higher among boys. Education is not highly valued for the Roma, even if some Roma people
realize the benefits of education. People who manage to go beyond the Roma’s normal “educational limit” are
frequently rejected by Roma. A parent of a Roma family is a passive actor of the education process. Attendance
of preschool institutions by Roma children is not accepted nor promoted in their community. Non-schooling of
Roma is due to a number of reasons, both objective and subjective. The main causes of dropout at an early age
are migration and early marriages. (…) The survey answers showed that family and money are the fundamental
values of the Roma community. (…) The most frequent reason for the schooling of children was acquisition of
basic writing and reading skills. (…) Some young Roma people and non-Roma parents believe that education
can protect children from non-standard and antisocial behaviour (...) In most cases, vulnerable Roma families
face difficulties in providing children with school supplies. (…) Rent payment for books or purchases of exercise
books and supplies are an obstacle to the child’s schooling. (…) The survey showed low preparation levels of
Roma children for school. Compared with their peers, Roma lack the age-specific knowledge. (…) Failure to
attend a preschool institution affects the following enrolment in school. Some teachers mentioned the poor
development of motor skills, poor memory training of some children, lack of awareness of the collective
behaviour rules, etc. (…) The schooling in Roma communities involves a different approach than schooling in
non-Roma communities, where parents show a high interest in enrolling their children in schools. (…) In Soroca,
at the beginning of each school year, since 2007, an official count of school-age children is conducted in order to
identify the number of children present at that time in the town and to persuade parents to educate their
children. (…) Another issue was the transfer of responsibility and task of schooling of Roma children from one
authority to another. (…) community actors pointed out that Roma leaders themselves, including the
community mediator, do not provide a strong example to the Roma people in schooling their children. Girls that
were educated in these families continued the tradition of dropping out of school after the age of 12 to 14. In
the same context, it was noted that the involvement and effort of Roma leaders in the schooling of Roma
children are lower compared to other community actors. (…) Another feature of the Roma’s lifestyle that
impacts school attendance is the perception of Roma children’s wishes as a supreme value: if the child does not
wish to go to school/kindergarten, the parent does not insist (...).
One positive factor that influenced the education of Roma children at all levels is the inclusion of Roma issues on
the agenda of various national and international organizations that organize activities with parents and
teachers for the inclusion of Roma children in schools19.

18
Study on the situation of Romani women and girls in the Republic of Moldova, UN Women, UNDP, OHCHR, 2014, p. 30.
19
All the quotations in this paragraph, marked in italics, come from: UNICEF, 2016, Participatory Assessment of Barriers Hampering the Access of Roma
Children and their Families to Services, Chisinau, UNICEF Moldova Office, pages: 31-69.
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This survey tabled, according to all responses, several measure of school enrolment that can be both, pull
factor or barrier, depending on circumstances: infrastructure and equipment of the institution, parents’
interest in education, quality of training, attitude of teachers and interaction with peers.

Pull factors are as follows: trained parents and relatives, free food, practical and extracurricular activities.

Apparently barriers in regards to Roma children involvement into schooling system are: traditions and lifestyle
(e.g. involvement of girls in household and/or care for other younger children or the risk that they may be
“stolen”, involvement of boys in income generating activities, including begging), migration (however,
according to some experts and parents, children’s migration with their parents has some positive effects as it
protects children from common risks associated with lack of parental supervision, like drugs abuse, etc.), non-
attendance of preschool institutions (enrolment of a child in a kindergarten is a disgrace to the Roma family
and is perceived as that family is unable to support their child, and mother is usually labelled a “bad mother”),
language barriers, poor living conditions (including the lack of season-specific clothing and footwear), adverse
weather conditions, flawed documentation of Roma, complicated curriculum, schedule of classes, lack of
school transport, mixed classes (in sense of pupils’ age) and, finally, unfounded blaming. The rationale behind
those factors, grassroots examples and conclusions are explained in details in above mentioned report.

According to specialists, whenever we are speaking about social integration there are two main and
interrelated platforms of integration: education and labour market. As long as Roma are not present at schools
- as a consequence - they are not present in labour market. Thus, the integration remains only a postulate.

1.3 European and international texts of reference


See Appendix 4.

1.4 Composition of the thematic group of experts


Experts participating in the visit represented a wide range of entities dealing with Roma issues and/or
education at different levels: institutions responsible for national minorities and/or persons responsible for
implementation of the Roma inclusion strategies. The list of the experts participating in the thematic group is
listed below and their contacts details can be found in Appendix 3.

Experts from the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, requesting/hosting country

Mr Nicolae RADIȚA CAHROM member, National Centre of Roma


Ms Olga PETUHOVA CAHROM substitute, Bureau of Inter-Ethnic Relations,

Experts from BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, GREECE, HUNGARY, THE NETHERLANDS, POLAND, UKRAINE,
partner countries

Ms Aida DŽAFEROVIĆ Ministry of Civil Affairs, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA


Ms Eleni KALLINIKOU CAHROM member, Expert within the Special Secretariat on
Roma Social Inclusion, Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and
Social Solidarity, GREECE
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CAHROM (2018)12

Mr Iván SÖRÖS Head of Department for Children’s Chances, Ministry of


Human Resources, State Secretariat for Social Inclusion,
HUNGARY (excused for the thematic visit)
Mr Ed HUIJBERS School attendance officer, Municipality of Veldhoven, THE
NETHERLANDS
Ms Alina RESPONDEK Foundation for the Development of the Education System,
POLAND
Ms Natalia TKACHENKO Head of the Division for International Cooperation of National
Minorities Issues, Department for Religious Affairs and
Nationalities, Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, UKRAINE

1.5 Programme of the thematic visit and main issues addressed


The agenda (see Appendix 2) included meetings and discussions with several relevant ministries and State
agencies (State Chancellery, Ministry of External Affairs and European Integration, Ministry of Education,
Culture and Research, Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection, Ministry of Internal Affairs,
Coordinating Council of Audio-visual and Bureau of Interethnic Relations). During the first day representatives
from UNICEF Moldova presented the programme they carried out in partnership with the Youth Resource
Centre DACIA (NGO) in Vulcănești village – location of the field visit on the next day (Promotion of increased
participation of Roma children in education; see Appendix 7). Vulcănești is inhabited by approx. 1,500 people
with a 90 % Roma community and is characterized by the lowest rate of school attendance. The field visit was
conducted with a view to having direct contact with Roma representatives and local and regional school
authorities. The details of the educational situation in Vulcănești are described in the above mentioned
Appendix). A debriefing session between the experts of the thematic group was organised in the morning of
the third day.

The agenda followed the guidelines developed by the CAHROM and allowed the possibility for partner
countries to introduce their experience and exchange views with local interlocutors.

Some of the main issues addressed during the thematic visit included: the need for pre-school education (and
the reluctance from some parents), the need to properly equip Roma pupils with basic tools, including
textbooks and starter kits, transportation, meals, etc., seasonal migration of Roma families which severely
influences school attendance, Roma school mediators system, problem of lack of ID papers, lack of knowledge
of the official language among some Roma children, lack of basic data, including the number of Roma children
enrolled in the school system (estimates vary between 100 and 5,000!), early marriages – phenomenon still
valid within Moldovan Roma communities, etc.

II. SIZE, COMPOSITION, LANGUAGE, LIFESTYLE AND SITUATION OF THE GROUPS COVERED BY THE REPORT
Following the decision taken by the CAHROM at its 12th meeting in November 2016, information about the size,
composition, language and situation of the groups covered by the thematic report is no longer included in the
core of the document but figures (see Appendix 5).

III. LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICES


See Appendix 6.

10
CAHROM (2018)12

IV. CONCLUSIONS, LESSONS LEARNED, GOOD PRACTICES IDENTIFIED AND ENVISAGED FOLLOW-UP

4.1 General conclusions on the topic

School duty is a legal obligation and thus must be enforced by the state for all its citizens, including ethnic
Roma citizens

The experts unanimously concluded that a strong message to all CoE member States that schooling is a legal
obligation and thus, must be enforced by the States for all its citizens, including Roma citizens. In this regard
the question of possible penalties applied for not fulfilling the period of compulsory education duty was
discussed and perceived as a possible and potentially effective measure to pressure Roma parents to send their
children to school. The case of Drosero Roma settlement in Xanthi (Eastern Thrace), where Roma parents were
imposed fine for not sending their children to school, led to a large number of registrations of Roma children
into school which is a positive example in this regard. Furthermore, the lack of enforcement of legal obligations
is further evidence of the marginalisation and treatment of Roma as “second class” citizens in practice.
Education should be at the core of any action taken within national strategies or sectorial action plans on
education. The implementation of Roma strategies/action plans should be supported by adequate legislation
and institutional mechanisms, including qualified staff, a sustainable budget, etc. that enable effective
enforcement.

Poverty is not the single reason for school drops-out

Secondly, poverty is a fact but not the only reason for school absenteeism of Roma pupils and this argument
should not be overused while speaking about Roma, neither by the authorities nor by the Roma themselves
and should not be used as an “easy excuse” or justification for school drops-out. Nonetheless, poverty still
remains an obstacle for schooling as it is related to other phenomena like poor housing conditions, migration,
and so on which consequently affects school duty.

Lack of ID papers can negatively influence access to education services. Progress in several countries
achieved in this regards should be followed by other countries.

A remaining obstacle is the lack of ID papers, including birth certificates, which is an issue in the Republic of
Moldova and Ukraine (and in some other European countries) as in practice it closes access to public services,
including education. However, positive actions in this regards have been taken by other countries (Romania or
Montenegro) and have resulted in gradually solving this problem.

Lack of data on education hinder monitoring of schooling and educational situation of Roma

The lack of data on education was mentioned many times, this issue is raised by different experts during every
visit, regardless of the visit’s topic. A tool which could improve the systemic approach to data collection is a
mapping of Roma settlements, illustrating different areas of interventions, including education.

11
CAHROM (2018)12

Local level crucial for enforcement of school duty regardless of ethnicity

The local level is crucial for the effective implementation of Strategies or Action Plans, adapted to the local
needs. They should be characterized by a holistic and dynamic approach, tailored to the local situation. At the
local level co-operation is needed between key stakeholders: schools and Roma school mediators,
department/person within the local authorities responsible for education, social workers, police officers, etc.
Those local “teams” should pay attention also to Roma parents who are often not supporting their children or
even not sending them to school. The link between compulsory school duty completion and child benefits
should be considered.

Greece is good example since the Social Solidarity Income (SSI) – a welfare programme targeting low income
households - is linked with a children’s school attendance; since November, 1st, 2018, the SSI database in
digitally inter-connected with the school database myschool. Parents are obliged to secure their children’s
attendance to school in order to benefit from SSI. A similar solution is considered in Poland.

In the Netherlands, municipalities are responsible for enforcing the law and employ school attendance officers
to ensure compliance with the Law. Parents bear primary responsibility for complying with the Compulsory
Education Act, i.e. for enrolling their children into school and for ensuring their daily presence at school. When
children, Roma or otherwise, are persistently absent, the school attendance officer takes action – if necessary
legal – to ensure they go to school. As a last resort, the attendance officer can report the case to the Public
Prosecutor; judicial proceedings can lead to a fine or even a custodial sentence on the parents. Fines to Roma
parents remain usually unpaid; they are not a suitable answer as they increase family debt and poverty. This is
why, in Veldhoven, the fine was replaced by a work penalty (parents who do not send children to school must
work on a Saturday). The Dutch model to link family benefits with community work could also be envisaged.

Promotion of Roma role models within the Roma communities and the majority

Roma role models should not only be promoted with the majority in order to change stereotypes, but first and
foremost - amongst the Roma community to change their mind-set towards their children’s education – as
formal education is not a high priority in Roma culture. Apart from objective reasons (like poverty, inadequate
housing etc.) there are also internally motivated reasons for the reluctance towards pre-school education,
completion of school duty and continuation into higher education. Roma parents are very often passive actors
in the educational process of their children. This issue must be addressed by educational authorities.

Good examples of role models can be Roma school assistants/mediators. States in which the institution of
Roma school assistants/mediators does not yet exist, should consider it, and pay special attention to keep the
positions of community assistant/mediators separate from school assistants/mediators. School mediators,
apart from being facilitators for school, also act as a bridge with Roma parents and can influence their attitude
towards continuing school and can fight against negative phenomena within the community, such as early
marriages which in practice terminate the education process, especially among Roma girls. The role of trans-
generational exchanges among Roma women and girls can also contribute to the process of education.
Awareness raising for Roma parents – as responsible for the education of their children and for the completion
of school duty, starting with compulsory pre-school education and finishing at the age of 15-19 (depending on
country, see: graph 1. in introductory part) – is needed.
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CAHROM (2018)12

Teacher training and multi-disciplinary teams

Furthermore, the lack of training of some teachers to work with pupils of different cultural backgrounds can
influence the involvement and attendance of Roma pupils and the attitude of the Roma parents towards the
majority society, school institutions and education duty. Teacher training should encompass, among others,
information on Roma culture and traditions, a human rights component, the cultural diversity of different
groups, the rights relating to the protection of national minorities, etc.
The presented Dutch approach of multi-disciplinary teams, described below under “good practices” can be an
efficient tool for monitoring the educational situation of individual Roma pupil and at the same time – for
tutoring and mentoring Roma youth.

After-class activities for Roma children

The system of after-class activities exists in many countries. Its goal is to level out specific shortages of Roma
pupils as they often cannot be helped within their family environment in this regard. It should be enriched with
informal education activities concerning career counselling, especially in case of Roma youth. Vocational
advisers speaking about how vocational training can build a good bridge towards employment, related
economic independence and the ability to provide for the family and offer Roma youth better knowledge
about the labour market and job prospects.

High drop-outs rates at secondary education level although partly compulsory

The thematic visit was dominated by the issue of compulsory education since the data presented showed that
on the level of secondary education, including vocational schools, the presence of Roma students is rather
symbolic and perceived as not compulsory in practice. This attitude is shared by both the Roma community and
very often the authorities. The lack of discussion on vocational education within the context of Roma is thus
the diagnosis of an (alarming) situation. Secondary education, which is partly compulsory, is in practice not
enforced at all.

Lack of professional skills and the need for “second chance” programmes for Roma youth

The lack of education automatically leads to a lack of any professional skills and a lack of access to the labour
market. Therefore a system of “second chance” schools – combining literacy and vocational skills - should be
considered and promoted among Roma, in particular for those who dropped out and who would like to return
to school and acquire either a higher education or professional skills. Here, the possibilities of the EU European
Social Funds and Erasmus+ can be used (and were used in several countries). The experts agreed that more
synergy is needed between Roma-related issues and the use of EU funds at the national level, especially in
relation to Roma teenagers that are neither in education nor in employment (NEET). According to the European
Commission report on implementation of National Strategies of Roma Inclusion – since 2011 the number of
Roma NEET increased from 56 % to 63 % in 2016 – and it affects mainly Roma youth, who makes up the largest
part of Roma communities. As those funds enable also trans-border cooperation – the exchange of experiences
and sharing of good practices is possible.
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CAHROM (2018)12

In this regard is it very important to focus on presenting to the Roma pupils the possibilities offered by a
vocational education, in relation with access to the local labour market and relatively early economic
independence which is in line with early marriages and early childbirth, occurring in some Roma communities.
It is also in line with the Roma tradition of “family business” and should be promoted by guidance counsellors
and career advisers at an early stage. It should be also connected with training on self-employment and
entrepreneurship. Also worth considering and to be included in the training, if it exists, is the possibility of
micro-credits for Roma women and Roma youth to start their own businesses.

Job counselling at the early educational stage and cooperation with local entrepreneurs

Job information and counselling at an early educational stage is especially relevant in the case of Roma pupils.
Paid internships for Roma youth would also be an effective tool to attract them – co-operation with local
entrepreneurs should be established and a system of incentives for them prepared (part or full subsidy by the
state, tax exemptions, etc.). Such systems operate in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Netherlands, Greece and
Germany.

4.2 Specific conclusions of the thematic group of experts

Field visit
The experts appreciated the visit however the results were far from expected: the Roma parents’ lack of
interest for education was visible given the rather low number of Roma pupils present at school; there were no
parents at the meeting organised by the school (partly due to the fact that UNICEF organised a conference in
Chişinău on the Vulcănești project on the same day, and partly because of migration, but those present in the
village were not interested in exchange). Discussions with Roma adults revealed that they ignored the fact that
education is a legal obligation. Both educational authorities and school staff seemed to be helpless to deal with
this phenomenon even though UNICEF is present in this locality and supports the school in question since late
2016. The school building was renovated to some extent but is still is far from offering decent conditions (the
toilets are outhouses with no doors, and no running water etc.). The option of transferring pupils from the
school in Vulcănești to the one in Ciorești (neighbouring village) is being considered but it was clear that there
is no definite position. Although roads and basic infrastructure in Vulcănești are lacking there were a lot of
luxury villas and no “poor” houses. This led experts to the conclusion that, at least in case of this village,
poverty is definitely not the reason of school drop-out and despite efforts – the sentiment of impunity and lack
of responsibility is obvious. In fact, during the discussions it was mentioned that the poorer parents in the
community generally send their children to school but the rich families do not. Clearly, legally binding
compulsory education is not enforced in case of Roma although there is a system of adequate (and gradual)
sanctions.

4.3 Lessons learned by the experts

During the exchange and discussions on national practices it became clear that there is no single solution or
universal approach. There is a visible need to diversify teaching strategies applied to Roma children’s (inclusive)
education. The approach should be both, nationally and locally tailored and adapted to the local needs and
dynamics.

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CAHROM (2018)12

According to the Dutch expert with regard to the Republic of Moldova – parents should be clearly held
responsible for their children’s education and completion of compulsory school duty without exception. His
view is shared by other experts, namely the Greek and Polish. Referring to the situation in the city of
Veldhoven - researching the possibility of using Roma mediators should be considered.

The Ukrainian expert underlined that Roma education should not be dealt with by only one agency and must
be addressed in a comprehensive manner. Providing effective education to Roma is directly linked to the
provision of housing, documents, employment, and so on.

The constructive and effective approach to solving the problem is interrelated and should be addressed by all
relevant "players": central – the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Migration Service, the
National Police, the Ministry of Social Policy, and local authorities, teachers, parents, NGOs, etc. The
cooperation among schools is crucial; parents and Roma mediators should play an active role in this process.
The state should intervene at the earliest possible stage to ensure the successful transition of Roma children
from one educational level to another with a focus on secondary and vocational level.

Considering the issue of compulsory education in the light of the experts’ presentations, exchange, discussions
and field visit, they have formulated one rudimentary question that should be considered seriously and
responsibly by state authorities: If Roma parents are not treated like all other parents, with the same rights
and obligations, what are we teaching the Roma children? If their parents are outside the law, how can
respect of the law and responsibility be instilled in these children? These values are essential to help them
have a better future, and equal treatment is the best way towards inclusion.

4.4 Good practices identified

In the Republic of Moldova


 Strong commitment of the Government of the Republic of Moldova for the implementation of the
Roma Action Plan 2016-2020,
 Support from Roma NGOs for the Action Plan and their high and effective involvement in solving
problems related to facilitation of Roma access to education,
 Mobile registration and medical teams,
 Instructions and respective Action Plan for Prevention and Reduction of Drop-out and Absenteeism in
general schools approved by Order Nr. 559 of 12 June 2015 of the Ministry of Education, Culture and
Research,
 Establishment of resource centres for inclusive education in 31 educational institutions all over the
country,
 Example of election of two Roma women as local councillors at the local council level,
 UNICEF project in Vulcănești - the goal was to improve the school enrolment of Roma children in the
village through (provision of computers, books, play room, after-school classes and second chance
schooling for children who have not finished compulsory education to take the 9th grade graduation
exams, activities with parents, separately for mothers and fathers, work with teachers and bringing
new teachers into the school. See details: Appendix 7), while local authorities, in cooperation with
Roma NGO, made some renovation of the school building (a new roof, heating system, new windows).

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CAHROM (2018)12

The following good practices have been identified by the Moldovan authorities from the partner countries:
 School attendance officer applying a multidisciplinary approach in their activity (the Netherlands),
 Computerized schooling record for each child (the Netherlands),
 Financial motivation for teachers to train on and apply inclusive teaching methods (Hungary),
 Practice of “second chance” schools offered to Roma children (Greece),
 Roma educational assistants (Poland, Greece),
 Integration dayrooms run both by schools and Roma NGOs (Poland).

In Bulgaria (which did not participate in the thematic group/visit)


 National survey on school drop-outs - Bulgaria introduced (2017) a vast national survey on school
drop-outs and on the continuation of education after the completion of primary school in order to
diagnose the scale and reasons of high school drop outs rates. More details on the preliminary results
of the survey are included in the introductory part of this report.

In Greece:
 The Second Chance Schools programme in Greece,
 The existence of the legislative framework, as Greece is currently ready for the implementation of
actions/projects,
 The establishment of Multi-centres (Polikentra) within Roma Branches of the Community Centres that
provide a wide range of services that respond to the needs of support of education, social care and
other relevant supporting services,
 The inclusion of teachers to the staff of Roma Branches of the Community Centres.

In Hungary
 the operation of child-care warning system, social workers or child-care professionals in schools and
kindergarten where needed, are being employed from January 2016 as a PILOT and extended in 2018.

In Poland
 Educational data collection system20 – the System of Educational Information (SIO), according to legal
provisions, allows to collect data on pupils of national and ethnic minorities, at all education levels
(pre-school – primary – secondary, integrated and special schools), for whom schools provide
additional classes (namely national/ethnic minority mother tongue languages , geography and history
of country of origin)21. In case of Roma pupils, the above-mentioned additional classes are not
available, so this legal opportunity encompasses a wide range of activities, related to the “specific
educational needs of Roma pupils”, such as: engaging Roma school assistants and support teachers,
offering additional support classes, excursions, purchase of textbooks and school supplies, etc. These
activities and support are adjusted to the locally identified needs of Roma pupils.
 Education. Practical guide for Roma parents (2012, in Polish and in 2 Roma dialects) on education
concerning benefits of pre-school education and education in integrated schools22 :

20
See Addendum for education-related data for Roma pupils in Poland.
21
It means that this data does not show the total number of pupils in the education system, but the ones for who parents wish to have additional
activities to maintain their cultural identity.
22
http://mniejszosci.narodowe.mswia.gov.pl/mne/romowie/edukacja-dzieci-romskic/7573,Podreczniki-i-publikacje.html
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CAHROM (2018)12

In the Netherlands
 Multi-disciplinary teams, electronic data, multi-problem Roma family approach (in the municipalities
of Veldhoven, Nieuwegein and Ede). The basic multi-disciplinary team which uses an integrated
approach consists of: a policy maker (integral safety), an integral safety officer, a school attendance
officer (integral safety) and two specialized social workers. They have knowledge of Roma communities
and individual families and work with Roma families on a daily basis. They supervise multi-problem
families and react according to their needs; they consult on a weekly basis and can react immediately if
necessary. Every family has a restricted electronic file containing information that allows assessing
progress, including on the educational situation of children. On a case-by-case basis, some other
experts can be invited for consultations (e.g. experts on debt aid, work and income consultants, staff
from the housing commission, staff from the registration office, tax authorities, district supervisor,
council for child protection, health service, etc.) – according to the individual needs. The focus of the
multi-disciplinary teams is as follows: physical environment, care and well-being, income and
education, crime and law enforcement, resilience.
 Activities for young mothers – the programme (closed) of information sessions to all young mothers
on skills concerning their new duties, etc.

4.5 Envisaged follow-up

At the level of CAHROM


 The experts’ recommendation for Roma mapping, shortly following the thematic visit in the Republic of
Moldova, was already addressed during the 15th CAHROM plenary session, held on 22-25 May 2018 in
Athens, Greece, and existing examples were presented (by Greece, the Slovak Republic, Hungary and
“The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”). The Committee decided to continue discussing
mapping and data collection and proposed it as a topic for one of the forthcoming CAHROM thematic
visits (2019 or 2020) – Georgia, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Spain, “the former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” and Ukraine confirmed their interest to participate in such a thematic
group;
• A request was addressed to the CAHROM Bulgarian member to highlight the results of the Bulgarian
survey conducted on the reasons for drops-out at the secondary education level. Such a presentation
took place at the 16th CAHROM plenary meeting (Strasbourg, 16-19 October 2018).

By the Republic of Moldova


 Authorities are preparing the establishment of multidisciplinary teams similar to those existing in the
Netherlands, to be put in practice at the national level for all children, including Roma; Roma
community mediators are envisaged to be a part of those Teams;
 Intensification of measures aimed at informing and strengthening awareness among Roma parents of
the need to enrol children in educational institutions;
 Effective application of measures, including punitive measures, provided for in the legislation to Roma
parents neglecting their duty to educate their children;
 Recruitment of all 48 Roma community mediators in 44 settlements populated predominantly by Roma
people.

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CAHROM (2018)12

By Bosnia and Herzegovina


• Continuation the harmonization of legislation that facilitates the registration of all citizens in BiH, with
special emphasis on the Roma;
• Ensuring a higher level of coordination with relevant educational authorities and institutions in charge
of social protection by working on an inter-sectoral approach for the purpose of better monitoring and
additional financing of Roma educational needs;
• Increasing the coverage of Roma children by pre-school education and provide funds for this purpose;
• Increasing the inclusion of Roma children in primary education and prevent school drop-outs;
• Developing measures to attract more Roma in vocational education and training;
• Providing a sustainable system of scholarships for Roma students;
• Providing financial and legal opportunities to engage Roma mediators/assistants;
• Ensuring systematic data collection and monitoring the realization of Roma education needs.

By Greece
 Developing synergies with European programmes, cooperation and consultation (e.g. ERASMUS +) in
general;
 Drafting of an Action Plan for Education Issues upon consultation with all competent authorities;
 Pilot project of Task Forces composed of Roma mediators and Roma scientists visiting school units with
Roma students in order to animate them to complete their studies;
 Submission of proposals to EU programmes against school drop-out.

Hungary
 The 2018-2020 Action Plan for the Hungarian Social Inclusion Strategy is under preparation (in the
phase of consultancy);
 The implementation of the measures of the National Hungarian Social Inclusion Strategy and the
national strategy of preventing early school leaving are being monitored continuously.

The Netherlands
 Next steps to be worked out with relevant Dutch authorities, including the Dutch CAHROM member.

Poland
 The paper on the compulsory education of Roma children and the drop-out rate in secondary
education, based on existing data and findings of that particular visit, was prepared and sent to the
Ministry of Interior and Administration, as well as to the Ministry of Education as a follow up of the
thematic visit and as material for further steps to be taken in this field.

Ukraine
 The electronic educational data collection enabling the assessment of pupils’ progress and of the
actions taken will be considered;
 The concept of so-called “Night and Sunday schools” for those pupils that have not completed primary
education;
 An awareness-raising campaign among the Roma people is needed in order to create the desire for
socialization and integration into society, including high-quality vocational education.
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CAHROM (2018)12

APPENDICES:

Appendix 1: Official invitation letter received from the Moldovan authorities

Appendix 1 Official
invitation letter.pdf

Appendix 2: Programme of the CAHROM thematic visit in the Republic of Moldova

Final agenda.docx

Appendix 3: List of experts and participants in the thematic visit

LIST OF
EXPERTS.doc

Appendix 4: European and international standards and reference texts

Appendix 4 INT
STANDARDS AND REFRENCE TXT.docx

Appendix 5: Size, composition, language, lifestyle and situation of the groups covered by the report

Appendix 5
SITUATION OF ROMA IN APRTICIPATING COUNTRIES.docx

Appendix 6: Compulsory education including vocational education: legislative and policy framework and
practices in countries participating in the visit

Appendix 6
LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICES.docx

Appendix 7: UNICEF materials on project conducted in Vulcănești village

Appendix 7 UNICEF
project in Vulcanesti.docx

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CAHROM (2018)12

ADDENDUM: Experts’ and participants’ presentations and other relevant documents

Republic of Moldova

PPP MOLDOVA
COUNCIL OF EUROPE kosher.ppt

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and
Herzegovina.pptx

Greece

CHISINAU_GREECE_
CAHROM MEMBER.pptx

Hungary

Hungary.pptx

The Netherlands

Veldhoven
Netherlands.pptx

Poland

Poland final ENG educational Edukacja_dzieci_rom


version.pptx data on Roma pupils in Poland.xlsx
skich_-_praktyczny_informator_dla_rodzicow.pdf

Ukraine

EDUCATION
UKRAINE.ppt

20
REPUBLICA MOLDOVA РЕСПУБЛИКА МОЛДОВА
BIROUL RELAŢII БЮРО МЕЖЭТНИЧЕСКИХ
INTERETNICE ОТНОШЕНИЙ

2009, mun. Chişinău, str. A. Mateevici, 109/1


tel.: (373 22) 21-40-80, fax: (373 22) 24-15-32
e-mail: brimoldova@bri.gov.md
www.bri.gov.md

05.02.18 Nr. 30-03


Mr. Thorsten Afflerbach
Head of Division for the Roma and
Travellers Team
cc.
Mr. Michael GUET,
Head of Unit and Secretary of the Ad Hoc
Committee of Experts on Roma and
Traveller Issues (CAHROM)

Dear Mr Afflerbach,

The Bureau for Inter-ethnic Relations under the Government of the Republic of
Moldova kindly invites a CAHROM group of experts as well as members of CAHROM
Secretariat to make a thematic visit to the Republic of Moldova on enhancing the
effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the most efficient
tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added
value of ensuring access to vocational education for Roma youth.
The group of experts is expected to share experience and best practices on
measures taken at the state and local level to ensure that Roma children are finishing the
compulsory education, including applied vocational education models as a way to
encourage young Roma to pursue studies.
We firmly believe that the importance of having such a thematic visit taking place
in the Republic of Moldova stems from the contribution it will make to the
implementation process of the education-related chapter of the national Action Plan on
Roma (2016-2020) through experience sharing with experts and application of outputs
gained during the visit in practice.
For this reason, we would be pleased to welcome the CAHROM group of experts
and the Council of Europe Secretariat in Chisinau on 24-26 April 2018.
Draft agenda, as well as the organisational details, will be prepared in advance in
coordination with your team.
We take this opportunity to renew to you the assurance of our highest
consideration.

Kind regards,
Oleg BABENCO,
Director General of the Bureau
for Inter-ethnic Relations
Strasbourg, 10 April 2018

AD HOC COMMTTEE OF EXPERTS ON ROMA1 AND TRAVELLER ISSUES (CAHROM)

Thematic visit on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as
the most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and
added-value of ensuring access to vocational education for Roma youth

FINAL AGENDA

Chişinău, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April 2018

1st day, Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Venue: Bureau of Interethnic Relations, Alexei Mateevici 109/1 Str., Chişinău, conference hall, 2nd floor

09:00-09:30 Registration

09:30-10:15 I. Opening words and presentation of the purpose of the CAHROM thematic visit and Roma
education 45’
Moderator: Ms Vera PETUHOV, Deputy Director General, Bureau of Interethnic Relations

09:30-09:40 Welcome speech


Mr Oleg BABENCO, Director General, Bureau of Interethnic Relations 5’
Ms Mihaela MARTINOV, Third Secretary, Council of Europe and Human Rights Section,
Ministry of External Affairs and European Integration 5’

09:40-10:00 Presentation of CAHROM thematic goals and introduction into the topic 20’
Ms Malgorzata ROZYCKA, CoE, Roma and Travellers Team

10:00-10:15 Tour de table - presentation of national experts and their expectations 15’

10:15-12:00 II. Situation in the Republic of Moldova on measures to ensure compulsory education of
Roma children. Vocational education/training available for Roma Youth 70’
Moderator: Mr Nicolae RADITA, CAHROM member, Head of the Roma National Centre

10:15-10:25 Bureau of Interethnic Relations 10’


10:25-10:35 State Chancellery 10’
10:35-10:45 Ministry of External Affairs and European Integration 10’

1
The term “Roma and Travellers” is used at the Council of Europe to encompass the wide diversity of the groups covered by the work of the Council
of Europe in this field: on the one hand a) Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari; b) Balkan Egyptians (Egyptians and
Ashkali); c) Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal); and, on the other hand, groups such as Travellers, Yenish, and the populations designated under
the administrative term “Gens du voyage”, as well as persons who identify themselves as Gypsies. The present is an explanatory footnote, not a
definition of Roma and/or Travellers.

1
10:45-11:05 Coffee break 20’

11:05-11:15 Ministry of Education, Culture and Research 10’


11:15-11:25 Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Protection 10’
11:25-11:35 Ministry of Internal Affairs 10’
11:35-11:45 Coordinating Council of Audiovisual 10’
11:45-12:00 Question and answers session on the situation in the Republic of Moldova

12:00-12:50 III. National experts’ exchange on measures to ensure compulsory education of Roma
children. Vocational education/training available for Roma Youth – part I
Moderator: Ms Valerie POPPE-MUESS, CoE, Roma and Travellers Team

12:00-12:25 Exchange on situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina


Ms Aida DŽAFEROVIĆ, Senior Advisor for Vocational and Adult Education,
Ministry of Civil Affairs 15’
Questions and answers 10’

12:25-12:50 Exchange on situation in Greece


Ms Eleni KALLINIKOU, expert in Special Secretariat on Roma Social Inclusion, 15’
Questions and answers 10’

12:50-14:15 Lunch 85’

14:15-16:25 III. National experts’ exchange on measures to ensure compulsory education of Roma
children. Vocational education/training available for Roma Youth – part II
Moderator: Mr Nicolae Radita, CAHROM member, Head of the Roma National Centre

14:15-14:40 Exchange on situation in Hungary


Mr Iván SÖRÖS, Head of Department for Children’s Chances, State Secretariat for Social
Inclusion, 15’
Questions and answers 10’

14:40-15:05 Exchange on situation in Poland


Ms Alina RESPONDEK, Foundation for the Development of the Education System, 15’
Questions and answers 10’

15:05-15:30 Exchange on situation in Ukraine


Ms Natalia TKACHENKO, Head of the Division for International Cooperation of National
Minorities Issues, Ministry of Culture of Ukraine 15’
Questions and answers 10’

15:30-16:00 Coffee break 30’

16:00-16:25 Exchange on situation in the Netherlands 25’


Mr Ed HUIJBERS, School attendance officer, Veldhoven Municipality ,
Questions and answers 10’

16:25-17:30 IV. General discussion on how to improve Roma children’s transition from primary to
secondary education and enrolment in vocational education/training of Roma youth
Concluding remarks of the first day
Moderator: Ms Malgorzata ROZYCKA, CoE, Roma and Travellers Team

2
***********

2nd day, Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Venue: Field visit to Vulcănești village, Nisporeni district

9:00-10:30 Transfer by bus from Chişinău to Vulcănești village (place of departure: Bureau )

10:30-12:00 Discussion and exchange among the CAHROM experts and local authorities: Mayor of
Nisporeni district, the Head of Education Department and the Head of Social Assistance
Department

12:00-13:30 Lunch

13:30-14:30 Discussion and exchange among the CAHROM experts and the Head of School and teachers
14:30-15:30 Discussion and exchange among the CAHROM experts and the Roma students and their
parents

15:30-16:30 Transfer by bus from Vulcănești to Chişinău

19:00 Dinner

***********

3rd day, Thursday, 26 April 2018

Venue: Bureau of Interethnic Relations, Alexei Mateevici 109/1 Str., Chisinau, conference hall, 2nd floor

9:30-12:00 Debriefing meeting between the experts of the CAHROM thematic group (from the host and
partner countries) and the Secretariat of the Council of Europe
Moderator: Ms Malgorzata ROZYCKA, CoE, Roma and Travellers Team

Main conclusions as regards the way forward;


Main issues and conclusions to be highlighted in the thematic report;
Lessons learnt regarding the topic and the organisation of the thematic visit;
Good practices identified in the requesting/partner countries to be highlighted in the
thematic report;
Possible follow-up envisaged to the CAHROM thematic visit, including joint initiatives and
projects, as well as bilateral/multilateral cooperation;
Information about the preparation and presentation of the CAHROM thematic report;
Additional information and documents to be provided by requesting/partner countries;
Timeframe for the preparation of the thematic report and desirable input from each
requesting/partner countries’ expert.

12:00-13:00 Lunch and departure

***********

3
Strasbourg, 13 March 2018

Ad hoc Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers Issues1 (CAHROM)


Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’
compulsory school education as the most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the
situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to vocational education for Roma
youth

Chişinău, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018


_______________________________________

LIST OF EXPERTS OF THE CAHROM THEMATIC GROUP

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA - requesting/hosting country

Mr Nicolae RADIȚA
CAHROM member
Roma National Center
str. A.Mateevici 109/1, bir. 306-307
Chisinau, MD 2060
Republic of Moldova
Phone : +373 (0) 22 227099 mobile : +373 (0) 69553363
E-mail: radita@mtc.md

Ms Olga PETUHOV
CAHROM substitute
Bureau of Inter-Ethnic Relations
Alexei Mateevici 109/1 str.
Chisinau, MD 2009
Republic of Moldova
Phone +37322 24 45 22 mobile: +373 68 252900
e-mail: driied@bri.gov.md

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA - partner country

Ms Aida DŽAFEROVIĆ
Senior Advisor for Vocational and Adult Education
Ministry of Civil Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1
The term “Roma and Travellers” is used at the Council of Europe to encompass the wide diversity of the groups covered by the work of the
Council of Europe in this field: on the one hand a) Roma, Sinti/Manush, Calé, Kaale, Romanichals, Boyash/Rudari; b) Balkan Egyptians
(Egyptians and Ashkali); c) Eastern groups (Dom, Lom and Abdal); and, on the other hand, groups such as Travellers, Yenish, and the
populations designated under the administrative term “Gens du voyage”, as well as persons who identify themselves as Gypsies. The present is
an explanatory footnote, not a definition of Roma and/or Travellers.
Trg BiH 3
71000 Sarajevo
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Tel. +387 33 492 594 mobile: +387 61 356 063
E-mail: Aida.Dzaferovic@mcp.gov.ba

GREECE - partner country

Ms Eleni KALLINIKOU
CAHROM member
Expert within the Special Secretariat on Roma Social Inclusion
Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity
29 Stadiou
GR-10183 Athens
Tel.: +30 21 31 51 61 25
Mobile: +30 69 72 01 25 15
E-mail: ekallinikou@yeka.gr

HUNGARY - partner country

Mr Iván SÖRÖS excused


Ministry of Human Resources
Head of Department for Children’s Chances
State Secretariat for Social Inclusion
1054 Budapest, Akadémia u. 3.
Tel.: 06 (1) 795 46 03 mobile: +36 (30) 4576520
E-mail: ivan.soros@emmi.gov.hu

NETHERLANDS - partner country

Mr Ed HUIJBERS
School attendance officer
Department of Integral Safety.
The municipality of Veldhoven
Meiveld 1, 5501 KA Veldhoven, the Netherlands.
Phone number : 0031 40 2584489 mobile phone : 0031 654651310
E-mail Ed.Huijbers@veldhoven.nl

POLAND - partner country

Ms Alina RESPONDEK
Foundation for the Development of the Education System
Aleje Jerozolimskie 142 A
02-305 Warszawa
Phone number: +48 22 46 31 232 mobile: + 48 696-818-535
e-mail: arespondek@frse.org.pl

UKRAINE - partner country

Ms Natalia TKACHENKO

2
Head of the Division for International Cooperation of National Minorities Issues
Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities
Ministry of Culture of Ukraine
19, Ivan Franko street, UA-01601 Kyiv
Tel.: (044) 279 36 31 mobile: 067 991 81 27
Email: tkachenko@mincult.gov.ua

COUNCIL OF EUROPE Secretariat

Ms Malgorzata ROZYCKA
National Secondment
Roma and Travellers Team
Directorate of Democratic Governance and Anti-Discrimination
DGII Directorate General of Democracy
Council of Europe
Agora building, 1 quai Jacoutot
F – 67075 Strasbourg Cedex, France
Tel.: + 33 3 90 21 43 86 mobile: + 48 516 467 056
E-mail: malgorzata.rozycka@coe.int

Ms Valerie POPPE-MUESS
Project manager / Chargée de projet
Roma and Travellers Team
Directorate of Democratic Governance and Anti-Discrimination
Council of Europe - Conseil de l'Europe
Tel.: + 33 (0) 3 90 21 64 80 mobile: + 33 6 63 48 55 76
e-mail: Valerie.POPPE-MUESS@coe.int

3
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Appendix 4

European and International standards and reference texts

Thematic Action Plan on the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers (2016-2019) (extracts)

2.2 Better protecting the rights of Roma and Travellers children Action in this area will be conducted as a
part of the Council of Europe strategy on the rights of the child in the forthcoming period. The Council of
Europe will keep a focus on the access of Roma and Traveller children, in particular girls, to inclusive
education and address the negative consequences of early/child marriage. Priority topics will be school
attendance, early school - Leaving and absenteeism, particularly of girls, early and forced marriage,
human trafficking within Roma and Traveller communities, the situation of street children,prostitution,
forced begging and domestic violence, and access to personal identity documents where they do not yet
have them.

“The Strasbourg Declaration on Roma” 2010 (extracts)

Children’s rights
(24) Promote through effective measures the equal treatment and the rights of Roma children especially
the right to education and protect them against violence, including sexual abuse and labour
exploitation, in accordance with international treaties.

Education
(33) Ensure effective and equal access to the mainstream educational system, including pre-school
education, for Roma children and methods to secure attendance, including, for instance, by making use
of school assistants and mediators. Provide, where appropriate, in service training of teachers and
educational staff.

PACE Resolution 1927 (2013)1 “Ending discrimination against Roma children” (extracts):

7.2. make school more accessible by:


7.2.1. providing at least two years of inclusive, mandatory and affordable high-quality preschool
education;

Recommendation No R (2000) 4 of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the education of


Roma/Gypsy children in Europe (extracts):

Bearing in mind that educational policies in favour of Roma/Gypsy children should be backed up by an
active adult education and vocational education policy;

Education of Roma Children in Europe. Towards quality education for Roma children: transition from
early childhood to primary education Report UNESCO and COUNCIL OF EUROPE, 2007 (extracts)

Access and Attendance


The audit included an assessment of the evidence in regard to issues of access and attendance. Over the
last five years, there is evidence of improved access for Roma children to early childhood educational

1
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

opportunities. The catalysts to these improvements were said to include: well intentioned governments
who want to make a real difference; actions by NGOs and the scrutiny of actions by international
monitoring agencies; compliance to EU accession criteria; action plans linked to the Roma Decade of
Inclusion; the Lisbon social inclusion agenda; and compliance with human rights and anti-discrimination
laws and directives. In addition to the extension of rights to early childhood education, access has been
improved as a result of the introduction of the compulsory ‘pre-school’ (or zero) school year. In some
countries access has also been helped by the provision of free pre-schools and/or assistance to poor
families. Despite the modest improvements in access, the data on actual enrolment and attendance is
still too thin to be able to make an informed judgment.

Mainstream educational reform policies beneficial to Roma includes:


 Abolishing/down-sizing special education;
 Introducing compulsory pre-school education.

Even in national contextual situations where pre-school attendance is compulsory, there are still a
number of factors which hinder implementation. These were listed as such:
 No place in pre-school institution;
 No support mechanisms;
 Low quality in education;
 No inspection or monitoring;
 Segregated groups;
 Attendance not monitored;
 Lacking data collection;
 The issuing of certificates irrespective of actual attendance records.

FRA Roma Survey – Data in Focus, Education: The situation of Roma in 11 EU member states (extracts)

1.4. Reasons for not attending compulsory school


Earlier in-depth research in Romania found that a combination of institutional and structural factors
embedded in the educational system lead to high Roma drop-out rates and non-attendance. These
factors might also be relevant for other countries. They include poor infrastructure and shortages of
equipment, geographical distance to schools and the lack of available public transport, general problems
which disproportionately affect marginalized rural areas where many Roma reside. In addition to the
institutional causes, individual characteristics, such as language and communication problems, low
confidence in schools, early marriage and childbirth or the necessity of contributing to household
income, hinder Roma children’s school attendance. These reasons are often aggravated by teaching
styles or curricula that do not resonate with the real-life experiences of Roma children; teacher
prejudices or low motivation; or segregation.

UNICEF report - A Human Rights-Based Approach to EDUCATION FOR ALL EDUCATION AS A HUMAN
RIGHT (2007) (extracts):
Education has been formally recognized as a human right since the adoption of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This has since been affirmed in numerous global human rights
treaties, including the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Convention against Discrimination in Education

2
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

(1960), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) and the Convention
on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1981). These treaties establish an
entitlement to free, compulsory primary education for all children; an obligation to develop secondary
education, supported by measures to render it accessible to all children, as well as equitable access to
higher education; and a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not
completed primary education.

CoE MONITORING BODIES

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION AGAINST RACISM AND INTOLERANCE (ECRI) RECOMMENDATIONS1
78. In its fourth report, ECRI urged the Moldovan authorities to maintain and strengthen their efforts to
ensure that Roma children continue on to higher levels of education.

79. ECRI has been informed that considerable efforts have been made by the national and local
authorities and by Roma communities to increase the number of Roma children attending school.
However, there are still a large number of Roma children who do not attend pre-school and school
education: according to a recent survey, the proportion of Roma children enrolled in pre-school
education (age 3-6) is only 21 % (as compared with 79 % in the population as a whole) and the gross
enrolment rate of children aged 6–15 in compulsory education is only 54 % (as compared with 90 % in
the population as a whole). Other children drop out of school during the year or content themselves
with a basic school education. Some 76 % of Roma have only three or four years of school education. In
Soroca, despite the large Roma population and the efforts made, there is now only one Roma child
enrolled in the 9th grade.

80. This is a particularly serious problem because it has lasting effects on the life prospects of the Roma
population with its large number of children. ECRI is aware that there are many reasons for this
absenteeism and early school leaving. It considers, however, that the authorities should do their utmost
to convince Roma parents and children of the absolute necessity of an advanced school education in
order to be able to take full advantage of life’s opportunities. This includes the hiring of community
mediators and close involvement of Roma parents in the activities of schools.

81. If Roma children are to be well prepared for school, everything must be done to ensure that they
already attend kindergarten and that effective teaching of their future language of education, in
particular the official language, is provided there. Furthermore, ECRI encourages the authorities to
continue and expand the recruitment of Roma in kindergartens and schools as teachers or ancillary staff,
such as kitchen and cleaning staff. This will make kindergartens and schools more welcoming for Roma
children and parents.

1
ECRI report on Republic of Moldova (fourth monitoring cycle), published in October 2013.

3
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

82. ECRI also recommends taking positive measures in the employment field to help the still small
number of young Roma who have successfully completed school, vocational training or university
studies, in particular by facilitating their recruitment in the public sector (§ 5 c and d of General Politic
Recommendation No. 13).

83. ECRI considers that the authorities should continue and step up their efforts to enrol all Roma
children in school from kindergarten age and motivate them to receive a much fuller education than was
previously the case.

84. ECRI has been informed by the authorities about the practice of segregation of Roma children in
schools through the establishment of classes sometimes consisting entirely of Roma children. ECRI was
also informed that some teachers and school principals are categorically opposed to the idea of Roma
children being taught in the same classes as other pupils. They claim that Roma children lag behind, are
poorly organised, are frequently absent and unsettle the other children. They say that what Roma
children need is a special “easier” curriculum to give them “basic proficiency in writing, reading and how
to count money”.

128. (…) In 2007, 31 % of Roma were unable to read or write; only 6 % held a higher educational
qualification (as compared with 39 % of non-Roma).

141. ECRI recommends that the Moldovan authorities give the mediators all possible assistance once
they take office to ensure that they are successful from the outset in securing access for Roma to the
services they require. The relevant departments should in particular help to ensure a successful
outcome for applications lodged with the mediators’ assistance. This will enable the mediators to
quickly achieve credibility and serve as a model for Roma.

FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON NATIONAL MINORITIES2


8. The Roma Action Plan 2011-2015, adopted in consultation with national minority and civil society
representatives contained a range of measures to overcome the persistent disadvantages and
discrimination faced by Roma. However, implementation has been inconsistent as the allocation of
competencies for concrete action between the various levels of authority was not always clearly
defined, and the allocated resources proved to be largely insufficient. It is regrettable, for instance, that
the plan for the employment of 48 Roma mediators by the end of 2015, which was considered to be a
crucial step towards promoting the access to rights of Roma in the areas of employment, education and
social services at local level, was not fully realized. Only nine mediators are reported to be in service in
early 2016. (…)

2
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Fourth Opinion on the Republic of Moldova,
adopted in May 2016.

4
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

73. The Advisory Committee regrets that, in general, very little information regarding the wide diversity
of Moldovan society is contained in the curriculum and textbooks used in public schools. (…) In addition,
teachers are not always well equipped to deal with linguistic and other diversity in their classrooms and
to promote appropriately respectful intercultural dialogue. Moreover, there is reportedly some
unfriendliness amongst teachers against Roma students and incidents of mobbing or bullying from other
students are frequently addressed inappropriately.

77. The Advisory Committee welcomes sustained efforts to improve access to education for Roma, in
particular through the enhanced attention paid to primary school enrolment. Indeed, while the numbers
of students with a Roma background have increased as a result, mainly owing to the engagement of
Roma community mediators and civil society, underrepresentation is still an important issue, in
particular at preschool level. Comprehensive research regarding access to education for Roma children
points to a variety of interrelated obstacles, such as high poverty levels, unaffordability of the hidden
costs of education, practical issues with transport from remote and often sub-standard neighborhoods,
as well as the persistence of very low quality education for Roma that contributes to the phenomenon
of early school drop-outs. Roma girls are disproportionately affected, resulting in only 63% of Roma
women between 16 and 24 being literate, compared to 99% of non-Roma women in that age group. The
Advisory Committee notes with particular concern reports of segregated education continuing in 2016 in
Otaci, where Roma children are reportedly all taught together in one class with a significantly lower
quality of education. In addition, the Advisory Committee understands that the non-use of the Romani
language at schools and the absence of teachers and education assistants with such specific skills also
constitutes a barrier for Roma children, who often speak Romani at home but attend schools where the
medium of instruction is either Russian or the state language.

79. The Advisory Committee urges the authorities to address comprehensively the continued obstacles
to equal access to education experienced by Roma children in cooperation with the respective line
ministries and local authorities, and in close consultation with minority representatives. Instances of
segregated education must be discontinued without delay and effective measures taken, including
through the employment of adequately trained teachers and education assistants, to pursue and
support the ongoing efforts of civil society towards inclusive education.

84. The Advisory Committee welcomes in this context the current efforts to revive the former minority
language department in the Ministry of Education and to recruit specialists for the various languages to
ensure that the standards of education in minority language schools are effectively monitored and that
adequate attention is given towards high quality education. (…) It reiterates its concern, however, with
respect to the fact that the study of Romani is not included at any school, as no apparent efforts have
been made to develop a corresponding curriculum or prepare teachers and education assistants for the
study of and in Romani.

103. Roma continue to experience particular obstacles in finding employment (…) Statistics collected in

5
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

2011 show a significant gap between the employment rates of Roma and non-Roma. Civil society
organisations estimate, however, that the hidden unemployment among Roma is much higher than the
published figure, as only very few Roma are registered with the national employment centers. This limits
their opportunities for vocational and other professional training and impedes access to full health
insurance. The Advisory Committee further regrets that significant measures foreseen in the Roma
Action Plan 2011-2015 were not implemented. One of its priority areas, for instance, was the
recruitment of 48 Roma community mediators by the end of 2015 to facilitate access to services in
Roma communities. While 25 mediators were recruited by the end of 2014 by the Ministry of Labour
and Social Protection, a change in the legislative framework resulted in their services as of 2015 no
longer being co-ordinated and paid at central level but by the local government units. Owing to the
hesitation reportedly shown by many mayors in allocating the respective salaries within their local
budgets, the number of mediators decreased to 14 in 2015 and then further to nine in early 2016.

106. It further urges the authorities to prioritise the employment of Roma mediators in relevant
locations to effectively promote access to education, health and social services. (…)
OTHERS
1. The situation of the Roma children in Moldova, UNICEF, 2010 click here
2. Study on the situation of Romani women and girls in the Republic of Moldova, UNDP Moldova in
co-operation with UN Women and OHCHR, 2014, click here
3. Roma in the Republic of Moldova (op. cit. footnote 74), p. 22; 77% of Roma men between 16 and
24 years of age are literate.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA


The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendations3
70. The authorities informed ECRI that the implementation of the 2010 revised Action Plan on the
educational needs of Roma has been intensified and that, depending on the resources of local and entity
authorities, Roma pupils are now given textbooks, school supplies, and financial assistance for transport
and meals. They are also no longer prevented from enrolling in schools when they do not possess
identity documents and school enrolment rates among Roma children increased, while drop-out rates
declined. According to the authorities, approximately 4 000 Roma children attended primary education
in the school year 2011/12, which constituted an estimated enrolment rate of 78%. This number
decreased, however, to 1 247 in 2012/13, before increasing again to 2 078 in 2013/14 and 2 051 in
2014/15. The authorities also informed ECRI’s delegation that the number of Roma pupils in special
needs schools has decreased from 65 in 2011/12 to 22 in 2014/15, which is estimated to be the same
proportion as for the overall population.
71. In spite of the efforts made, the gaps between Roma and the overall population in the area of
education are still worrying. As of 2015, only an estimated 40% of Roma children completed primary
school and 10% completed secondary education, as compared to 92% and 57% respectively for the

3
ECRI report on Bosnia and Herzegovina (third monitoring cycle), published in December 2016.

6
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

overall population. The authorities also informed ECRI that the envisaged significant increase in the
number of Roma children enrolled in day-care centres has not been achieved. The core problem is
insufficient funding. This is also acknowledged by the government, for example in the Action Plan for
Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2015-2018, which states that the Action Plan on the educational
needs of Roma is not effectively implemented as a consequence of budgetary limitations and that Roma
children continue to have unequal access to education.

Framework Convention on National Minorities4


21. As part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s participation in the Decade of Roma Inclusion, the authorities
have adopted Action Plans for Roma in the fields of health, employment and housing. These include a
range of positive measures designed to remedy the inequalities experienced by Roma in these fields.
However, serious flaws in the design and operation of these measures reduce their effectiveness, and
Roma continue to suffer from very high unemployment rates, exclusion from access to social insurance,
poor health and substandard living conditions. Roma children also face persistent inequalities with
regard to access to education, with enrolment rates low and illiteracy and dropout rates high. While a
number of measures are in place to improve Roma children’s access to school, these are still insufficient
and their success remains highly dependent on the levels of commitment and trust that they generate.

132. Roma children continue to experience considerable marginalisation and social exclusion, which
limit their effective enjoyment of the right to education. The Advisory Committee observes that specific
measures are needed to break this cycle and achieve equality in practice. It welcomes the authorities’
recognition of the need to take such measures and notes in this context that the Action Plan on the
Educational Needs of Roma and Other National Minorities was revised when Bosnia and Herzegovina
joined the Roma Decade in 2010. An expert team was set up under the auspices of the Ministry for
Human Rights and Refugees to monitor the implementation of the Action Plan. As of May 2012 this
team was reported to have developed its data collection methodology and to be finalising its first
monitoring report. The Advisory Committee welcomes these steps to introduce improved monitoring
and evaluation of the implementation of the Action Plan.

133. The Advisory Committee notes with interest that many positive measures are already in place to
improve Roma children’s access to school, such as the grant of free textbooks and facilitated access to
school buses. However, these measures are not in place throughout the territory of Bosnia and
Herzegovina and the Advisory Committee has received numerous reports that where they are in place,
these measures do not always reach Roma children in practice. Moreover, for families living in extreme
poverty, the cost of other school materials such as exercise books, pens and pencils and of adequate
clothing remains prohibitive. These expenses are not covered by the measures in place, which therefore
are of little benefit to their intended beneficiaries.

134. Some welcome examples of the involvement of Roma mediators and assistants in work to improve

4
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Third Opinion on Bosnia and Herzegovina,
adopted in March 2013.

7
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Roma children’s access to education were described to the Advisory Committee during its visit, notably
in Sarajevo, Tuzla and the Brčko District. However, such measures remain scattered and insufficient. The
Advisory Committee notes that where such measures have proved successful, it is thanks to the
development of strong links with Roma parents and schools and to taking a holistic approach that
includes, for example, reaching out to children at preschool age to prepare them for school and
providing a suitable space for children to study; much also depends on the individual dedication and
engagement of the persons working as mediators and assistants and the extent to which they are
trusted by the Roma communities with which they work.

135. The Advisory Committee is deeply concerned that, despite the efforts described above, Roma
continue to face persistent inequalities with regard to access to education throughout the country.
Attendance rates of Roma children in schools remain low and dropout rates high, with few Roma
pursuing their education through secondary school and even fewer to higher education. Adolescent
Roma girls have particularly high dropout rates and the level of illiteracy amongst Roma adults remains
high, especially among older women. Poverty, geographical isolation, social exclusion, discrimination,
prejudice and hostility in schools all fuel these phenomena, and the fact that many Roma parents have
not completed primary education themselves and have low levels of literacy makes it all the more
difficult to engage them in overcoming these problems when it comes to their children’s schooling.
Furthermore, children who lack identity documents (…) may reportedly be prevented from enrolling for
school because, in the eyes of the relevant laws, they have no legal existence. The Advisory Committee
stresses the importance of overcoming such problems rapidly in order to ensure that a lack of identity
documents does not deprive children of access to education.

137. The Advisory Committee strongly recommends that, as part of the measures taken to ensure equal
access to education for Roma children, the authorities ensure that Roma children are not prevented
from enrolling for school because they lack identity papers; in such cases the authorities should rather
facilitate access to the necessary documents and assist parents to enroll their children in school.

138. The Advisory Committee encourages the authorities to develop further the practice of employing
Roma mediators or assistants to help strengthen the links between Roma families and schools and
ensure that Roma children not only enrol in school but are also able to follow their schooling through to
completion. It emphasises the importance of learning from both successful and unsuccessful
experiences in this field in order to build trust and create sustainable results.

142. As regards the teaching of minority languages, under the State Law as amended in 2005 and the
Federation Law, pupils belonging to national minorities must constitute one-fifth of the population of
the school for there to be an obligation, upon the request of the majority of their parents, to provide
additional classes on the language, literature, history and culture of the minority. In the Republika
Srpska, irrespective of the number of pupils belonging to national minorities in any given municipality,
there is an obligation to provide such additional classes if the parents of pupils belonging to national

8
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

minorities so demand, in accordance with the general laws on education. The Advisory Committee has
been informed that very few schools in Bosnia and Herzegovina provide such optional classes and there
continue to be very few possibilities for studying the Romani language in schools. (…)

168. The Advisory Committee notes that access to social insurance is closely tied to access to
employment and registration with the unemployment office. Identity documents are required for
registration with unemployment bureaus, meaning that Roma without such documents are
automatically excluded, as are children who leave school more than 30 days before they turn 16 or who
do not complete compulsory primary education – of which a disproportionately high number are Roma.
This means that many Roma are excluded from access to social insurance, aggravating the social
exclusion and marginalisation they experience.
OTHERS

GREECE
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendations5
98. The number of Roma in Greece is estimated to be around 265 000 (approximately 2.5 % of the
population). As a result of failed integration plans, many Roma are still marginalised and socially
excluded. The Greek authorities set up an inter-ministerial committee for the coordination of all
government institutions involved in Roma integration programmes. While the committee is only
scheduled to meet once a year, it is positive to note that it had met three times in the seven months
prior to ECRI’s visit. This reflects the importance of the matter and the need for strong and synchronised
actions to be taken.

105. Problems persist especially with regard to segregation in housing and education, often based on
widespread prejudice against Roma within local communities. A majority of older Roma continue to be
illiterate, and although school attendance is more common among younger Roma, their involvement in
the educational process is still insufficient. The illiteracy and dropout rates among Roma children are still
high. Their position in the formal labour market is, in general, precarious or even non-existent. (…) Child
benefits provided by the state are often the only stable source of income, thus perpetuating
dependency and socio-economic marginalisation.

106. Roma pupils are often excluded from schools or sent to Roma-only facilities. In its 2012 judgment in
Sampanis and Others v. Greece, the ECtHR found a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination)
of the ECHR in conjunction with Article 2 of Protocol No.1 (right to education).The case concerned the
education of Roma children at the 12th Primary School in Aspropyrgos. The school was supposed to
accept both Roma and non-Roma children without distinction, but no non-Roma children were enrolled
and the school provided a level of education inferior to that provided in other schools. The ECtHR

5
ECRI report on Greece (fifth monitoring cycle), published in 2015.

9
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

recommended enrolling the pupils in other schools. The Ombudsman had described it as a “ghetto
school” and requested, unsuccessfully, its merger with another local school.

107. ECRI’s delegation visited the school and found that still only Roma children attended it. Attempts to
enrol these children in the primary school closest to their settlement, which in the meantime had been
moved on orders of the local authorities, had failed. Parents of non-Roma pupils and local residents had
threatened violence if Roma children were enrolled there and the headmaster, supported by local
officials, refused to enrol them. While the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs attempted to
initiate a dialogue to solve the problem in accordance with the ECtHR judgment, it eventually decided to
keep the Roma children in the 12th Primary School for “their own safety”.

108. Following the ECtHR judgment, the government made some efforts to abolish segregated schools
through a national programme for Education of Roma Children and through so-called Education Priority
Zones. This initiative was taken by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the programme is
co-funded by the EU. It aims to ensure the equitable educational integration of students and, if possible,
to remove social and economic barriers to their progress. However, Greece currently still continues to
fail in securing access to desegregated, inclusive education for all pupils.

109. ECRI strongly recommends that the Greek authorities develop an effective strategy to put an
immediate end to racial segregation affecting Roma children in schools and to prevent any reoccurrence
in the future. Such a strategy should be in full compliance with the judgments of the European Court of
Human Rights and can also draw inspiration from ECRI’s General Policy Recommendation No. 10 on
combating racism and racial discrimination in and through school education.

110. The living conditions in many Roma settlements in Greece continue to be a cause of concern. Some
settlements are in complete isolation from the rest of the population, without running water or
electricity, with no heating in winter and leaking roofs in some cases, and without a sewage system or
access to public transport. Furthermore, many forced evictions of Roma took place without specifying a
suitable place to install a safe and legal settlement and without adequate access to legal remedies.

114. The Roma living on the settlement have been refused registration with the local authority because
they cannot provide electricity or water bills as proof of residence. Some Roma children from the
settlement had initially been enrolled in the local school, were then expelled and their re-enrolment
subsequently refused due to lack of registration of residence. This problem is recognised by the Ministry
of Education and Religious Affairs as a widespread obstacle to school enrolment of Roma children.
Framework Convention on National Minorities
Date of signature: 22 September 1997, no reports
OTHERS

10
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

THE NETHERLANDS
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendations6
55. Groups of concern to ECRI (vulnerable groups) are represented in the National Consultation Platform
on Minorities (Landelijk Overleg Minderheden, LOM), a national consultation structure established in
1997 in accordance with the Act on Minority Policy Consultation. LOM’s role is to discuss policy matters
of interest to “ethnic minority groups” with the government. (…) The Roma and Sinti have been
excluded from this consultative body, because, according to the authorities, they have difficulties in
identifying a single representative for their community.

159. There are no official figures as concerns the size of the Roma and Sinti population in the
Netherlands. Recent estimations vary from 8 000 to 22 500. According to the authorities, the majority of
Roma and Sinti live in conventional houses. A report issued in 2009 by the Dutch Government estimated
that around 3 000 to 4 000 persons live in caravan parks.

163. In this respect, ECRI is disappointed to note that the Netherlands has not adopted a national
inclusion strategy on the Roma, Sinti and Traveller communities as recommended by ECRI. According to
the authorities, the grave problems faced by the Roma and Sinti communities in the fields of education,
employment, health and housing must be dealt with by means of general policies which target all
members of society and not specific groups, as special policies strengthen the isolation and the
dependency on social welfare of these groups. The authorities have further stated that the principle
expressed in the general integration policy is also applicable in this case, notably that integration is not
the responsibility of the government but rather of those who decide to settle in the Netherlands. In this
respect, ECRI notes that many Roma and Sinti are Dutch citizens. Municipalities have clearly been
identified by the government as having primary responsibility for dealing with the problems faced by
their Roma and Sinti population. At the same time, in 2010 the authorities provided 600 000 Euros to
the Platform for Roma Municipalities in order to combat school drop-out of Roma girls and other funds
for preschool education, bridging classes and summer schools. There have also been policy initiatives at
the national level which have focused on fighting the exploitation of Roma children by members of the
Roma community, in order to protect the Roma children’s right to education.

166. As concerns programmes carried out at the local level, the municipality of Nieuwegein has focused
on 27 “multi-problem families”, many of whom are highly indebted and have children who do not
regularly attend school. A plan is drawn up for each family setting specific goals as concerns debt relief,
education and any other pertinent issue; a mediator is designated in order to assist the family to achieve
these goals and cooperates with the child protection service and the police. The mediator explains to
the pupil’s parents why it is important for the child to go to school; if the parents refuse to send their
child to school, they are reported to the police. The municipality has been active in sensitising schools on
Roma culture and on the importance of reporting the absence from school of Roma children. As a
consequence, the attendance of Roma children in primary school has greatly improved. ECRI welcomes

6
ECRI report on the Netherlands (fourth monitoring cycle), published in 2013.

11
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

these initiatives. Nonetheless, the municipality of Nieuwegein is still struggling to ensure that girls and
boys who are over 13 years old stay in school. While this is to be attributed to the tradition of girls’
marrying at 13 and to the absence of role models for boys, the municipality deems that it is related only
to this last aspect. The municipality has informed ECRI that all programmes for Roma in the field of
employment have failed. One such project consisted in assisting Roma men in setting up businesses
(garages, car repair etc.); however, in the end, no one succeeded.

167. ECRI recommends that the authorities ensure that educated and successful individuals of Roma or
Sinti origin are involved in all programmes specifically targeting Roma and Sinti, whether in the field of
education or employment, in order to share their experience and act as a role model.

Framework Convention on National Minorities7


3rd cycle of country monitoring due on 1 June 2016 but not yet received
OTHERS
Policy measures in the Netherlands for the social inclusion of Roma
https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/netherlands_national_strategy_en.pdf

2. Roma in the Netherlands


(…) There are no exact figures for the size of the Roma community in the Netherlands. Estimates vary
from a few thousand to forty thousand, which means that no more than 0.24 per cent of the Dutch
population is of Roma origin. Themes that are crucial to improving the position of Roma in the
Netherlands are persistent absence from school, disadvantage in education and unemployment.
Municipal data and estimates show that a large number of Roma children do not attend school
regularly, if at all. Children are often absent from school for long periods due to all kinds of
circumstances within families and temporary stays abroad. Many children leave school after completing
their primary education. This is due in part to the fact that Roma girls tend to marry young, and
marriages are sometimes arranged. Because they marry young, these girls often bear children at an
early age too. Some parents believe it is not necessary to send their children to school to learn to read
and write. Relatively few Roma young people have any qualifications, and this is reflected in a low rate
of participation in the regular labour market. Municipalities report problems with crime and socially
unacceptable behaviour, such as begging, shoplifting, pickpocketing and domestic nuisance.
According to the National Roma Platform, members of the Roma community experience discrimination
and stigmatisation, and would like to see more attention given to the problem of statelessness.

3. Role of central government


Central government acknowledges that there are problems related to the Roma community and has
chosen to deal with them by means of general policy. The aforementioned policy document on
integration sets out a number of basic principles that apply to groups of a particular ethnic and/or

7
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Second Opinion on the Netherlands, adopted in
2013.

12
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

cultural background, including Roma. The first principle is that integration is not the responsibility of the
government but rather of those who decide to settle in the Netherlands. The second is that a person’s
future is more important than their origin. People need to have the will and the means to integrate into
society. General labour market, education and housing policies should enable everyone to build a life for
themselves. The Netherlands has no specific policy aimed at groups such as Roma. Instead, all policy
should be equally effective for all groups in society. The NISR has indicated that general policy should
include specially tailored measures to provide the solutions to the problems it is meant to deal with. As
its policy document on integration sets out, the government endeavours to ensure that generic
institutions are accessible to and effective for ethnic/cultural groups, including Roma.
Primary responsibility for dealing with the problems of the local Roma population lies with
municipalities. Central government acknowledges the urgency and severity of these problems.
Municipalities are encouraged to make effective use of existing measures and the tools available to deal
with problems within certain segments of local Roma communities. The Roma community itself also has
a crucial role to play, and emphasizes the importance of contact at local level.
It is important to note in this respect that standard instruments are used to deal with socially
unacceptable and criminal behaviour. A program is being launched to fight crime in general and the
exploitation of Roma children by members of the Roma community. It will also target the new influx of
Roma from other EU countries. This approach relies on close cooperation between the relevant
institutions and organisations, including municipal authorities, police, central government, the Public
Prosecution Service, Youth Care and the Child Protection Board. It is important to note that the policy
underpinning the program does not target Roma specifically, but is aimed at combating crime. One of
the potential effects of this approach is the protection of the rights of Roma children, such as the right
to education.
The reason for this program is the need to improve the prospects of children growing up in multi-
problem families and help them participate in Dutch society. (…)
The aim is to stop and prevent exploitation of Roma children using an approach in which municipalities,
police, central government and other relevant organisations work closely together. (…)
(…)
Education
Children are required to attend school from the age of five. Municipalities are responsible for enforcing
the law and employ school attendance officers to ensure compliance with this requirement. Parents
bear primary responsibility for complying with the Compulsory Education Act. When children, Roma or
otherwise, are persistently absent the school attendance officer takes action – if necessary legal – to
ensure they go to school. As a last resort, the attendance officer can impose a fine or even a custodial
sentence on the parents if the children fail to go to school. To increase school attendance among Roma
children, the previous government made €0.6 million available to the Platform for Roma Municipalities
of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) for the year 2010. These municipalities used the
funds to finance projects aimed at encouraging Roma children, and girls in particular, to attend school.
The VNG is sharing the knowledge and experience gained from these projects with other municipalities
facing similar issues. As a result, there is a basis for effectively combating persistent absence among

13
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Roma children.
A compensatory policy is in place for disadvantaged primary school pupils. Municipalities receive €260
million in government funds for this purpose every year. They are required to use these funds to finance
preschool education, bridging classes and summer school, and have the option of organising other
activities aimed at improving children’s language skills. Bridging classes provide extra tuition for pupils
whose language skills fall short. Summer school programs offered during school holidays are also aimed
at improving pupils’ Dutch language skills. Over the course of the next few years, an additional €100
million will be invested in preschool education, bridging classes and summer schools.
Approximately €400 million a year is available for children whose parents have a low level of education.
In general, schools use these funds to pay for extra teaching staff, which enables them to reduce class
sizes so that disadvantaged pupils can be given more attention.
Secondary schools receive extra funds for staff if over the course of two or more years a certain
percentage of their pupils come from neighbourhoods identified as having multiple poverty-related
problems. Schools can use these funds to reduce dropout rates and provide more intensive guidance to
individual pupils in order to help them improve their academic performance.
In the Netherlands, parents are free to choose their children’s school. (…) There are no schools attended
solely by Roma children.

POLAND
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendations8
62. (…) The integration of Roma was the subject of a government programme for that community for
the years 2004-2013, which was followed by an integration programme for the years 2014-2020. (…)

66. In its fourth report, ECRI also recommended that the authorities continue their efforts to support the
education of Roma children. The evaluation of the governmental programme for the Roma community
2004-2013 shows that 64% of the programme’s activities focused on educational projects. In 2012, the
FRA published the findings of a survey carried out in 2011 on the situation of Roma in 11 EU member
states. It can be seen from this report that Poland obtains the second-best result of the 11 countries
covered by the survey, with 26% of Roma aged 20-24 having completed secondary education. However,
in its third opinion on Poland, adopted on 28 November 2013, the Advisory Committee of the
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities noted that few Roma children
continued their education beyond primary level (over half the Roma living in Poland failed to complete
their primary education, as compared with 3.6% nationwide), and that a disproportionate number of
Roma children were still placed in special schools on the basis of certificates attesting to various
disabilities (8.4% in 2013/2014, as compared with 3% for the total number of pupils, according to data
from the education information system).

Framework Convention on National Minorities9

8
ECRI report on Poland (fifth monitoring cycle), adopted in March 2015.

14
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

20. In spite of the initiatives taken by the authorities to address the concerns of the Roma regarding
equal access to education, Roma children still face serious difficulties in the education system. A
disproportionately high percentage of Roma children are placed in special schools on the basis of
certificates attesting to various disabilities. This indicates the inadequacy of the preschool education
opportunities for Roma children, who, as a result, enter primary school with little or no knowledge of
the Polish language, and points to deficiencies in the testing methods.

Promotion of full and effective equality of Roma


48. The Advisory Committee welcomes the authorities’ commitment to implement the National
Programme for the Roma Community in Poland (2004-2013) and as well as plans for its continuation in
the years 2014-2020. The National Programme has been elaborated by the Team on Roma Issues within
the Joint Commission of Government and National and Ethnic Minorities, with the participation of Roma
members of the Joint Commission and with the input of Roma organisations. It has to be noted that in
addition to 85 million zloty (€20.2 million) allocated by the Minister of Administration and Digitization to
this programme, other national and European Union funds have been used in specific fields. The
Ministry of Education was responsible for the disbursement of the education subsidy for Roma children
(93.6 million zloty (€17.8 million)) in the same period and specific measures to support education of
Roma children by employing supporting teachers, educational assistants, providing scholarships,
textbooks and school accessories free of charge (6.3 million zloty (€1.5 million)). Under the Operational
Programme Human Capital 74.7 million zloty (€17.8 million) were allocated to support professional
activity and social integration of the Roma.

49. The main thrust of the National Programme has been placed on education of Roma children. In order
to achieve this, approximately over 50 Roma community centres have been established, in addition to
school clubs subsidised by the Ministry of Education. Particular emphasis has been placed on the
financing of kindergartens which are seen as the necessary prerequisite for successful integration of
Roma children in primary schools. The Advisory Committee regrets to note, however, that in spite of
these efforts Roma children are disproportionately placed in special education schools (…).

50. The Advisory Committee notes that regardless of the efforts undertaken in recent years, the
educational results for Roma children lag far behind those of the other national minorities and the Polish
population in general (see more detailed remarks under Article 12 below).

Recommendations
53. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to increase efforts to prevent and to combat the
inequality and discrimination suffered by the Roma. In particular, effective steps must be taken to
prevent children from being placed in special schools. (…)

9
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Third Opinion on Poland, adopted in November
2013.

15
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

134. (…) Information on the setting up at the Pedagogical University in Krakow in 2013 of the
undergraduate Armenian, Lemko and Roma studies, in addition to the hitherto existing since 2004
postgraduate Roma studies is particularly welcome. Furthermore, the Advisory Committee notes that a
number of universities developed programmes to train teachers to acquire multicultural and
intercultural skills necessary to implement the new curricula. (…)

Present situation
143. The Advisory Committee notes with satisfaction the initiatives taken by the authorities to address
the concerns of the Roma communities regarding equal access to education within the framework of the
Programme for the Roma Community in Poland 2004-2013. The closing down of the last remaining
separate “Roma classes” in 2011 is particularly welcome. The Advisory Committee, while welcoming the
continued existence since 1993 of the Parish Polish-Roma Primary School in Suwałki, attended by 33
children of whom 25 are Roma and which teaches in part in the Romani language, thus maintaining
children’s linguistic and cultural identity, asks the authorities to monitor and support its activity to
ensure that children attending it receive quality education and interact with children from other schools.

144. The authorities do not systematically collect information on the number of Roma children in
schools. Whereas 17 000 persons declared their ethnicity as Roma according to the preliminary results
of the 2011 census, the number of Roma children benefitting from educational support in 2011 was 2
306. Approximately 100 Roma education assistants and a similar number of supporting teachers have
been recruited to facilitate the integration of Roma children in schools and their learning process. The
Advisory Committee welcomes the information on the 145 dedicated school scholarships awarded
under the Programme for the Roma Community and the provision free of charge of textbooks, school
accessories, cofinancing of bus transportation and school insurance.

145. Notwithstanding these laudable initiatives and achievements, the Advisory Committee notes that
significant challenges in the access of Roma children to education remain. In particular, the fact that
16,8% of Roma children (as compared with 2% for the rest of the population) receive medical
certificates attesting to their “disability” or “disorder” (in most cases classified as with “mild mental
disability”) is a cause for serious concern. The Advisory Committee is aware of the authorities’ argument
that such a certificate does not automatically direct a child to a special school, and that the decision as
to the choice of the school establishment remains with the parents. It considers nonetheless, that the
high proportion of Roma children issued with such certificates attests to the inadequacy of the pre-
school education opportunities for Roma children, who as a result enter primary school with little or no
knowledge of the Polish language, as well as to the deficiencies in the testing methods. The Advisory
Committee understands that the reasons leading to the disproportionate enrolment in special schools
have not been fully identified and addressed.

146. The Advisory Committee notes further the precarious position of the Roma education assistants
who are employed on temporary contracts which, in addition to not providing them with stable

16
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

employment, sends a very negative signal to Roma children as regards their prospect for employment,
thus undermining the motivation to complete their education. In addition, the continuing absence of
any opportunities to learn the Romani language at school (…) The Advisory Committee deeply regrets,
that according to the figures provided in the State Report over 50% of the Roma in Poland have not
completed primary education, as compared to 3,6% nationwide.

Recommendations
148. The Advisory Committee urges the authorities to redouble their efforts to identify and remedy the
shortcomings faced by Roma children in the field of education, and to ensure that Roma children have
equal opportunities for access to all levels of quality education. In particular, steps must be taken to
prevent children from being inappropriately diagnosed as having “mild mental disability”, and to ensure
that fully-informed consent is given as a condition for placement in special education.

149. The authorities are asked to identify causes for high drop-out rate from primary schools for Roma
children and devise, in consultation with the Roma, strategies aimed at finding solutions to this issue.

150. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities, as a matter of priority, to make more sustained
efforts to ensure access to pre-school facilities for all Roma children and to guarantee that the
curriculum in such kindergartens corresponds to the diverse needs and multi-lingual composition of the
groups concerned.

212. Roma continue to face persistent discrimination and difficulties in different sectors, in particular in
employment and education. A disproportionately high number of Roma children receive certificates
attesting to their disability and are placed in special schools. This indicates the inadequacy of the pre-
school education opportunities for Roma children, who as a result enter primary school with little or no
knowledge of the Polish language, and points to the deficiencies in the testing methods. Over 50% of the
Roma have not completed primary education, as compared to 3,6% generally (…).
OTHERS

HUNGARY
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendations10

109. The common practice of streaming Roma children into “special” schools or classes results in Roma
over-representation in schooling that is meant for children with disabilities or special needs. Although
elsewhere in this report a technical distinction has been drawn between this problem and segregation,
ECRI should stress that in reality, this special schooling constitutes another form of segregated
education because activities in these facilities are separated and different from those associated with

10
ECRI report on Hungary (5th monitoring cycle), adopted in March 2015

17
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

regular education. They also offer reduced curricula and rarely enable pupils to enter mainstream
schools.

110. ECRI is very concerned that Hungary continues to place disproportionate numbers of Roma
children in schools for pupils with learning disabilities, thereby perpetuating the cycle of under-
education, poverty and exclusion. According to the Roma Education Fund,11 research estimates that
Roma account for between 20 and 90 % of pupils in special schools in Hungary. According to another
estimate,12 around 90 % of children in special schools are Roma and very few have any actual
disabilities. It is claimed that local committees, made up of teachers, psychologists and psychiatrists,
often rush decisions, sometimes without proper testing, or even without the child or the parents being
present.

111. Therefore, ECRI welcomes the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (the Court) of 31
January 2013 in the case of Horvath and Kiss v. Hungary. The applicants - two ethnic Roma - argued
that, due to their ethnic origin, they had been wrongly placed in a school for the mentally disabled and
that their rights under Article 2 of Protocol No. 1 to the ECHR (right to education) and Article 14
(prohibition of discrimination) had been breached. They alleged that the tests used for their placement
had been out dated and culturally biased, putting them at a particular disadvantage. The Court ruled in
favour of the applicants on both counts, underlining that there was a long history of wrongful
placement of Roma children in special schools in Hungary and that the State must change this practice
by providing the necessary safeguards against misdiagnosis. The Court also expressed concerns about
the more basic curriculum followed in these schools and, in particular, the segregation which the
system causes.

112. The Hungarian authorities have informed the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of
the steps taken to comply with the judgment. These include the introduction of new tests to evaluate
the learning abilities of Roma pupils; programmes promoting inclusive education of special education-
needs pupils; the training of professionals engaged in their education; and legislative amendments on
the diagnosis of mental handicap in children based on strict criteria and accompanied by special
safeguards. Execution of the judgment (under enhanced supervision) is still pending. ECRI hopes that
this case will bring about significant changes and put a stop to this long-standing practice.

113. ECRI strongly recommends that the practice of placing Roma children without genuine disabilities
in schools for the mentally disabled is definitively stopped.
Framework Convention on National Minorities13
12. Roma continue to suffer systemic discrimination and inequality in all fields of life including housing,
employment, education, access to health and participation in social and political life. According to

11
Roma Education Fund (2012), Pitfalls and bias: entry testing and the overrepresentation of Romani Children in Special Education.
12
See http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Education/2014/02/09/The-rot-of-the-Roma/.
13
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Fourth Opinion on Hungary, adopted in
February 2016.

18
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

evidence collected by the authorities, segregation of Roma children in recent years has become more
widespread. Alarmingly, discrimination against Roma children has deepened, in particular on account of
the concept of “remedial segregation”, promoted by the authorities, according to which Roma children
are expected to “catch up” in separate Roma classes before inclusion in the mainstream education,
which never happens.

29. According to the census results, of the 9,937,628 respondents, the number of persons who declared
to belong to one of the recognised nationalities exclusively or in conjunction with another ethnic
affiliation was: Armenians - 3,571, Bulgarians - 6,272, Croats - 26,774, Germans - 185,696, Greeks -
4,642, Poles - 7,001, Romanians - 35,641, Roma - 315,583, Ruthenians - 3,882, Serbians - 10,038, Slovaks
- 35,208, Slovenians - 2,820 and Ukrainians - 7,396. Altogether, according to the census data of 2011,
nearly 6% of the population of Hungary (644,524 persons in total) identify with one or more recognised
national minority (nationality).

32. In spite of these shortcomings, the Advisory Committee notes that the number of persons declaring
affiliation with an ethnic group (or groups) rose significantly from 442,739 in the 2001 census to 644,524
in 2011. The most significant rise has been registered with regard to Roma (from 205,720 in 2001 to
315,583 in 2011), which is attributed to active involvement of Roma enumerators and an awareness
campaign “Colourful Hungary” that preceded the census. These initiatives are very commendable. It has
to be noted, however, that according to widely shared estimates, the number of Roma living in Hungary
is much higher, probably oscillating around 700,000, as acknowledged also by the State Report.

41. The concept of “benevolent segregation” is further strengthened by the notion of “catching up”
(Felzárkozás), which was originally introduced in a 1962 government decree that allowed for the
creation of “Gypsy classes” with the aim “to make it possible for the pupils to continue their studies
successfully in normal classes after one or two years.” Although the notion of separate Roma classes has
over the years been conclusively proven ineffective in providing quality education and increasing the
chances of inclusion of Roma children in mainstream education, it has survived in Hungary and is even
being promoted and justified. The Advisory Committee finds this deeply worrying as the notion of
catching-up places the burden of overcoming the existing low attainment and high school dropout levels
of Roma children squarely on the shoulders of the victims of discrimination. It allows also the majority
population and the authorities not to feel concerned by the continuing inequality and discrimination (…).

55. The Advisory Committee finds the systemic discrimination of Roma children in the field of education
deplorable. Not only has there been no progress with desegregation in schools, but on the contrary the
proportion of Roma children attending segregated schools has risen in recent years. According to
available data, the number of schools in the 2014-2015 school year, where Roma students constitute
more than 50% of the intake, is 381. Approximately 45% of Roma children attend such schools. The
Advisory Committee notes with deep concern that neither the Strategy (adopted in 2011), nor its
updated version of 2014, make combatting segregation a priority or a long-term goal of the authorities.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Consequently, no measures have been taken to reduce segregation.

56. On the other hand, various scholarship schemes have been developed to support socially
disadvantaged children. In the framework of the Útravaló–MACIKA Scholarship Programme, about
17,000 students took part in the Road to Vocation, Road to Secondary School, and Road to the
Secondary School Leaving Examination sub-programmes in the 2012- 2013 school year. About two thirds
of the beneficiaries declared themselves to be Roma. The scholarships awarded are performance-
related, depending on the average obtained at each grade, and their amounts have significantly
increased as from the 2013-2014 school year. Under the Integrational Pedagogic System programme,
which aims to promote social inclusion, 6.8 billion HUF were disbursed to 78,626 students and 25,269
kindergarten children in 2012-2013. In general, the Advisory Committee is pleased to note that although
the school attainment of Roma children is still well below the national average, various support schemes
coupled with the hard work of the persons concerned, have resulted in the emergence of a small
educated Roma elite capable of formulating and voicing Roma concerns and points of view on issues of
interest to the Roma and the society as a whole.

132. The Advisory Committee recalls that segregation of Roma children at school, disproportionate
placement of Roma children in special schools and other difficulties experienced by Roma children have
been followed with considerable attention in the previous Opinions and the authorities were
recommended to take specific measures to eliminate the identified shortcomings.

134. In 2011, the authorities carried out a comprehensive overhaul of all hitherto existing programmes
in the social field and combined them into one overarching programme “National Social Inclusion
Strategy - Deep poverty, child poverty and Roma 2011-2020” (hereafter: NSIS). The Advisory Committee
notes that the rationale for such a profound review has been justified by the significant overlap of the
target groups of all the programmes. The authorities acknowledge that among the approximately
750,000 Roma, between 500,000 and 600,000 are very poor. Furthermore, it is estimated that of the
400,000 children living below the poverty line at least half are Roma. Finally, significant parts of the
Roma live in the poorest regions of Hungary. (…)

136. Roma children largely benefit from various scholarship schemes developed under the Útravaló –
MACIKA Scholarship Programme. A requirement has been introduced in 2011 that at least 50% of
beneficiaries of all equal opportunity schemes ("Road to Secondary School", "Road to the Secondary
School-leaving Examination" and "Road to Vocation") of the Útravaló – MACIKA Scholarship Programme
be of (self-declared) Roma origin. This ratio was largely attained already in the 2012-2013 academic
year. Of 16,636 students benefitting from the programme, 9,178 students (corresponding to 55% of the
total number of students covered by the programme) declared that they were of Roma origin.

137. Under the "Road to Tertiary Education" programme, 57 Roma students (14% of the total of 387)
received scholarships in the 2012-2013 academic year (the last year for which figures are available) to

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

cover university tuition fees, with the exact amount of the scholarship being dependent on the grades
obtained. Also, the "Second Chance" programme Híd (Bridge) has been set up to help young adults who
have dropped out of the school system, to obtain secondary school qualifications.

138. Against this highly developed institutional background the Advisory Committee regrets to note that
the espoused targets are not only not being achieved but, on the contrary, the indicators point to the
worsening of the situation. School segregation of Roma children is very high in Hungary. Approximately
45% of all Roma children attend schools or classes where all or the majority of their classmates are also
Roma. The Educational Authority (EA) reported in 2014 that 381 primary and secondary schools had 50%
or more Roma among their students (although the EA warned that there is high latency in the provided
data). Regrettably, these figures demonstrate that declarations by the authorities that “*t+he Hungarian
government stands firmly against segregation and will continue to do everything for the integration of
the Roma” are not being followed by concrete action.

139. The Advisory Committee is deeply concerned that in practice the authorities give clear preference
to the notion of “catching up” by the Roma children (Felzárkozás) to be achieved through education in
Roma classes and schools. This notion follows from the Fourth Amendment to the Fundamental Law and
stigmatises Roma children as being solely responsible for the existing low attainment and high school
dropout levels. Placement of Roma children in segregated classes and schools, where they are supposed
to “catch-up”, removes the issue of providing quality education to Roma children away from the view
and care of the majority population. Perversely, it makes the victims of discrimination responsible for
overcoming it (…). The Advisory Committee considers that all evidence points to the conclusion that
“catch-up” classes and schools are in fact segregated classes and schools where nobody ever catches up.

140. The Advisory Committee notes the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the case
Horváth and Kiss v. Hungary of 29 April 2013. This judgment confirmed that Roma children have suffered
wrongful placement in special (remedial) schools due to the systematic misdiagnosis of mental disability,
which constituted a prima facie case of indirect discrimination. In this context (…) new testing methods
have been introduced (…), members of expert panels involved in the evaluation process were offered
specialised trainings (…). Whereas the total number of children with special education needs seems to
have stabilised in recent years at around 81,000, corresponding to just under 5% of all children
attending school, the proportion of children with special education needs in integrated institutions is on
the rise (over 52,000 in the school year 2012-2013) while the number of children educated in segregated
institutions is falling (under 29,000 in the school year 2012-2013). (…)

141. The lowering of the compulsory school-attendance age from 18 to 16, which was introduced by the
National Public Education Act of 2011, raises serious concerns. Given the high rate of repetition of
classes and the lack of entrenched culture of school attendance among Roma children, in particular
young Roma girls, many will have left school by the age of 16 without completing primary education.
This will impact very significantly on their employment prospects as most jobs require a completed 8th

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

grade of education. The Advisory Committee notes, however, that the proportion of Roma girls who
have left school before the age of 16 has halved in one generation in Hungary, to 33% in 2011.

142. A combination of the difficulties experienced in education results in only 1% of Roma children
reaching tertiary education. The proportion of Roma university graduates is lower still due to a high
dropout rate. The Advisory Committee welcomes information in this regard on the bonus system for
university candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds and different tutoring initiatives undertaken by
student organisations to offer academic help to Roma students.

143. The Advisory Committee notes that as of the school year 2014-2015, free kindergarten education
for all children became compulsory from the age of three. It notes, however, that whereas the
attendance is 94.7% of all children nationally, the figure for Roma children is only less than 50%. Such a
low proportion of Roma children attending kindergartens cannot, in the view of the Advisory Committee
be simply explained by the fact that a disproportionate number of Roma live in isolated small villages
and that some of the children may be exempted from the obligation due to their mothers being
homemakers.

144. Finally, the Advisory Committee wishes to commend the extraordinary efforts undertaken at the
Gandhi school in Pécs and the considerable resources put at its disposal by the national and local
authorities. This boarding school, which is attended almost exclusively by Roma children, most of whom
come from disadvantaged backgrounds, is striving to achieve educational excellence for Roma children.
The school teaches both Romani and Beash languages in addition to standard academic subjects and six
Roma teachers are among the staff of 40 employed at this establishment. It notes, however, that the
dropout rate, particularly in the first year is, according to the interlocutors of the Advisory Committee,
very high. This is yet another confirmation that primary schools in very many cases fail to provide
expected education to Roma children.

171. The Advisory Committee urges the authorities to intensify measures aimed at promoting access to
employment for Roma. Specific vocational training is needed to support the long-term unemployed and
measures must be closely co-ordinated with Roma themselves at the central, regional and local levels.

OTHERS

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

UKRAINE
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendations14
In its 5th report ECRI recommends that the authorities should review the situation of racial segregation
of Roma in education and adopt an effective strategy to put an end to this practice, as well as facilitate
access to preschools. Steps should be taken to stop the bullying of Roma children, with measures
addressed to pupils, parents and teachers.
The authorities should conduct a thorough evaluation of the shortcomings of the Strategy for the
Protection and Integration of the Roma Ethnic Minority and its Action Plan, paying particular attention
to education, housing, employment and obtaining identity documents, and revise and update these
accordingly. This should be done in close cooperation with Roma and Roma organisations and sufficient
funding should be allocated for them to be effective.

9.(§ 73) ECRI strongly recommends the authorities to review the situation of racial segregation of Roma
in education and to adopt an effective strategy to put an end to this practice. In line with this, they
should also facilitate access of Roma children to preschools.

10.(§ 75) ECRI Recommends that further steps are taken to stop the bullying of Roma children in
schools, with measures addressed to pupils, parents and teachers.

11. (§82) ECRI strongly recommends that the authorities conduct a thorough evaluation of the
shortcomings of the Strategy for the Protection and Integration of the Roma Ethnic Minority and its
Action Plan and revise and update them accordingly, paying particular attention to education, housing,
employment and obtaining identity documents. They should do this in close cooperation with Roma
and Roma organisations and allocate sufficient funding for them to be effective.
Framework Convention on National Minorities15
The 4th cycle monitoring report is in progress

3rd cycle opinion of 28 March 2013


23. The situation as regards access to and performance of Roma children in school remains critical.
While some efforts have been made at local level, including with the support of Roma mediators, the
absence of a comprehensive national plan hinders sustainable progress from being achieved. Roma
children, particularly girls, continue to experience high drop-out rates and those who graduate often do
so without having gained literacy. Continued reports of segregation of Roma children in special classes
or schools, which are in addition reported to be often in very poor condition, are of deep concern.
Resolute and comprehensive measures must be taken, in close consultation with Roma representatives,
to raise awareness among the relevant authorities and society in general on the specific concerns and

14
ECRI report on Ukraine (fifth monitoring cycle), adopted in June 2017.
15
Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the protection of National Minorities, Third Opinion on Ukraine, adopted in March
2012.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

needs of the Roma communities.

Recommendations from the two previous cycles of monitoring


120. In the previous monitoring cycles, the Advisory Committee urged the authorities to provide
appropriate support, including financial, to pre-school education and other initiatives aimed at
preventing absenteeism and drop-out rates among Roma pupils. In addition, it called for resolute steps
to eliminate any discriminatory practices in the enrolment of Roma children into mainstream schools.
Present situation

121. The Advisory Committee notes with deep concern that the available figures on access to
education and level of achievement of Roma pupils have not improved since the second monitoring
cycle. Roma pupils, particularly girls, continue to experience high drop-out rates and those who
graduate reportedly often do so without having gained literacy. Cases are also reported where Roma
children cannot receive their school certificates due to lack of birth certificates (…). The Advisory
Committee is further deeply concerned by continued reports of segregation of Roma children in
separate classes or schools. These separate Roma schools are, in addition, often reported to be in very
poor condition, without educational or even sanitary facilities, which further impedes effective learning.
Moreover, the Advisory Committee observed worrying attitudes among some of its governmental and
non-governmental interlocutors implying that the under-achievement of Roma children in schools is due
to parental neglect, rather than to poverty and social exclusion.

122. The Advisory Committee welcomes the efforts by regional authorities in Odessa and the
Transcarpathia region to recruit Roma mediators and/or teaching assistants from the community to
promote attendance of Roma children in schools. With the support of formal and informal Roma
community leaders, particular efforts have reportedly been made to enrol Roma children in pre-school
education. This has somewhat alleviated the language problems faced by Roma children in schools in
Western Ukraine, who often speak Romani at home. While these efforts are commendable, the Advisory
Committee regrets that they appear still to be of an ad hoc nature and lack sustained financial support.
There appears to be no comprehensive strategy to address the situation, nor an adequate awareness of
the severity of the problems in accessing education faced by Roma children.

Recommendation

123. The Advisory Committee urges the authorities to take resolute and prompt measures, in close
consultation with community representatives, to ensure that Roma children are offered equal access to
quality education. Discriminatory practices must cease without delay and efforts must be made to
integrate Roma children into mainstream education, including at higher level.

162. *…+ Roma face persistent inequalities in a number of areas, including education, the provision of
health services, housing and employment. There continue to be alarming reports about inequalities

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

within the justice system.

169. The situation regarding access to education for Roma children remains critical. While some efforts
have been made at the local level, including with the support of Roma mediators, the absence of a
comprehensive national plan prevents sustainable progress. Roma children, particularly girls, continue
to experience high drop-out rates and experience under-achievement. Continued reports of segregation
of Roma children in special classes or schools, which are in addition often reported to be in very poor
condition, are of deep concern. Resolute and comprehensive measures must be taken, in close
consultation with Roma representatives, to raise awareness among the relevant authorities and society
in general on the specific concerns and needs of the Roma communities.
OTHERS
The European Education Directory: http://www.euroeducation.net/prof/ukrco.html
Opinion by the Venice Commission on the provisions of the law on education of 5 September 2017

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Appendix 5

Size, composition, language, lifestyle and situation of the groups in question in participating countries

REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA
The Roma are an ethnic group found mostly in Europe, who has lived in the territory making up modern-
day Moldova since beginning of the 15th century (1414)1. There are no exact figures regarding the
number of Roma living in the Republic of Moldova, which continues to pose challenges when discussing
policies and programmes on Roma. The official data of the census in 2014 counted 9.323 Roma in the
Republic of Moldova2; as well data collected by the Bureau of Inter-ethnic Relations in 2012, suggest
that the figure is closer to 20.000; while Roma leaders claims that the figure can be up to 250.000 Roma
living in the Republic of Moldova3. Thus, there is an enormous disparity between official records and the
self-assessment of Roma community (provided by local Roma NGOs and Roma community mediators).
Moldavian Roma are spread all over the country, most of the representatives of this community
currently living in the cities: Otaci, Soroca, Edinet, Riscani; districts: Drochia, Orhei, Calarasi, Hincesti;
villages: Ursari, Parcani, Schinoasa (Calarasi district) and Vulcanesti (Nisporeni district)4. Also, by dint of
geographically cross border location of the Republic of Moldova, nowadays here are unique congregate
of ten Roma ethnographic groups: Laesi (nomads), Catunari (inhabitants at tents), Ciocanari
(hammerers), Ciori (thieves-horses, which simultaneously was provided treatment and traditional trade
with horses), Ciurari (sieve makers), Brazdeni (plowmen), Ursari (bear trainers), Lingurari (spoon
makers), Lautari (musicians), Curteni (servants and casual labourers at nobles courtyards).
A defining characteristic of the Roma population is its diversity. Each ethnographic group of Roma in the
Republic of Moldova has its own professional, linguistic and cultural characteristics. Inter alia, following
to the new socio-economic changes of the transnational global society, Moldavian Roma community
divides into three distinct ethno-social groups:
1. Traditional Roma (“Ciocanari”, “Catunari”, “Ciori” and “Ursari”) – which respect and preserve the
Romani unwritten paternally customs inherited from their ancestors and are speak/thinking in Romani
languages.
2. Roma with fragmentary identity (“Laiesi”, “Brazdeni”, “Lautari” and “Ciurari”) – partially integrated
community into contemporary Moldavian society. Members of this secondary group are Romani
speakers (occasional) / Moldavian thinking (regular) which are taking the lifestyle and habits of the
majority of population from the Republic of Moldova.
3. Assimilated Roma (“Lingurari” and “Curteni”) – cross-discriminated community (by the majority

1
http://romafacts.uni-graz.at/index.php/history/early-european-history-first-discrimination/arrival-in-europe
2
http://www.statistica.md/newsview.php?l=ro&idc=30&id=5582&parent=0
https://www.academia.edu/32376532/Date_recensamant_populatia_Roma_din_Republica_Moldova_2014
3
From Words to Deeds. Addressing Discrimination and Inequality in Moldova. The Equal Rights Trust Country Report Series: 7. London, June
2016, p.38.
4
Vulcanesti and Ursari are the villages when the majority of population speaks Romani language and openly identifies themselves as traditional
Roma community (Ursari – ethnographic group). Schinoasa and Parcani are the villages when population does not speak Romani but identifies
with Roma as social discriminated community (Lingurari – ethnographic group).

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

neighbourhoods population and traditional Roma groups). Moldavian speakers/thinking Roma which
during the history gradually are lost their ethno-psychological markers of Romani identity: language,
cultural paternally customs, nomadic/romantic lifestyle determined by community spirit of mutual
rescue. Poor living conditions and individualization of social problems through enforced segregation of
families caused that most representatives of this group belong at social vulnerability plight.
The history of Roma from the Republic of Moldova is characterized by the survival of some ethno-
linguistic traits and cultural patterns over the centuries. Lower social condition, specific symbiosis with
the majority of the population, own lifestyles have been perpetuated until today. Adequate knowledge
of the present aspirations, acceptance of social progress and accommodation of the Roma community
with low educational potential by new trends in the economic development – is absolutely necessary.
Unfortunately, unknowing of the “Roma issues” often generates fear and unfounded stereotypes deeply
implanted in the collective mind of the majority neighbourhoods population5.
Currently, the most representatives of the Roma community in Moldova as indigent part of consumerist
society (Roma unemployment’s/beneficiaries of social aid) in opposite side with small group of Roma as
indispensable part of the creative/productive community (Roma skilled workers integrate into the
local/regional/international labour markets) faces four main challenges:
1. Roma poverty – the main gap in getting a quality education.
2. Roma illiteracy – the main gap in providing quality services within labour market.
3. Roma unemployment – the main cause of poverty.
4. Roma fluctuant migration (at local / regional / international level) – an imminent necessity for
finding some unstable precarious income sources.

Republic of Moldova is a particular example for multilateral harmonization of interethnic relations and
for ensuring the necessary legislative framework for human rights and freedoms. The Moldovan
Constitution reinforces the obligation to recognize and guarantee the rights of citizens to preserve
develop and highlight the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious specifics. During the development of
the local democratic process, the Government of the Republic of Moldova assumed and implemented
complex policies based on a democratic legislative framework meant to increase the socio-economic
integration of Roma, to eliminate discriminatory practices and to preserve their cultural identity. In
order to promote traditional cultural heritage of the ethnic communities (inclusive Roma), special
institutions responsible for the development and implementation of current legislation from the
national policy were created in Moldova: Bureau of Inter-ethnic Relations6; Institute of Cultural Heritage
of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (“Ethnology of Roma” research group) 7; Parliamentary
Commission for Human Rights and Inter-ethnic Relations8.

5
DUMINICA, I. Roma in the Republic of Moldova. An ethnic Community Limited in Space and Integrated in Time. GESIS. Thematic Series: Social
Sciences Eastern Europe/Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. Berlin: Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, 2009/2, pp.23-26.
http://www.gesis.org/fileadmin/upload/dienstleistung/fachinformationen/series_ssee_01/Roma_in_Central_and_Eastern_Europe.pdf
6
http://www.bri.gov.md/
7
http://patrimoniu.asm.md/en/sectia-minoritati-etnice
8
http://www.parlament.md/StructuraParlamentului/Comisiipermanente/tabid/84/CommissionId/6/language/en-US/Default.aspx

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

The public television channel Moldova 1 and the public radio station Radio Moldova Actualitati
continues to put out the weekly programme Petalo Romano9 and Romano Glasos10 in Romany language.
The programme reflects the history and life of Roma in the Republic of Moldova, gives coverage to
cultural events in the Roma community and promotes the idea of integrating Roma into public life.

Bosnia and Herzegovina


Roma are the biggest minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, among 17 national minorities officially
recognized in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees leads and coordinates all activities related to the promotion
and protection of human rights of minorities, of the Roma in particular, as the largest and most
vulnerable ethnic minority in BiH.
On the initiative of the Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees BiH, the Council of Ministers of Bosnia
and Herzegovina adopted the following documents:
 In 2005 – Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted Strategy of Bosnia and
Herzegovina for Roma
 Action Plan on Roma Education was also adopted in 2005
 On 3rd July 2008 – The Council of Ministers adopted the Action Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina
on Roma Issues in the Fields of Roma Employment, Housing and Health Care.
 On 4th September 2008, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed Declaration to join Decade of Roma
Inclusion 2005-2015
 The Revised Action Plan on Roma Education was adopted in 2010.
 The revision of the Action Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Roma Issues in the Fields of Roma
Employment, Housing and Health Care is ongoing in 2016.
 Action Plan of Bosnia and Herzegovina on Roma Issues in the Fields of Roma Employment,
Housing and Health Care 2017-2020.

The basis of all the adopted documents was included in the Law on Protection of Minorities in Bosnia
and Herzegovina that was adopted in 2003.
According to the census in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2013 about 12,583 Roma declared them as Roma.
All information from the field stated that there were more Roma in BiH.
Roma usually live in 71 municipalities in the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at the moment, there
are about 91 Roma associations registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but only 10% of them are very
active.

Financial means

9
http://www.trm.md/ro/petalo-romano/
10
http://www.trm.md/ro/vocea-romilor/

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Every year since 2009, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH and the Council of Ministers of
Bosnia and Herzegovina has allocated funds at the state level through a system of co-funding by other
ministries and implementing partners, particularly in Roma housing, amounting to about €1 million in
order to fund the Roma Action Plan implementation.
The funds are also increased with donations from international organizations that co-fund our activities,
too. Most municipalities allocate funds at the local level to improve the living conditions of Roma and
invest their funds in infrastructure projects.

Education
In July 2010 the Council of Ministers adopted the Revised Action Plan of Roma Educational Needs of BiH
(RAP) which includes goals and measures to be implemented throughout the country. BiH has 12
ministries of education and one Department of Education in the Brcko District, and they are focused on
the implementation of this RAP.
In school year 2016/2017 1,917 Roma children are included in elementary education, and 169 Roma
children are included in secondary education, which is a significant increase compared to the previous
four school years. There are Roma students at universities and many of them finished their high level
education.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is no segregation of Roma in pre-school, primary and other education
and that inclusive education is taking root.
Free textbooks for Roma children in primary schools are provided to Roma children.
Free transport and free snacks are also provided by not in each school and cantons, depending on
available financial means.

Situation of Roma on the labour market


The Ministry for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, each year allocate a certain amount for Roma
employment (about € 350,000).
In the period of 2009-2017, the amount of money suggested for employment of Roma people was
€ 2,800,345. By the end of 2017 with the suggested financial supplies 744 Roma have participated in this
employment and self-employment programme.

Housing
Out of the state budget €1,000,000 has been allocated for Roma housing each year.

The budget of Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina for house care of
Roma people (period 2009-2017 excluding 2011 due to the fact that it was not funded of the state level)
was € 6,919,313.

Until this moment, this budget has been used for building 207 housing units, for reconstruction 335
housing units, which is in total 542 built/reconstructed housing units. It is worth mentioning that 1,127
families are users of infrastructure projects such as road building, water supply and sewage.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Apart from the financial support from Ministry, two projects IPA and SIDA have also helped provide
house care for Roma people.
Therefore, total number of built/reconstructed objects for Roma in Bosnia and Herzegovina is 957.

Health care
The Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been also allocating certain
financial resources as an incentive to competent medical institutions to carry out certain actions to
improve access to and provide better health care for Roma minority in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The main activities are related to:
1. Ensuring Access to Health Care and Program
2. Prevention and Education.
A particularly significant progress was made in the inclusion of many Roma families into the mainstream
health care system in Bosnia and Herzegovina, raising awareness about the importance of health care of
the Roma minority, prevention of addictions, immunization of Roma children, oral health, reproductive
health and maternity care, in training of Roma civil society in local communities in health care.
Based on CAHROM recommendations, 9 municipalities in BiH developed Local Action Plans where they
planned all activities and budget on local level.

Greece
Greek Gypsies11 (Roma) constitute an integral part of the Greek population and have no official
identification other than that of Greek citizens. As Greek citizens, they are not registered separately,
neither during the national census nor in the municipal rolls. In that sense, any reference to a precise
number resulted by several studies in terms of drafting and implementing projects of social inclusion, is
mainly based on Gypsy (Roma) self-identification or through spatial data based on Roma settlements.
Greek Gypsies (Roma) unequivocally consider themselves as Greek citizens of “Gypsy” origin and wish to
be treated as so, and not only as persons of “Gypsy” origin. As Greek citizens, they fall within the
Constitution and the laws of the Greek State. As a result of this, they enjoy by constitution all civic and
political rights entitled to Greek citizens (electoral – voting rights, freedom of association, syndicalism,
expression, etc.). Thus, (Greek) Gypsies (Roma) in Greece participate at political parties, they vote and
get elected too, they organize themselves in collective bodies and they participate in public life and local
government structures. It should be noted that Roma people do not constitute a minority in Greece.
According to the Regional Strategies for the Social Inclusion of Roma compiled between 2013 and 2014
and the mapping12 that was carried out in 2015 – 2016 in cooperation with the local authorities focusing

11
The term “Gypsies” is used in the present text only in reference to the Greek context as this term is used officially in Greece. “Gypsies” is used
with the meaning [tsigganoi /athigganoi] in greek. It should be noted that Roma people do not constitute a minority in Greece.
12
The Special Secretariat proceeded to a reflection of the current situation by mapping the settlements, camps and typological classification to
enable the planning of appropriate housing interventions. Also, the Special Secretariat has forwarded to all the municipalities of the country
having Roma populations a Template of Local Action Plan which comprises spatial and demographic mapping as well as proposed intervention
activities to be implemented by the municipal authorities together with indicative budgets and implementation schedules based on the
findings, in all the four operational axes: housing, education, employment and health.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

on their living conditions (housing, infrastructure) and on their access to social services (education,
health, employment.), the population of Roma based on spatial concentrations is approximately 110.000
in 370 settlements or neighbourhoods, number that makes 1% of the total number of Greek population.
According to the estimations of the Council of Europe, the number of Roma population in Greece is
around 175,000 and makes 1.55 % of the total number of inhabitants.

Roma population in Greece is not entirely an homogeneous group, but it consists of different “tribes” of
Roma people. The main categories of Roma in Greece are as follows: (a) domestic nomadic Roma (albeit
an extremely limited number); (b) very long-term settled distinct Roma communities, very poor and
excluded; (c) very long-term settled distinct Roma communities, a number of which has been to a large
extent integrated within the wider social fabric; (d) recent Roma migrants from new EU Member States
(mainly Bulgarian and Romanian Roma); (e) completely integrated/assimilated Roma who may never
even identify themselves as Romani and have not been included in the scope of the mapping of
settlements; (g) Roma Muslims in Thrace, who benefit from the minority protections available under the
peace treaties between Greece and Turkey following the Treaty of Lausanne;. In addition there are
recent Roma migrants who are not EU nationals (especially from Albania, but also from Kosovo13 and
“the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”) and fall within the responsibility of the migration policy.

Informal estimates of the number of immigrant Roma in Greece put the figure at tens of thousands.
Most of these people come from Albania, but others come from Bulgaria or Romania (EU citizens) and
others from Kosovo and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (non - EU citizens). Some of these
persons are temporary migrants, performing in particular seasonal agricultural work in Greece, and then
returning home. Others are involved in scrap metal recycling. The majority of these people have “been
legally living in Greece for over a decade, although a few have obtained citizenship. Foreign (non- EU
citizens) Roma are outside of the scope of state programmes” when they are illegally in the country.

The greatest concentrations of the Greek Gypsies (Roma) are to be found in the major conurbations and
in rural regions, where there are most opportunities for employment. The major concentrations are to
be found in the following regions: Attica, Western Greece, Thessaly, Eastern Macedonia – Thrace and
Central Macedonia.

It is generally noticed that there is a spatial concentration of Roma in specific areas, neighbourhoods,
suburbs or villages. Roma live, in most cases, in the fringes of cities and towns. This consequently leads

The above mentioned main typology of the Roma settlements is the following:
Category Type 1: “Most degraded areas- Unacceptable living conditions in huts, shelters lacking basic infrastructures.
Category Type 2 : Mixed camps- houses together with short –term facilities ( shelters, tents, containers often used on a permanent basis and
partial infrastructure (Water supply, electricity, roads) , usually in the vicinity of a built –up area.
Category Type 3 : Neighborhood in permanent use , often in distressed / disadvantaged areas of the urban fabric (mainly houses, usual
buildings- apartment flats or detaches houses and some containers).

13
All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

to their social exclusion. Most surveys carried out in recent years, show that Roma continue to live in
more or less the same localities that they lived in the past, which implies that the vast majority of Roma
in Greece are sedentary.

Greek Gypsies (Roma) are still subject to multiple forms of social exclusion. The Greek Roma community
faces inequalities such as obstacles to education tailored to their needs and access to the labour market
and appropriate housing conditions along with a the existence of stereotypes and prejudices that lead to
discrimination. Thus, the National Strategy for Roma Social Inclusion aims to support the gradual but full
inclusion. The primary objective is to end social exclusion of the Greek Gypsies (Roma) and to create the
necessary conditions for the social inclusion of Roma individuals, whether Greeks or foreigners, residing
lawfully in Greece. It should be noted that with respect to their community particular life style and
needs, Greek Gypsies (Roma) have been recognised by the State as one of the socially vulnerable groups
of the Greek population lacking basic goods and services for whom the state has adopted and
implements mainstreaming and targeted policies, measures and holistic interventions in all spheres of
social life such as health, housing, employment, education, culture and sport. Consequently, the second
general objective of the Strategy features interventions to improve their living standards. It is worth
mentioning that a number, although small, of localities where Roma reside, ie St Barbara, Aigaleo and
Ilion in Attica, Saint Athanasius and other areas in the city of Serres in Central Macedonia are more
successfully included with the non Roma population.

HUNGARY
Romani people in Hungary are Hungarian citizens of Romani descent. According to the 2011 census, they
compose 3.16% of the total population, which alone makes them the largest minority in the country14,
although reliable estimates have put the number of Romani people as high as 6–8 percent of the total
population.
Geographical distribution of people living in extreme poverty and the Roma
People living in extreme poverty are highly concentrated geographically: the vast majority of the
depriving settlements are located in the northeast and southwest of the country. These territories are
characterized by young age composition, low level of education and extremely low employment rate. In
these territories, as a result of the homogenous composition of the population, the possibility of
educational desegregation is limited, thus the interim aim is the development and the enhancement of
the quality of education.

The geographical distribution of the Roma is uneven in the country. In several counties the share of the
Roma in the total population is between 1 - 1,5 % according to the data of the most recent census; while
in the counties of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén and Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg their share is about 8%. In
addition, differences measured in districts units can be extreme: the majority of the population is Roma
in number of settlements and group of settlements. More than 60% of the Roma live in the countryside,

14
"Összefoglalás és módszertani megjegyzések" (PDF) (in Hungarian). Hungarian Central Statistical Office. Retrieved 5 January 2011.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

in rural environment and mostly in segregated areas with extremely bad housing conditions. In Hungary,
Roma are settled down since decades and they do not maintain a wandering lifestyle.

Regions and settlements with large Roma population, Hungarian Central Statistical Office, 2011

Romani language
The proportional classification of Hungary’s Roma into three language groups was also based on these
sociological surveys.15 Due to the misleading data coming from self-classification, it was rather the
opinion of the environment that was taken into consideration as the basis of the classification for the
survey, as many Gypsies claim to be Hungarian despite their confession of their mother tongue and their
origins. Based on this, people were reckoned as Gypsies, whom the non-Roma environment regarded
so: “our experience is that a Gypsy neighbourhood would reckon even the successfully assimilated as
Gypsy. In a population defined in this way, only those totally assimilated – with no trace left to their

15
Kemény, István. A magyarországi cigány lakosság. *Roma of Hungary+ Valóság, 1 (1974): 63–72.; Kemény, István – Janky Béla. A 2003. évi
cigány felmérésről. Népesedési, nyelv- használati és nemzetiségi adatok. *On the 2003 survey of Roma. Data regarding demographic, language
use and nationality.+ Beszélő, 10 (2003): 64–76.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

roots – are omitted, and, actually, it would not be ethical to regard them as subject to such surveys.”16
Based on the sociological survey of 1971, Gypsies can be classified into three groups regarding their
language: the Hungarian speaking ‘Romungro’ (who claim to be Hungarian or Musician Gypsies), the
Hungarian and Romani speaking ‘Vlach’ Gypsies, and the ‘Beas’ who speak Hungarian and an archaic
version of Romanian. Although this classification is of great importance from a sociological point of view,
it is linguistically problematical from various points of view. Namely, we cannot call all Hungarian
speaking Gypsies Romungro. Just like those Beas who lost their language in the process of assimilation
but strongly preserve their Beas identity, similarly to other minorities. In the case of Gypsies who speak
only Hungarian as their mother tongue, language and background are separated from each other, but
admitting their group belonging is still an important factor of identity, despite the loss of their original
native language.
Gypsies – in principle – have equal rights to have demands on preserving their mother tongue and on
minority language education, just like other minorities in Hungary. In spite of this, it can be ascertained
that minority language education in Gypsy languages lacks in essential conditions, both in terms of
personal and material resources. Hungary’s Gypsies rightfully complain that there are only a few Beas or
Romani speaking teachers, that teacher training does not include Beas and Romani, and there are no
textbooks, dictionaries or other teaching materials available. In accordance with European expectations,
states should provide the facilities of teacher training and for the production appropriate teaching
materials.

Towards improving school results of Roma pupils


Statistical data on ethnicity is not collected or registered in the public education system. Measures
currently in place in the field of education, aimed at improving respect for education, at compensating
for disadvantages and at increasing the performance of students at school, take as their basis the
indicator which is founded on low socio-economic status - disadvantaged and compound disadvantaged
backgrounds. The ethnically neutral indicator is in line with the socio-cultural index applied in OECD PISA
studies, taking into account the study results which say that the problems which affect a significant
proportion of Roma students (improper preparation for school, drop-outs, etc.), are not a consequence of
their ethnic origin, but of their social and health conditions17.
Progress in level of educational attainment can be observed in long term. According to survey
calculations, in the cohort born in 1971 and 1991 the highest educational attainment of the Roma is
roughly the following (see national proportions in brackets), with considerable development18:

1971 1991

8 grade primary 61,4% (18,6%) 46,7% (13,2%)

16
Havas, Gábor – Kemény, István. A magyarországi romákról. *On Hungarian Roma+ Szociológiai Szemle 3 (1995): 3–20.
17
In: G. Kertesi – G. Kézdi: Children of parents who have no schooling and Roma youth in secondary education. (Report on the
waves of the Education Career Survey between 2006 and 2009, 2010).
18
Source: http://econ.core.hu/file/download/TRIP/Append_C.pdf

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

secondary: 15,0% (79,4%) 46,2% (85,1%)

entered into tertiary educ.: 0% (16,7%) 4,2% (31,0%)

entered secondary school 23,0% (92,1%) 88,6% (97,7)


education

The impact of students’ socio-economic status on mathematics scores (23.1%) decreased between
2003 and 2012, but remains above the OECD average of 14.8%.
Results from national assessment of basic competencies prove that the proportion of low achievers
(level 2, 1 and below level 1) is decreasing in grades 6, 8, 10 in maths and literacy and 6 and 10 in
reading (source: Report on national assessment of basic competencies, Educational Authority, 2014.).
(National assessment of basic competencies measures the abilities of students in reading and
mathematical literacy in grades 6, 8 and 10 in every school).

Educational situation
In Hungary in the system of public education the different measures take into account the social
situation of children, and are not based on direct ethnic data collection. The relevant Act contains strict
rules on collection of ethnic data and it is prohibited by law to record data on ethnicity which are not
based on voluntary disclosure. The system of public education applies the definition19 of disadvantaged
and multiple disadvantaged children introduced by the Act on Child Protection20.
According to estimations21 half of the multiple disadvantaged students are Roma and two-third of Roma
students are multiple disadvantaged. According to the data of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office22
28 % of students are considered to be disadvantaged and 10 % of students are considered to be multiple
disadvantaged of the total number of students at the system of public education.

The 20/2012. (VIII. 31.) Decree of the Ministry of Human Capacities on the operation of public
education institutions and on the use of names of public education institutions, which – together with
the principle of free choice of school – regulates the admission districts of the primary school system.
The objective of this is to prevent schools from segregating students based on the origin or social
status23. Therefore, when determining the school district boundaries, the social and economic status of
families living in the surroundings of the school should be taken into account. According to data from
19
The following indicators have to be taken into consideration when defining disadvantaged and multiple disadvantaged situations: average
income per capita in the family, educational attainment of the parents; level of employment and living environment. Those children are
considered to be multiple disadvantaged who are raised in a family where the parents have low-income or are unemployed and the highest
completed level of the education of the parents is below grade 8 (ISCED 2).
20
Act XXXI of 1997 on Child protection and Guardian Administration.
21
We have different data on the number of nationalities, including Roma. According to the relevant legislation, ethnic data collection has to be
based on voluntary disclosure. Consequently, data based on the census show significantly smaller Roma population, than in some studies,
where other methods can also be used to collect data.
22
Statistical Mirror 2012/2013.
23
Paragraph (2) of Article 24 If there is more than one primary school or member institution in the municipality or in the district, the proportion
of disadvantaged students in a certain admission district can only be 15% higher than the proportion of disadvantaged children attending
primary school in the area of the whole municipality or district.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

2013 – out of 3251 schools – 362 schools were operating where the majority of students were multiple
disadvantaged.

The causes of educational segregation:


 students with better social status change school (educational migration)
 separation resulted by geographical distribution

In order to be able to solve educational segregation it is important to examine the way of its
emergence and it is necessary to take into account the local and regional situation and possibilities of
the society. The primary purpose is to create a high-quality educational system that enables the
acquisition of stable knowledge and desegregation can be a tool for this to be used in adequate
situations. Segregation that is deliberately done and that deprives opportunities by separation should
not be allowed and should be eliminated by all means. Regional differences can be seen in the
educational data as well, especially in the composition of the pupils. However the reason behind the
schools with homogeneous composition is demographic, social and many times economic as well,
posing policy experts to new challenges. In these schools we have to go beyond the educational data
that seem to implicate social status as well, because due to the homogeneous composition of these
schools, integration becomes quite difficult among them. As an interim objective we have to focus on
the improvement of the quality of education.

The Netherlands
The Netherlands has a total of 17,1 million inhabitants. 3,86 million inhabitants are of foreign
descent, amongst whom:
- 387.000 Turks
- 428.000 Moroccans
- 350.000 Surinamese
- 205.000 Polish
- 22.000 Romanians
There are ± 30.000-35.000 Roma in The Netherlands (most of whom have the Dutch
nationality).

There are 6 different groups of Roma in The Netherlands:


1. Those who arrived before 1900: Sinti-families (± 3.000)
2. Those who arrived around 1900: Roma families who settled in Dutch cities (±500).
3. Those who arrived in 1960-1970: Roma arrived as guest workers (number unknown).
4. Those who arrived in 1965-1975: Different groups of Roma families move from Eastern
Europe to Western Europe. 450 persons receive a residence permit and settle in 11 hosting
communities. At the present time this group consists of ± 3000 persons.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

5. At the end of the nineties Roma arrived looking for work or as a refugee mostly from former
Yugoslavia (number unknown).
6. The last 10 years: Roma coming from the new EU countries (number unknown).
Most Roma in The Netherlands speak Dutch. Some speak the language of their country of origin
or they speak Romanes at home but the differences between the dialects have become so large
that Roma from remote areas can hardly understand each other anymore. Nevertheless all
these dialects have got common words that are spoken by all Roma.

The community of Roma can be divided into different contexts; from small to large are the
familia (the extended family means: grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren). Then
there is the Vitsa, which is the clan or group of relatives. In addition, there is the Kumpania,
which is the socio-economic group. The base of this socio-economic group is the place where
they live. Finally, there is the Natsia, the nation or strain that can be regarded as Roma. Roma
are in solidary towards each other, but that is not always an optional or on a voluntary basis. In
case of emergency, people can receive every possible support of each other, but it is also an
obligation to always support one another in case of emergency.

Living conditions
A significant portion of the Roma and Sinti has adopted the Dutch values. However there are
problems with regard to participation in society. On average Roma families have a lower
income, more dependency on social benefits, less access to the labor market, more debts, less
education, worse health, worse housing and a higher crime rate than other Dutch families.
These problems have got both a cultural and historical background. The cultural background
can be seen in the uniqueness of the closed culture of the Roma and Sinti. The historical
background can be seen in the traumatic experiences of the past, such as the persecution of
Roma and Sinti during World War II and the distrust of some Roma and Sinti against public
institutions. Possibly as a reaction to the hostile situation Roma and Sinti have encountered
over the years, Roma and Sinti communities keep very much to themselves. At this point in
time, this has resulted in a distance to the rest of the Dutch society, that prevents Roma and
Sinti from grabbing the chances that the Dutch society offers them.
There are also a number of remarkable developments, however. Most of the Roma and Sinti
children go to the primary school and finish it. The participation of Roma and Sinti youth in
secondary education is increasing, more and more Roma and Sinti youngsters participate in
higher education and finish this education. Besides that, the average age of teenage pregnancy
seems to go up and young people are looking for more control of their choices, including their
free choice of a partner. But still some girls are often leaving school at a young age to be
prepared for marriage.
The overall picture of gender relations in the Roma is that men have a dominant role over
women. The practice shows a more nuanced picture of the man-woman relationships. For
example, women often play a very important role in the social and family life. In addition, many
women are economically independent. However, formally the man is in charge of his family.
Raising children is in many cases a collective affair, in which the whole community is involved.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

National Policy
There is no national policy specifically focusing on Roma. There are several general policies
concerning education, housing, health etc., that are applicable also to Roma. In the individual
contact between NGO’s and governmental institutions, the Roma background is taken into
account. The local communities are responsible for the improvement of participation of Roma
families and other families in education and employment. There is also a strong emphasis on
the responsibilities of the families themselves.
The ministry of Security and Justice and the ministry of Social Affairs and Employment work
together with pilot municipalities in a national program on countering the exploitation of Roma
children. In these pilot projects new methods, methods and insights have been developed
about working with multi-problem families with a Roma background.

Poland
Legal status
Roma in Poland are recognized as ethnic minority24.

Number
In National Census of Population and Housing (2011) 16,723 Polish citizens declared Roma ethnicity (in
census 2002 - 12,731) and 15,657 declared using the Romani language at home (census 2002). Roma
population consists of 8,604 women (51,45%) and 8,119 men (48,55%), 10,840 persons of working age
(64,82%) and under the age of 19 – 5,447 (32,57%). Notwithstanding the foregoing, the information
coming from the Voivodes’ offices and municipal partners of the “Programme for benefit of Roma
community in Poland for the period 2004-2013” shows that in Poland live approx. 20,000 - 25,000 Roma.
Government strategy is continued as Programme for the integration of the Roma community in Poland
for the period 2014_2020 .

Structure
Roma in Poland belong to the four groups: Polish Roma, Carpathian Roma/called Bergitka Roma/
Mountain/Górska Roma, Kalderari, Lovari. In Poland there is also small group of Sinti. These groups
differ in cultural, social and economic terms. Vast majority of Roma in Poland constitute urban
population (92,5 %). They live mainly in major cities across the country. All these groups since 60’ties of
XX century – are sedentary (forced by communist regime), the Bergitka Roma group has sedentary way

24
Act of 6 January 2005 on national and ethnic minorities and on the regional languages; English and national minorities, including two main
Roma dialects versions: http://mniejszosci.narodowe.mswia.gov.pl/mne/prawo/ustawa-o-mniejszosciac/tlumaczenia/6490,Tlumaczenia-
Ustawy-o-mniejszosciach-narodowych-i-etnicznych-oraz-o-jezyku-region.html

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

of life since ages. There is no spatial segregation (“Roma settlements”).

Migration
During communist regime Polish Roma migrated mainly to Germany and Sweden. After the enlargement
of the European Union the search for a better life, resulted in the migration of Roma to Canada and
Western Europe (manly UK and Ireland). Meanwhile, relatively few migrants appear in Poland (mostly
Romanian and Bulgarian Roma).

Representative bodies
There are approx. 120 Roma non-governmental organizations registered in Poland, declaring themselves
as Roma minority organizations. Two representatives of the Roma community are present in the Joint
Commission of Government and National and Ethnic Minorities25; at the same time - using the
opportunity to establish permanent sub-commission under the Joint Commission - since 2008 operates
Roma Team, consisting of 20 representatives of Roma origin and representatives of relevant states’
agencies. Roma Team, as part of the Joint Commission, acts as a forum for the exchange of information
on matters relating to the Roma minority issues, and is an advisory body with aim to develop the
proposals for state actions in order to improve the situation Roma in Poland.

Barriers
Roma ethnic minority is the only minority at risk of social exclusion. This diagnosis is due to a number of
social and cultural factors, of which the first one is the low educational level of this group, which directly
affects the lack of qualifications desired in the labour market, and thus the health situation and living
conditions of the Roma. Not without significance is hermetic nature of some traditional Roma
communities that defend their independence. Many centuries of isolation of the group, caused by
culturally motivated self-isolation, and barriers on the part of the majority society, meant that Roma
until this day are not fully socially integrated group. The consequence of this isolation is insufficient
knowledge about the Roma among the majority population, and thus, a high level of distrust towards
this group (this is mirrored on the Roma side). Different lifestyle, system of values, low estimation of
institutionalized education, and the lack of employment causes high level of aversion towards the Roma
(although it is steadily decreasing). A major barrier to improve the situation of the part of Roma
population is the cultural factor. Still present with those communities is lack of acceptance of
institutionalized education in orthodox circles, resulting in a high degree of school drops out after
primary education level, especially among girls, acceptance for low eligibility age to establish a family,
low educational level, etc. that cause that still part of Roma population remain on the side-lines of the
modern society.

Because of the position of women in this community - determined primarily by the fact of motherhood -
the equality of Roma women, who are the object of double/mulitiply discrimination, remains a big
problem.

25
Joint Commission of Government and National and Ethnic Minorities was established by the Act of January 6, 2005 on National and Ethnic
Minorities and Regional Language

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Cultural characteristics, clearly different from the dominant culture, causes reluctance of majority
society towards this group perceived as intentionally disregarding the law (e.g. not sending the children
to school, early marriages, etc.), avoiding employment and “a demanding attitude”. Mutual isolation
deepens the negative stereotypes.

Needs
The Roma are least socially integrated minority and are not always prepared for the smooth functioning
in the increasingly complicated reality of the modern world. Low level of education among the Roma,
preventing the entry into the labour market, and the consequent lack of or minimal economic
independence, is the cause of social aversion towards this group on the part of majority society and
gives ground to the manifestations of discrimination towards this minority. Raising the level of Roma
education is considered to be the condition allowing changing this situation, and entering into the
labour market. Without the strengthening of these two factors, i.e. raising the level of education, and
facilitating taking up the job, any other accompanying measures shall have low efficiency. Lack of
schooling and jobs translates into bad housing situation of this group - the degradation of dwellings, and
raising population density, deteriorating housing and sanitary conditions, and placement of Roma
clusters in poor neighbourhoods. This situation is reflected in the health situation of Roma, being the
cause of shorten life expectancy, chronic diseases and decreasing immunity, also playing a role is
inbreeding of this (relatively small and usually married within own group) population. Simultaneously,
there is an increase in substance abuse, which is a relatively new phenomenon in this part of the
community, proving the disintegration of existing cultural norms. However, the incomes of Roma
families have significantly raise since launching in April’16 demographic policy – governmental
programme „Family 500+”, offering additional, stable tax free income of approx. €120 per child
monthly26 (apart from other standard support forms for families, children, poor, etc.) .

Education
Despite undertaking the number of activities in the field of education of the Roma community since the
early 90s. of the XX century, the level of education of most Polish Roma should still be identified as low.
According to data from the National Census of Population and Housing 2002, almost 51% of Roma origin
people over 13 years of age remained without the education and unfinished primary school. In the
census 2011data - 82% of Roma declared "lower than secondary education" (moreover, 8.08 % - as not
determined which might be considered as no education at all).

Ukraine

26
As to the general rule of this programme this income is devoted to second and next children but in case of Roma, due to their low incomes in
general, in practice they benefit the support for every child.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Roma are officially recognized as a national minority in Ukraine. According to the official census
conducted in 2001, 47,000 people identified themselves as from Roma origin. However current reports
made by Ukrainian and international NGOs estimate that there are between 120,000 and 400,000 Roma
living in Ukraine.
In Ukraine, Roma can be divided into sub-groups within a particular region by dialect and religion, such
as Servy, Russko-Roma; Vlakhy, Kotliary, Kolderary, Madjar (Ungry); and Crymy (Crimean).
Most Roma in Ukraine are sedentary. There are a few nomadic groups from the western part of Ukraine
who migrate seasonally looking for employment in central and other parts of Ukraine.
The largest number of representatives of the Roma minority on the territory of Ukraine resides in
Transcarpathian (14,000), two of the biggest Roma settlements in Ukraine are located in the cities of
Mukachevo (about 6,000 Roma) and Beregovo (about 5,000 Roma), Donetsk (4,100), Dnipropetrovsk
(4,000), Odessa (4,000), Kharkov (2,300), Luhansk (2,200) regions.
Traditional and closed communities, the most segregated ones, are led by their head – authoritative
traditional leader, named “baro” or “starosta”, who also has the roles of mediator and negotiator in the
communication and relationships between Roma communities (settlements), local authorities and law
enforcement. At the same time civil society activists from Roma communities notice that the “institute
of baro or traditional leader” is losing the power it had and is gradually disappearing.
In order to protect the rights of the Roma national minority and ensure their integration into Ukrainian
society, in 2013 the Strategy for the Protection and Integration of the Ukrainian Society of the Roma
National Minorities for the period up to 2020 (Presidential Decree No. 201 of 2014, No. 201) and a plan
for implementation measures of Strategies for protection and integration in the Ukrainian society of the
Roma national minority for the period up to 2020 (Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine
dated 11.09.2013 No. 701) were adopted.
In 2015, as an advisory body to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Interdepartmental Working
Group on Implementation of the Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy was created. It is
headed by the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Pavlo Rosenko, and one of his deputies is the
representative of the Roma public organization - Zemfira Kondur, vice president of the international
charity organization "Romani Women's Foundation" Chirikli ".
Ukrainian authority tries to ensure the rights of Roma children to have affordable pre-school education.
The number of Roma children trained in pre-school educational institutions in Ukraine in the 2016/2017
school year is 2,171.
Mass media and Internet resources try to cover Roma issues concerning information on social and
health care programs, preferential lending projects, access to identification documents and documents
on state registration of civil status acts, information and analytical television and radio broadcasts cover
activities of the Roma national minority.
According to local authorities’ data, as of January 1, 2018, there are 50 Roma amateur artistic collectives
in Ukraine.
An important role in the development of Roma culture the museum "Roma Kolyba" is played, it operates
since 2005 in the village Zarichevo in Transcarpathian region. The museum recreates the peculiarities of
the life of the Roma, their customs and traditions. Here is a work on recording Roma folklore and

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

studying the pedigree of local Roma.


The library establishments hold thematic book exhibitions, musical evenings devoted the Roma culture.
As of 01.01.2018, 100 national-cultural associations of the Roma national minority were registered in
Ukraine. The largest number is recorded in Transcarpathian, Odessa and Cherkasy regions.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Appendix 6

III. LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY FRAMEWORK AND PRACTICES

Republic of Moldova
The educational system in the Republic of Moldova is regulated by the provisions of the Constitution of
the Republic of Moldova, the Education Code of the Republic of Moldova and other national and
international legislative and normative acts in the field of education.
The state guarantees all children equal access to education, regardless of social status, gender, race,
ethnic origin, political affiliation.

The Moldovan authorities are consistent in pursuing policies aimed at long-term improvement of Roma
situation, including in the field of education. The Government of the Republic of Moldova has adopted
successive Action Plans to improve the situation of Roma.

The current Roma Action Plan 2016-2020 was adopted in April 2016 (Decision of the Government nr.734
of 9 April 2016). The Action Plan represents a policy document that addresses vital problems Roma
communities encounter, and is meant to ensure that national policy is based on Roma-specific
approach. The Plan stipulates specific measures and responsibilities in different fields like education,
health, labor and social protection, housing and community development, participation in decision-
making process and combating discrimination.

The main objectives of mentioned Action Plan in the field of Roma education include the following:

 enrollment of all Roma children in preschool institutions;


• educational coverage of all Roma children aged between 7 and 16;
• provision of financial assistance to Roma families with school-age children to purchase school supplies,
clothes and shoes;
• provision of Roma children with free meals;
• examination of the possibility to open groups, classes providing study of native language, history,
culture and traditions of Roma in the Republic of Moldova;
• training teachers from among Roma people, including through internship programs in Romania,
Hungary or Bulgaria;
• development of a curriculum for the school subject “History, culture and traditions of Roma from
Moldova";
• provision of Roma people with annual quota for admission to higher and vocational education in the
Republic of Moldova;
• providing Roma children with free places in student hostels;
• cooperation with Roma non-governmental organizations in matters relating to education.

Ministry of Education, Culture and Research in cooperation with district/municipal education authorities

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

and local public authorities pay special attention to ensuring full coverage of school-aged Roma children
with compulsory education (1- 9 classes).
To monitor the situation in respective field mixed commissions made up of representatives of Education
Departments, educational institutions and police commissariats were created at district levels and
successfully conduct their activity implying home visits and awareness-raising discussions with children
and their parents. Following the visits at the meetings of commissions under the District Councils action
plans are developed to improve the situation.

At the start of each school year all Roma pupils receive financial assistance provided from budgets of
local mayoralties, sponsorship and parental funds of educational institutions to meet the costs of
clothes, footwear, school supplies. For several years, all Roma pupils receive free textbooks. Besides,
they benefit from free meals including in primary but also middle and high school.
All conditions are created in Moldova for Roma children to receive education. Meanwhile, among main
reasons for school non-attendance by Roma children are parents' low interest and refusal, precarious
financial situation, early marriage, seasonal work of Roma parents etc.
The legislation of the Republic of Moldova foresees the law enforcement of compulsory education,
including imposing liability warning on parents for neglecting compulsory education. However, in
practice, it has almost never been implemented against Roma parents.
The work of Roma community-based mediators brings high added value to the measures taken to
improve school attendance rates among Roma children. Besides, it should be noted increased
implication and wide range of activities held by Roma NGOs, inter alia, in the field of Roma children
education. All their initiatives and projects are welcomed and receive strong support from the state
authorities.

Bosnia and Herzegovina


The education sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina reflects the state constitution. BiH consists of two
entities - Republika Srpska and Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Brčko district of BiH.
Republika Srpska has a centralized government and one ministry of education. Federation of BiH has a
decentralized government and consists of ten cantons where each canton has their own ministry of
education. Brčko district of BiH has a government with departments, one of those department is The
Department for Education.

In accordance with that there are twelve responsible institutions of education in BiH with full and
undivided competencies in education. They all have their own educational policies, budget, laws, etc.

There are also two others ministries with coordinating role. The Federal Ministry of Education and
Science coordinates activities between ten cantons in Federation of BiH. The Ministry of Civil Afairs of
BiH (MoCA) established on a state level, coordinates activities within all education institutions in BiH. In
accordance to the law, MoCA is responsible for carrying out activities and tasks within the jurisdiction of
BiH related to defining basic principles of coordination of activities, harmonization of plans of entity

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

bodies and defining strategy at the international level, including, among others, education.

Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is regulated by the framework of laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
the laws of the Republika Srpska, the laws of the cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
and Brčko District of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Framework Law on Primary and Secondary Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina1 enshrines the right
of every child to have access to adequate education, without discrimination (Article 4). It prohibits
discrimination by schools in children’s access to education, or in their participation in the educational
process on the basis of race, colour, gender, language, religion, political or other belief, national or social
origin, on the basis of special needs status, or on any other basis (Article 35).

The Law also includes the principle of free and compulsory primary education for all children ages 6
through 15 and lasts for nine years.

Having in consideration that quality education for Roma is the only way out of the circle of
marginalization and social isolation and in order to create equal opportunities in terms of access to
quality and sustainable education for Roma children, the Council of Ministers of BiH in 2010 adopted the
Revised Action Plan on Roma Educational Needs (RAP).

By the decision of the Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH in 2011 an Expert Team for
monitoring the implementation of RAP was appointed. Every year, Ministry of Human Rights and
Refugees of BiH collects data on the implementation of the RAP, writes the report and submits it to the
Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In 2017, the Council of Ministers of BiH made recommendations to the responsible educational
authorities to prepare and adopt their own action plans on the educational needs of Roma, and to
establish program budgeting for children. It also recommended that the Ministry of Human Rights and
Refugees of BiH prepare a Framework Action Plan on the Educational Needs of Roma, which will reflect
the real competence of the state and lower levels of government when it comes to education policy.
Activities on the drafting of the Framework Action Plan have started.

Responsible educational authorities continued to implement RAP measures in school year 2016/2017,
with more or less success. The relevant ministries have focused on exercising the right to education of
Roma children through inclusion in the educational system, providing additional support, textbooks,
transportation, meals, etc.

In school year 2016/2017 the total number of Roma children included in elementary education is 1,917;
254 children were enrolled in the first grade and 190 children completed primary education. This
represents progress compared to the previous school year.

Educational authorities and local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have taken various incentive

1 This is the first reform law harmonised with international and EU standards, adopted in 2003.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

and supportive measures to advance the regular attendance of Roma children in primary school:

 Individual consultations with parents and children,


 Additional classes,
 Cooperation with social workers,
 Visiting families at home,
 Education of teachers, students and parents in order to raise awareness of human rights and
rights of children (75 training courses were held for 332 teachers, 85,723 students and 1,583
parents),
 Courses on stereotypes and discrimination against Roma in education and ways to overcome
them (60 courses for 320 teachers, 2,729 students and 1,158 parents),
 Engagement of Roma school mediators (15 Roma mediators have been engaged through various
projects; Federal Ministry of Education and Science supports the projects of engaging Roma
mediators/assistants in order to increase the regular attendance of primary education of Roma
children. In 2017 51.947 KM (approx. €25,000) were allocated for this purpose)
 Promoting equality and diversity in schools,
 Strengthening awareness of the importance of education,
 Free textbooks were provided for 791 students, 112 students had free transportation and 153 of
them had free meals2 .

Preschool period is recognized as extremely important for the later development and progress of each
child. Therefore, it is insisting on the inclusion of children in programs of formal preschool education.
The Framework Law on Preschool Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina prescribes compulsory
preschool education in the year prior to starting primary school. However the situation varies from one
educational authority to the next3. In order to make preschool education available to all children,
especially for children from vulnerable categories, Council of Ministers in December 2017 adopted
Platform for the Development of early Childhood Care and Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the
Period 2017-2022.

In school year 2016/2017 166 Roma children were included in preschool education in BiH. Considering
the fact that 254 students have been enrolled in the first grade of primary education, it can be
concluded that 65,35% of Roma children were included in preschool programs.

When it comes to secondary education, there were 169 Roma students included in secondary schools.
57 were enrolled in the first grade and 53 completed secondary education4. 45 students left secondary
school education.

The reasons listed for leaving school are lack of finance, changing the place of residence, marriage,

2
This numbers are much higher because some authorities didn’t provide data.
3
In Republika Srpska preschool is left as a possibility; Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, West-Herzegovina Canton and Una-Sana Canton have not
adopted laws harmonised with the Framework Law.
4
According to educational authorities there are much more Roma students in secondary schools but many of them don't declare themselves as
Roma.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

unsupportive parents, etc.

Some of the incentive and supportive measures taken in secondary schools also include free textbooks,
transportation, meals and scholarships. In the school year 2016/2017 48 Roma students received
scholarships5.

It is estimated that most Roma students opt for secondary vocational schools, although there is no
exact data. Taking into account the importance of vocational education for employment, Council of
Ministers of BiH adopted The Framework Law on Secondary Vocational Education and Training in Bosnia
and Herzegovina6.

Secondary vocational education is in the focus of education reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well in
all countries of the European Union. This area of education directly affects economic growth and
progress, and in transition countries has played an important role in rebuilding the economy through
creating needed human capital, and in social reforms and employment strategies.

Bearing in mind all of the above, The Ministry of Civil Affairs of BiH has begun activities to develop a new
strategic document for vocational education.

In August 2017, at the initiative of the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, the Council of
Ministers of BiH adopted the Action Plan for Addressing Roma Issues in the Fields of Employment,
Housing and Health Care 2017-2020. This Action plan envisages funds for education and
(pre)qualification of Roma, as well as education of adult Roma.

International organisations through various projects contribute to the inclusion of young Roma in BiH
society:

 Project BERA – Basic education for Roma Adults is Erasmus+ project and funded by the
European Union. The goal of the project is to develop flexible models and manuals for the basic
education of the Roma population in accordance with the life habits of this population (changing
places of residence, both individuals and entire families, and families in closed groups), and
raising awareness of the importance of education of the Roma community.
 Roma Youth for Rights and Inclusion – project funded by the European Union aims at
strengthening the young Roma representatives of the civil society, the NGOs and youth in their
struggle to achieve basic social, economic and human rights as the most marginalized and
largest ethnic minority in BiH. Over 50 young Roma men and women were included in this
activity. Over the course of 4 months they implemented more than 30 actions in their
communities.

5
46 of them were provided by NGO.
6
Official Gazzette of BiH 63/08.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Greece
Greeks of gypsy origin constitute an integral part of the Greek population. They are Greek citizens and
enjoy all civil and political rights enshrined in the Constitution and the laws of the country (right to vote
and stand as a candidate, right to assembly and association, freedom of expression, etc.) for the entire
population. Consequently, they can enjoy all economic, social and cultural rights safeguarded for Greek
citizens. However, inappropriate living conditions, both at a practical level due to housing, health and
environmental problems, and at a social level due to difficulties in inclusion and political participation
together with the diversity of their cultural tradition make Roma subject to discrimination, while
creating conditions of their exclusion from a multitude of society's activities trapping them in a vicious
circle of poverty. It is therefore difficult to enjoy the abovementioned rights.

The Greek State identified the following problems in the Roma population of the country:
(a) Lack of basic housing and living conditions
(b) Difficult access to the labour market and consequent lack of stable income
(c) Incomplete participation in the education mechanism.
(d) Specific health problems.
(e) Deficit enjoyment of basic human rights

considering it essential to intervene in all spheres of social life to end the exclusion of the Roma
population, improve their social and economic situation and their substantial social, educational and
professional integration.

In this context, the Special Secretariat for Roma Social Inclusion was established by means of law
4430/2016 (OG 205/A/A/31.10.2016) in October 2016 under the authority of the Minister of Labour,
Social Security and Social Solidarity - responsible for Social Solidarity issues as the responsible
governmental body with main tasks:
1. The configuration of guidelines for each policy area related to the social inclusion of Roma and
proposing policies to the Minister of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, responsible for Social
Solidarity issues,
2. The close cooperation with other competent Ministries, relevant bodies at national, regional
and local level and with private entities for the design and implementation of interventions regarding
Roma issues and for the coordination and interdisciplinary monitoring of policies for Roma, such as
access to education, employment, health care and housing,
3. The establishment and development of a GIS system for the documentation, monitoring and
evaluation of policies and the parallel mapping of the characteristics of the Roma population living in
camps and settlements cut off from the wider urban and social fabric,
4. The provision of guidance and technical support to stakeholders for the design and evaluation of
interventions regarding Roma issues and the conduction of workshops and events for this purpose,
5. The carrying out of field surveys and studies regarding the living conditions of the
aforementioned vulnerable social group and the problems associated with housing, education, health

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

and work,
6. The collection of any information or element required for shaping a national policy for the
aforementioned vulnerable social group from any public or private body dealing with Roma issues.

The Special Secretariat on Roma Social Inclusion also takes up the role of the National Contact Point for
the promotion of the National Strategy for the Social Integration of Roma – EU framework

Within this context, the Special Secretariat aims at:


• Eliminating settlements of extremely degrading and poor living conditions,
• Adopting an integrated- holistic approach towards Roma Social Inclusion,
• Revealing innovative interventions that can be used as models and best practices,
• Involving all administrative levels

in order to establish the bases for achieving gradual but full social inclusion within a 5 year period 2017 –
2021.

For the efficiency of the planning of interventions the Special Secretariat proceeded to a reflection of
the current situation by mapping the settlements and camps and classifying them in the following three
categories:
 Type 1: “Most degraded areas - Unacceptable living conditions in huts, shelters lacking basic
infrastructures.
 Type 2: Mixed camps - houses together with short –term facilities ( shelters, tents, containers
often used on a permanent basis and partial infrastructure (Water supply, electricity, roads),
usually in the vicinity of a built-up area.
 Type 3: Neighbourhood, often in distressed / disadvantaged areas of the urban fabric (mainly
houses, buildings - apartment flats or detaches houses and some containers).

Since its establishment, the Special Secretariat has begun the drafting of an Action Plan specifying the
National Strategy for Roma Social Inclusion, taking into account the existing situation and the main
pillars of the national strategy.

Τhe Greek National Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma 2012-2020, that was drafted following the EU
Framework guidelines, has been specialized in 13 Regional Strategies for Social Inclusion, in order to be
regionally implemented. Its objective is to end the social exclusion of Roma and create conditions within
a holistic approach for their inclusion/integration focusing on the respective issues in the fields of
housing, education, employment and health.

In this context, the Secretariat (top down process / approach) involves local and regional authorities,
mainly municipalities, by giving them the guidelines and the necessary support on the general
operational planning via a Template of Local Action Plan , while the local and regional government plan

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

their interventions activating in parallel the local community and their services to contribute to the key
sectorial actions / pillars of the strategy (bottom-up process / approach) that is to be implemented. The
cooperation is further strengthened with meetings and discussions with the competent central
authorities, in order to plan and form the guidelines for each policy field (housing, education,
employment and health) of the strategy.
Emphasis is placed on the continuation of the cooperation of the Special Secretariat in particular with
the institutions dealing with the issues of education upon competence, namely the Ministry of
Education, Research and Religious Affairs, and in particular the General Secretariat for Lifelong Learning
and Youth as well as the Universities of the country, which undertake relevant actions under the
Education and Inclusion of Roma Pupils Programme.

According to the pre-mentioned survey conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental
Rights (FRA) the main challenges concerning Roma education in Greece are the following
• Low level of education among Roma communities,
• School drop-outs and absenteeism of Roma pupils – Invisible pupils,
• Obstacles in enrolment of Roma children in education system / Reasons
• Roma children that have never been in education
• Non-attendance of preschool institutions
• Roma children that have not completed the primary education – 40%
• No completion of compulsory education
• Very few Roma children and youth have completed secondary and higher education
• Age of 16 : Be in education after this age or leave school before this age – Legislative Gap
• Teenagers/Youth between 13-18 years old –
• NEETS – Young people 16-24 years old
• The interrelation between education and employment- Holistic Approach

It is worth to notice that Compulsory Education is enshrined in the par.3 of the article 16 of the Greek
Constitution – 2001 - which among other things, mentions that ‘….The years of compulsory education
cannot be less than 9….’

The 9 years refer to 6 years of the Primary Education and 3 years of the A’ cycle (Gymnasium) of the
Secondary Education. This seems to have been changed by means of the newly established law
4521/2018 (Article 33 – OG 38/A/02.03.2018) via the increase in the number of years (2 instead of 1
now) of compulsory pre-school education, as previously the pre-school education was not counted
among the years of compulsory education. Consequently, the duration of compulsory education
amounts to 11 years, including Pre-school Education.

The competence of educational issues falls mainly within the Ministry of Education, Research and
Religious Affairs.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

As for Vocational Education/Training, it is worth to mention that it should start after the completion of
the compulsory education.

Vocational education/training may consist of:


• the B’ cycle of Secondary Education via Vocational Lyceum (EPAL- general education and
vocational knowledge in practice) with a 3 year duration as well as of

• the Traineeship for graduates of Vocational Lyceum (EPAL), according to the Law 4386/2016 (OG
83/A/11.05.2016) –for adults that combines education and work within educational system

• the Institutes of Vocational Training (IVT or IEK-Greek acronym), which can either be public or
private and include 2 years basic vocational training for graduates of both cycles of Secondary
Education (Gymnasium and/ or Lyceum) giving the possibility of obtaining profession certification by the
National Organisation for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance ( EOPPEP - Greek
acronym)

• the Vocational Training Centres that were introduced by means of Law 4521/2018 within the
universities –AEI or TEI – granting 2 years training for graduates of Vocational Lyceum (EPAL)

• the Employment Agency (OAED-Greek acronym) Vocational Traineeship Academies – which


offer vocational education and training to graduates of a lyceum class , i.e. to graduates above 16 years
old.

• the Life-Long Education which is addressed to all providing any kind of learning activity for the
enhancement of knowledge, qualifications, abilities and skills.

It is worth noting that when it comes to ‘clear’ education the competence falls within the Ministry of
Education, Research and Religious Affairs, while vocational training falls within the competence of
Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity. Thus, vocational training asks for the
cooperation of both pre-mentioned ministries, i.e., Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
and Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity.

In addition to that, there are also some other structures for education, as following:
• Schools of Second Chance that provide the possibility to people above 18 years old to complete
compulsory education

Second Chance Schools (N 2525/1997) aim to bring adults 18 years of age and older back into the
educational system so that they can complete their compulsory education. The student’s successful
completion is confirmed by a certificate equivalent to a lower secondary school certificate. The purpose
of the SCS, in addition to acquiring basic knowledge and skills, to receive support in the social roles they

9
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

already have or would like to have in the family, on the job, and to evolve socially by improving their
educational level.

Second Chance Schools (N 2525/1997) are aimed at adults (over 18), leading to a title equivalent to
compulsory education and aim to fill existing educational gaps and develop basic knowledge and skills
both in the general population and in special social groups (prisoners - Roma - immigrants) contributing
to the prevention and combating of social exclusion.

• Parents’ Academies/ Schools that constitute a kind of support to parents, in order to come up
with their complicated role
• Intergeneration Actions that take place with the participation of people of different generations
with the aim to exchange knowledge and experience in order to shape skills
• Programme of Cooperation between School and Family in order to help enhance this relation.

The objectives of the Special Secretariat for Roma in the framework of the relevant cooperation and in
accordance with its competences - Article 42a of Law 4430/2016 (Official Gazette 205A / 31.10.2016) -
Articles 2a and 2b- are:
• To take care of quality education and ensure education of basic knowledge and skills,
• To take special care for all levels of education based on the existing needs (pre-school education:
information and support for parents for nursery school and kindergartens, primary education: support
classes, boosting teaching -2nd teacher, tutorials, summer preparatory courses, psycho- social support,
connect education with Social Solidarity Income, awareness raising campaigns, secondary education,
support for students with tutorials, preparatory summer courses, few member classes up to 15 persons,
Vocational Training and Promotion in the Labour Market, Tertiary/Higher Education, Lifelong Learning:
Second Chance Schools and special care for youth between 12-16 years for completing primary
education through Adult Teaching Classes, Teaching Support and Preparatory Summer Courses),
• To plan a medium-term Action Plan for Roma children's and youth support , in order to ensure regular
attendance and elimination of school drop-outs among Roma children,
• To link education to employment.

Up to date, the competent authorities have implemented the following in the field of Roma Education:

Programme for social vulnerable groups’ inclusion in education

It is a mainstream programme based on socio economic criteria and implemented by the Ministry of
Education through:
• Reception Classes & Educational Support in Zones of Education Priority
• Provision of Social Workers' Services within School Units
• Parents' Schools/ Academies
• Attendance of all-day schools

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

This program aims through the creation of reception classes and training courses to reduce early school
leaving for pupils from vulnerable social groups and different cultural backgrounds, providing additional
learning and psychological support to school units with a significant number of Roma students.

Supporting the integration of Roma children into the education system and ensuring completion of
education, particularly in primary education, requires adequate accompanying social and supportive
services. In this context, the possibility of employing special educational staff of psychologists and social
workers in certain schools of general and vocational education was established by article 70 of
4485/2017 (Government Gazette 114 A / 04-08-2017), if there are special needs for support of
vulnerable social groups or it is necessary to implement psychosocial and emotional support programs
for pupils ", and an application Decision No. 144073 / D1 / 1-9-2017 (Government Gazette 3084 Β / 6-9-
2017) was issued, specifying 42 primary school units with Roma student population, where 30 Social
Officers are placed for the school year 2017-2018. This action provides in particular for: a) the Reduction
of the number of pupils by 25 to 15 in 52 primary schools in the country, where pupils from families
belonging to vulnerable social groups attend, b) the placement of social workers in these schools, c) the
unconditional access to the all-day program in all schools in the country for pupils belonging to families
of vulnerable social groups (e.g. Roma) and d) the pilot operation of Parent Schools in some schools.

Education and Inclusion of Roma Pupils Programme

It is a targeted programme within schools with high Roma Population through


 strengthening of pre-school education,
 Support of the regular attendance,
 Support of the completion of compulsory education through socio-psychological support,
mediations and parent’s schools,
 Interventions of school psychology and awareness-raising of teachers,
 Dynamic process of the results-feedback to the planning- dissemination of results.

The Roma Children Education Program is a program undertaken by Greek universities since 2010, in
order to avoid school drop-outs, increase Roma pupils’ school attendance attracting young Roma Pupils
at school.

The programme aims at enhancing access and attendance in preschool education; implementing
interventions for school integration and supporting regular attendance of Roma children in primary and
secondary education, educational actions for completing the primary education by Roma young and
adults who dropped school; awareness raising among the educational staff and provision of support,
with the collaboration of Roma mediators, in creating links and enhancing the communication between
the school and the family environment of the target group.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

The Special Secretariat on Roma Inclusion is in close cooperation with the Universities involved in the
above mentioned programme and with the competent Ministry of Education, while contributing to the
drafting the Action Plan on education issues.

Social Solidarity Measures

The above mentioned programmes are supported through Social Solidarity Measures, such as:
C.1 Social Solidarity Income (SSI)
A new welfare programme addressed to households living in extreme poverty being complimentary to
the policies implemented to tackle poverty and social exclusion. (see also above)
The programme can provide income support; supplementary social services, benefits and goods; and
services for the promotion of the beneficiaries into the labour market, as well into the education system
and the second chance schools. It is a means-tested scheme, requiring the beneficiaries to be legal and
permanent residents of the country and to fulfil specific income and property criteria, depending on the
size and composition of the household. Although, there are no available data as regards the number of
Roma beneficiaries, it is estimated that a significant number of the beneficiaries are Roma people.

C.2 Financial assistance/grant/allowance for children


The "child allowance" that was recently introduced and paid from 1 January 2018, replaced the single
child support allowance and the special three or more children allowance. The new allowance is paid,
taking into account the number of dependent children and the so-called "equivalent family income", on
the basis of the uniform child-raising allowance.

C.3 Mid-morning snacks at school


The Programme “Mid-morning snacks at school” aims at addressing the food needs of pupils belonging
to vulnerable groups, supporting educational process and avoiding drop out for all students of the
selected school units so as to avoid discrimination and exclusion

C.4 “School meals”


“School meals” are implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, and
addressed to pupils belonging to vulnerable social groups, such as the Roma pupils

The Ministerial Decision 14/2097/168631/D1 redesigned the curriculum of primary education schools in
relation to the teaching hours, so as to enable them participate in the Food Programme “School meals”
which is implemented by the Ministry of Labour, Social Security and Social Solidarity, and is addressed to
pupils belonging to vulnerable social groups, such as the Roma pupils. This decision has been further
extended within 2017 (Joint Ministerial Decision F.14/ΦΜ181027/D1 (OG 3870/Β/03.11.2017), in order
to cover wider number of schools and therefore wider number of pupils, including Roma pupils.

‘Youth Guarantee – 3 STEPS towards to employment’ EU Programme

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

It was in the school year 2017-2018, in the context of supporting and managing actions targeting young
people and young people coming from vulnerable groups (Roma and Muslim children) that the
European Youth Guarantee Program – “Three steps to finding a job" was implemented by the Ministry
of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. In this context, three (3) teams of specialized executives
were set up to support young people from specific vulnerable groups (15-24 years old), such as young
people coming from the Roma community and / or belonging to a minority, etc., in order to avoid early
school leaving (early intervention) or to encourage and support their reintegration into the educational
system and their integration in the labour market. Two of the teams were based in Attica and the third
in Thrace.

In addition, it is worth noting that the following legislative or other initiatives have already been taken
by the Special Secretariat on Roma Social Inclusion on the other fields of the strategy. It is noted that
such initiatives are expected to have a positive impact on the school / educational inclusion of Roma
children (e.g. if living conditions are improved, real access to the education system will be improved as
well) :

HOUSING
 Relocation and development of Housing Complexes based on social housing principles;
 Replacement of shacks with prefabricated housing units;
 Provision of rent subsidy measures, as applicable;
 Infrastructure development projects: road construction, sewage system, access to clean and
potable water, restoration or construction of communal areas, etc.;
 Improvement of living conditions and structures for personal hygiene;

EMPLOYMENT
 Support Structures for Employment and Entrepreneurship/ Business Counselling ( through ESF)
 Interventions promoting Employment and Entrepreneurship (through ESF)
 Legislative initiatives- measures

a) Cooperation with the General Secretariat for Trade (Promotion of employment: Outdoor trade - doing
business outside the shop)
The newly introduced law 4497/2017 (OG 171 Α/13-11-2017,) provides for the new regulatory
conditions for the exercise of open – air trade activities (articles 1-60, 103 and relevant annexes) that
facilitate special social groups, such as Roma. It is provided a) special milling for Roma as for out-of-store
trade as well as b) the possibility of co-organisation of markets between Roma associations and
municipalities.

b) The profession of Roma mediator


The procedure of certification of knowledge of Romani language has been approved by the Greek

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

parliament as article 55 of law 4520/22.02.2018 (OG 30/A/22.02.2018), facilitating the exercise of


mediation by Roma.

HEALTH
 Improvement of Hygienic Conditions & Ensuring Environmental Health Care (public baths and
areas for the cleaning of clothing ) – Establishment of Special Teams for this
 Access to health structures
 Hygienic Reports by LA

These interventions will be further supported by additional supportive actions, such as:
 The Establishment of Community Centres - mainly Roma branches for the provision of
individualized social services;
 Establishment of a national Roma consultation platform;
 Specific empowerment actions targeting of Roma girls and women;
 Targeted support for Roma children and youth, as well as grass root organizations;
 Awareness raising campaigns targeting the majority population to combat anti-Gypsyism and
discrimination;
 Establishment of a Task Force to support teachers and Head Masters in schools with large
proportion of Roma students;
 Establishment of a contact point to liaise with local police to build trust and mutual respect;
 Monitor progress in Roma inclusion through systematic data collection, studies, etc. reports.

The relevant planning that has already taken place in combination with the introduced legislation
provisions substantiate the steps that have been taken to ensure improvement of the socioeconomic
conditions for Roma population, and subsequently for Roma children with special emphasis on ensuring
their school attendance.

CONCLUSIONS
• Education is one of the priorities of the Special Secretariat on Roma Social Inclusion (SSRSI)
• The SSRSI acknowledges that the level of education of Roma is not the proper one. A lot of steps
need to be done by Greek competent authorities so as to formulate a policy with strategic orientation
and a special action plan.
• The challenge to be met is to avoid losing another one generation.
• The SSRSI tries to promote relevant initiatives within its capacity and competence being in
cooperation with co-responsible actors.

A lot of steps remain to be done:


• There is a need for Action Plan on Roma Education
The Special Secretariat on Roma Social Inclusion is in close cooperation with the Universities involved in

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

the programme ‘Education and Inclusion of Roma Pupils’ and with the competent Ministry of Education,
Research and Religious, in order to draft the relevant Action Plan on Roma educational issues. There has
been a concrete study on the special needs that have been found within the different educational levels,
that constitutes the base of discussion for the elaboration of the previously mentioned Action Plan on
Roma education.

This is a special action plan that should be drafted in order to fight early school drop – out for Roma
students and can constitute part of the already existing Action Plan for Education that has been drafted
and implemented by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious as the competent authority.

• There is a need to deal with legislative gaps, such as the compulsory education up to 16 years, mainly
for 13-18 years old young people.
Compulsory education up to 16 years:
According to the existing legislative framework, in order to enter compulsory education you should not
overpass the age of 16 years – old.

13-18 years old young people:


A special focus on adolescent Roma aged 13-18 should be given, in order to design and implement
appropriate reintegration programs into formal education for completing compulsory education and
facilitating their transition to secondary general and vocational education. Although the age group of 12-
13 years can join Primary School in reception classes and obtain a certificate of Primary school
completion, it is worth noting that the 13-18 age group is different with different experiences and
performances (e.g. customary weddings or cohabitation) that not only do not favour the smooth
integration and completion of primary education, but create a highly conflicting environment in the
school and the wider community with negative consequences for all those involved (Roma teenagers
themselves are experiencing rejection, families and non-Roma children feel frustrated and "threatened",
the school must manage daily frictions and conflicts, etc.).

• There is a need to increase the number of School of Second Chance/ Opportunity,


• There is a need to overview the impact of the implemented programmes & measures.

However, it is worth mentioning that up to date:


 Legislative initiatives try to deal with critical challenges (low living conditions, hygienic
infrastructure, lack of documents, the obligation of pre-school attendance title for primary
school enrolment),
 Legislative framework for the transitory relocation of Special Social Groups (Law 4483/2017-OG
107/A/31.07.2017 and the Relevant Joint Ministerial Decision for Law Implementation (R.F RO
64/2018 – OG 412/B/12.02.2018) set the prerequisites for the relocation of Roma settlements
trying to deal with the housing issue, in order to ensure either housing to Roma children or
improved personal hygienic conditions through baths, laundries, etc., and to facilitate their

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

access to education.

The R.F 43420/19.12.2017 Joint Ministerial Decision (OG 4603/Β/28.12.2017) provided for the
establishment of a Working Group on Roma Civil and Municipal Status issues under the initiative of the
Ministry of Interior and in co-operation with other co-responsible Ministries. This Working Group aims
at exploring the most appropriate administrative way to speed up the process of civil and municipal
registration for the part of Roma population facing similar problems.

The newly introduced law 4497/2017 (OG 171 Α/13-11-2017) provides for the new regulatory conditions
for the exercise of open–air trade activities (articles 1-60, 103 and relevant annexes) facilitating special
social groups, such as Roma. Special regulations for Roma as for out-of-store trade as well as the
possibility of co-organisation of markets between Roma associations and municipalities are provided in
particular. The same law defined a favourable regulation concerning fines from unregulated activities, in
order to encourage Roma citizens to work legally and be professionally integrated smoothly.

Article 33 of the newly established law 4521/2018 (OG 38 Α/02-03-2018) provided for the increase of
the number of years (2 instead of 1 previously) of compulsory pre-school education. Those newly
introduced provisions may constitute a motive for Roma pupil school attendance, as the previously
optional pre-school education could not cultivate the habit of school attendance at a very early age.

• Social Solidarity Measures have an added value on fields’ implementation

Allowances, benefits and Incomes ensure at least a minimum income for Roma families.

In addition both “Mid-morning snacks at school” and “School Meals” addressing the food needs of
pupils belonging to vulnerable groups, “aim at supporting educational process and avoiding school drop-
out constituting a motive for school attendance by pupils from vulnerable families, Roma families
included.

• As the realisation of compulsory education cannot be imposed, the introduction of socio –


psychological support either to beneficiaries or to their families can work as a remedy

It is worth mentioning that there are cases of schools, e.g. in Xanthi, that the Prosecutor tries to make
compulsory education compulsory by intervening on his own right exerting penalties to parents for not
sending their children at school or for impeding their access to it. However, this is not the case. The case
is to create a culture of education to Roma population.

In addition, the socio –psychological support is important for the students as well as for their families in
order either to support, animate, motivate or convince them to overpass possible obstacles so as to

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

attend school and remain to educational environment so as to complete education cycles.

• Planning of actions (NEETS, local economy, entrepreneurship) – recruitment of Roma mediators


in Roma Branches

NEETS
The phenomenon of young people aged 16-24 who are out of education or employment or training is
currently an important policy issue and a field for action at international, European and national level.
According to the latest available Eurostat data (2016), the NEETs index in Greece is 20.7%. The very high
degree of NEETS in the country also entails a very high degree of heterogeneity within this group (EC,
2016), most notably in the case of the Roma. The corresponding indicator for the Roma population (16-
24 years old) in our country is 60% according to the latest available data of the European Fundamental
Rights Agency (2016)

The Special Secretariat for Roma Social Inclusion taking into consideration the fact that the 16-24 age
group appears to account for about 20.7% of the population and that the NEET index is to 60% and using
the data of the mapping has proceeded to a NEETs population approach across the country regions, in
order to plan relevant supportive actions.

Local economy – entrepreneurship


The purpose of this action is to activate and mobilize Roma in order to participate in the labour market
either as self-employed or employees according to the specific needs and characteristics of local
economies.

It is also a chance for the rising of the role of local authorities that have a competence on local issues
based on the existing local needs according to the principle of subsidiarity.

Roma mediators in Roma Branches


The procedure of certification of knowledge of Romani language has been approved by the Greek
parliament via article 55 of law 4520/22.02.2018 (OG 30/A/22.02.2018) facilitating the hiring of Roma
people at the positions of Roma mediators

The holistic approach shows the interrelation between education and employment
The adoption of an integrated- holistic approach towards Roma Social Inclusion is among the dimensions
of the vision of the Special Secretariat on Roma Inclusion, which shows that fields should be interrelated
and combined by means of all levels’ contribution, in order to get the most efficient and effective results
for each field as well as for the Strategy of Social Inclusion as a whole.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Hungary
Disadvantaged social background is strongly correlated to Roma population. According to estimations
half of the socially multiple disadvantaged students are Roma and two-third of Roma students are
socially multiple disadvantaged. Early school leaving is particularly high among Roma people, at 65.3 %
compared to 9.4 % among the non-Roma population (Central Statistical Office 2017).
PISA data indicate that educational outcomes in Hungary’s education system are strongly linked to
students’ socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic disadvantage and poor performance converge and
there’s evidence that socially disadvantaged students are more than twice as likely as a student from
middle-class family to score below Level 2.

28% of Hungarian students didn’t reach the baseline Level 2 in PISA mathematics assessment (a level at
which students can use basic algorithms). It’s likely that students, who lack basic skills at this age will
drop out from education system without qualification, will be unprepared to enter the labour market
(PISA 2015).
The uneven distribution of disadvantaged pupils between schools leads to large proportions of
disadvantaged pupils at certain schools, which impacts heavily on the quality of teaching.

Hungary has given policy responses at systemic level in order to support social inclusion, prevent and
eliminate discrimination and segregation in education. This complex framework includes:

 strategic measures at system level to improve inclusiveness of education


 targeted measures and programmes aimed at supporting the educational advancement of
pupils with disadvantaged or multiple disadvantaged background, including Roma students

The Hungarian government adopted strategies to promote quality, improve opportunities and tackle
early school leaving:

 the Mid-term Strategy Against School Leaving Without Qualification (2014) to prevent and
tackle early-school leaving, to foster inclusive education;
 the Public Education Development Strategy (2014-2020) to improve students’ skills and
competences; and
 the Hungarian National Social Inclusion Strategy (2011-2020) to promote social inclusion
measures in field of child welfare, education, employment, housing, health, awareness-raising
and discrimination

The national strategy of preventing early school leaving (Gov. Res. 1603/2014 (XI. 4.)) aims to improve
the quality of education and training system and promote access to inclusive, quality mainstream
education for all. Measures involved in the ESL Strategy serve preventing and tackling early-school
leaving, improving students’ skills and competences, improving the rate of school success fostering
smooth labour market transition and employability. One of the main obstacles of school success is
segregation, therefore the ESL strategy deals with modern pedagogical methods and programs that

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

must support integrated, inclusive education at all level.


Another focus of the Strategy is the improvement of low performing schools. This is an important
element of increasing effectiveness of the school system and improving equity in education.

Main measures:

 There are preventive measures underpinning successful school performance. The aim of the
extension of pre-primary education (from Sept 2015, from age 5 to age 3) was to increase the
participation of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and support school success.
Kindergarten attainment of 3 year old children in 2016/2017 was 84.1%. 4 year old children
participating in ECEC is at 95.2% (European benchmark 95%) According to the survey of the EU
Agency for Fundamental Rights published in November 2016, and Country Report 2017 itself,
considering all EU Member States Hungarian Roma children are the most likely to participate in
kindergarten education.
 In order to avoid and prevent school segregation and selection mechanisms, primary school
districts have been regulated. When determining the school district boundaries, the
socioeconomic status of families living in the surroundings of the school should be taken into
account. The revision of school district boundaries is carried out each year. In order to make this
measure more effective and put subsidiarity across, from 2017 January, state school
maintenance centres have the right to give opinion before school district boundaries are
determined by governmental authorities.
 In order to increase effectiveness of school system, improvement of low performing schools: in
each county one pedagogical institute for the permanent support of schools established from
2012. Pedagogical institutions offer services and support with special attention on the field of
multiple disadvantaged students’ education and schools with low performance,
professional/methodological support for teachers.
 “ESL early-warning and pedagogical support system” has been developed to fight against drop-
out, the system was introduced in November 2016. The system is operating to support
necessary interventions both student and school level. Specific interventions must be
elaborated for those students who would definitely drop out of the educational system without
such interventions. At student-level, the warning system monitors signals for ESL such as
absenteeism, grade repetition, underachievement, social factors, etc. The aim of the warning
system is to have a comprehensive view of the student’s needs and ensure that students at
risk of drop-out receive tailored support they need.

Prior to data collection, schools were provided wide-ranging information and guidance at the website of
the Education Office and on regional information days.

 Hungary operates programs aimed at helping individual progress, applying modern and
differentiated educational methods and providing services (such as mentoring) to
disadvantaged, including Roma, students:

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
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Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

o More than 3000 disadvantaged students at secondary school and vocational school take
part in the programs (Arany J. Programs), and 30% of them are of Roma ethnicity. A
quantitative survey in 2014 (Fehérvári Anikó) on the effectiveness of the programs
found that without the programs approximately a quarter of the students would be
taught at a lower educational level or presumably would not be taught at all.
o “Tanoda” (afternoon school programme) programmes provides assistance in the
frames of remedial activities in the afternoons for schoolchildren living in need and
under poor social conditions. The programme offers a complex service that cannot or
can scarcely be accessed by marginalised children or young adults who are less
successful at school. It improves students' performance at school already on the short
term. The Tanoda programmes have been operating since 2004. Presently, more than
280 Tanoda operate from EU funds, involving at least 8,500 students.
o For the success of Roma girls at school and to keep them at school, we launched a
programme in October 2015 (Bari Shej – Fata Mare). Its objective is to reduce early
school leaving and to improve chances of further education. The target group comprises
of ̶ primarily Roma ̶ girls at the age 10-18 going to primary or secondary school, and
having drop-out risks or symptoms. The programme continued in 2016, too, from the
national budget, and after its closure, a programme of several years started from EU
funds. Now at least 1,800 Roma girls are involved in the program.
o the On the Road (Útravaló) Scholarship Programme (Road to Secondary School, Road
to School-leaving Certificate, Road to Vocation, and Road to Degree) that has been
operating for ten years offers personal mentoring services and scholarship grants for
disadvantaged and multi-disadvantaged students studying in primary, secondary
schools and universities. As a result, we helped approximately 14,000 students in the
past school-years, and 7,000 mentors were involved in the programme.
 In order to prevent drop-out and support the operation of child-care warning system, social
workers or child-care professionals in schools and kindergarten where needed, are being
employed from January 2016 as a PILOT and extended in 2018
 Free meal is available for children: 77.2% of children in kindergarten got free meal or meal at a
reduced price in 2015/2016 school year. This ratio raised to 78.4 % in 2016/2017 school year.
 As of school year 2017/2018, children in grades 1-9 (that, is in all grades in primary schools,
plus grade 1 in secondary schools) became entitled to receive free textbooks.
 To improve the effectiveness of the education system a teacher’s career model was introduced
in 2013. It provides clearly delineated tools to support, develop and assess the continuing
professional development of teachers. One of the tools is regular external professional
inspection and evaluation – with the criteria of inclusive teaching methods - based on uniform
and public criteria and a teacher qualification system with a teaching career path. Wages are
adjusted to the different stages of the career model, and a professional service system has been
created to promote teachers’ development and career progress. Differentiated wage incentives
are applied to acknowledge the additional performance that is required for the successful
education of disadvantaged students. As of 1 January 2018, teachers who complete and

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

implement a talent-developing and integration training or a kindergarten development


programme to assist the successful progress and integrated education of disadvantaged
students, receive an extra bonus.

HRDOP 3.1.5. “Supporting schools which are at risk of student drop-outs” EU-financed project offers
development for schools which are characterised by low performance of students and the project
offers desegregation measures as well.
The call for proposal of the programme launched in October 2016. Development will support access to
inclusive, quality education, will offer support for teachers to apply effectively new, differentiating
teaching methods tailored for students’ needs. The schools were selected according to segregation
index. The developments to foster desegregation measures and to strengthen inclusion policies will be
implemented in these schools. The concept relies on the Guideline for using the desegregation
measures issued by the European Commission. Preparation of desegregation plans will be prepared on
school district level.
Desegregation plans and the elaboration of the monitoring related to this process make it possible to
collect data and information related to the implementation so far, to contrast the data with the targets,
point out deviations and differences and to make intervention possible. A methodological support is
being elaborated that takes into consideration the adequate methodology of desegregation as a result
of situational survey and it fosters the application of possible measures and tools in a differentiated way.
Professional support will be provided to prepare and implement the desegregation plans.

Data collection and targeting

We have data on the Roma population but there is no ethnic data collection within the public education
system.

According to 2011 census data 316,000 people declared themselves as Roma. This number is much
higher than the 2001 census data of 190,000, thanks partly to methodological development and the
campaigns strengthening the declaration of Roma identity. The researchers estimate the number of the
Roma in the 2010s as being between 650,000-750,000, which represents 6.5–7.5% of the total
population. Pursuant to the relevant legislation the Roma are one of the 13 nationalities of Hungary and
as such they are vested with all the nationality rights that are granted to nationalities in Hungary.

In public debate about extreme poverty the ethnic and social dimensions are often intermingled and all
the problems arising from social exclusion are formulated as the “Roma issue”. However, poverty is not
a Roma-specific problem. In Hungary, those living in extreme poverty are highly concentrated in some
regions: the great majority of the settlements lagging behind are located in the North-Eastern and
South-Western regions of the country. These regions are characterized simultaneously by a young age
composition, low educational level and an extremely low employment rate. Due to the socially
homogeneous composition of the population, in these areas there are limited opportunities for
desegregation in schools, therefore the development and improvement of the quality of education may

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

be set as an interim objective.

In Hungary the interventions in the public education system take indicators established on the basis of
the low socio-economic status – disadvantaged and most disadvantaged situation – as a basis, having
regard to the findings of the analysis, according to which the problems affecting a significant part of the
Roma pupils are a consequence not of their ethnicity but of their social situation and health condition7.
It takes the fact also into consideration that the relevant legislation8 qualifies ethnicity as a special data
and allows its management only if such data are supplied on a voluntary basis and the strict statutory
requirements are respected.
That is why public education uses the definition of the disadvantaged and multiply disadvantaged
status9 as set out in the Act on XXXI of 1997 on the Protection of Children and the Administration of
Guardianship10. It is estimated11 that around half of the children with multiply disadvantages are Roma,
and nearly two thirds of Roma students have multiply disadvantages.

The Netherlands
In the three largest Roma municipalities (Veldhoven, Nieuwegein and Ede) we work with a multi-
disciplinary team. In the municipality of Veldhoven, the school attendance officer is a team member of
the integral team / multidisciplinary team which consists of employees from various disciplines who
have their focus on multi- problem families with a Roma background. This team focuses on all the
problems or areas requiring attention (for example: health care, debt problems, education, youth care,
and crime). Other members of this team are specialists (youth care in the service of the municipality), a
police officer focusing on youth, and a policy worker (integral safety). This is the core team. The
members of the core team like to work with Roma and are known to the Roma, have knowledge of the
family patterns and the Roma situation.
Every Monday mornings, the core team meets for consultation, they discuss among other things the
(multi-problem) families, cases, who does what and what do we need to do… (case management), but
also developments, ad-hoc situations and themes. The issue of compulsory education is on the agenda
every Monday.
By invitation it is also possible that others are consulted, for example, the housing corporation, a work
consultant (participation law), an employee specialised in debt assistance, someone from the Council for

7
Kézdi G., Surányi É.: Experiences gained from a successful integration programme at school. Impact Assessment of the educational integration
programme for disadvantaged students 2005-2007., Kertesi G., Kézdi G.: Children of unschooled parents and Roma youth in secondary schools,
Economics Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2010.
8
Act CXII of 2011 on the Right of Informational Self-Determination and on Freedom of Information
9
When determining the disadvantaged or with multiply disadvantages status the following indicators must be taken into consideration: the
monthly average income per capita of the family, the qualification and employment level of the parent(s), and the housing environment. Those
children have the most disadvantaged status who are raised in families where the parents have a low income earned from work or are
unemployed and their qualification level does not attain the 8th grade of primary school.
10
Act XXXI of 1997 on the Protection of Children and the Administration of Guardianship
11
We have divergent data concerning nationalities, among them the Roma. Pursuant to the relevant rules, data regarding ethnicity may only be
gathered on a voluntary declaration basis. Therefore, census data show a significantly lower number of ethnic population than certain other
surveys that can gather data based on other methodologies as well.

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Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Child Protection, and so on. Every case is assigned a case director often depending on the primary focus
area for example education.
The goal is to be able to intervene or support at an early stage. If, for example, the education of a child is
jeopardized by family circumstances, often at the request of the attendance officer youth care will join
in the conversation with the parents. This is announced in advance to the family. Often there are several
in which a family has problems, for example debts. That is why we use an integral approach so we can
focus on all areas of concern.
If topics are discussed, people with a Roma background may be asked to join on request or a separate
consultation with Roma will be organized. Roma are not part of the core team given that cases are also
discussed in the context of the approach of eg suspicion of human trafficking, fraud, domestic violence,
criminal activities etc.
In case of compulsory education it is important to intervene at the earliest possible stage. Short lines
with parents and school. Advise school in the area of Roma.

Completing primary education makes the transition to secondary education easier and as a result the
outflow in secondary education is also higher.
In the municipality of Veldhoven, 100% of Roma children are enrolled in both primary and secondary
education. It is also important to involve parents in the education of their child so they can observe the
benefits. Many parents are illiterate and their children can now read, write and even obtain a school
diploma. This increases their chance on the regular labour market and less dependant on social benefits.

School database
Every pupil in the Netherlands is registered in a database. The attendance officer has access to the
school data and registers in this system if necessary. This is about the statutory duty of compulsory
education and with due observance of the privacy law.
As a result, the school path can be followed and, if necessary, the school attendance officer can provide
better advice to help prevent school drop-out.

The Dutch compulsory education law


Compulsory education is linked to criminal law in the Netherlands, which means that if a child is
withdrawn from his or her right to education or does not follow any education it can be enforced under
criminal law.
Education law. The School attendance officer is an investigation officer and supervisor for the
compulsory education law.
The strategy of the work on compulsory education with Roma is that the school attendance officer
works preventatively (short lines with school and youth care) instead of only enforcing, support where
possible and take measures (for example impose a fine or make an official report to the family / to the
courts/public prosecution service, when necessary).

23
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

The education
system in the Netherlands.docx

Poland

1. Education in Poland is compulsory until the age of 18. Regulations include also pre-school
education which is compulsory for children under the age of 6.
2. Educational law introduces two concepts: schooling obligation (obowiązek szkolny) - covers
the education of a child from the age of 7 until the completion of primary school, but no longer
than until the age of 18 and the obligation to study (obowiązek nauki) - a student who
graduated from the secondary school before the age of 18 may also fulfill the obligation to
study by attending university or qualifying vocational courses. The commune is the unit that
controls the fulfillment of obligation to study by young people aged 16-18 who live on its
territory.
3. Not fulfilling the above-mentioned obligations is also understood as unjustified absence of
the student during the period of one month which exceeds 50% of the classes.
4. Parents are obliged to inform the commune about the form of fulfilling the child's obligation to
study and changes in this area.
5. Failure to fulfill the obligation of one-year pre-school preparation, schooling obligation or
obligation to study results in a fine which is imposed on the statutory representatives of the
child who is subject to schooling obligation and obligation to study.
6. The head teacher is entitled to demand the fulfillment of schooling obligation by sending a
written warning to parents/legal guardians, and the commune is entitled to demand the
fulfillment of the obligation that is the subject of the warning (so-called "fine in order to
enforce the obligation fulfillment"). In the event of persistent evasion of schooling obligation,
the head teacher should bring the case before the Family and Minor Division of the District
Court concerning the inspection of the minor's family situation and taking appropriate actions.

Roma students in Poland are a specific group. On the one hand, the actions systematically undertaken as
part of the Roma integration strategy in Poland since 200112 result in the fact that this is a group around
which a full set of system tools facilitating education has been gathered: Roma education assistants (92
people in the 2016/17 school year), supporting teachers (approx. 100 people), chain of integration day
rooms run by schools attended by Roma students, chain of day rooms run by Roma NGOs (approx. 50 of
them were created), free transport to school, free textbooks and school equipment, additional
compensatory classes and other classes, free meals, insurance, grants, training for teachers concerning

12
A pilot government Programme for the Roma community in the Małopolska region for 2001-2003, Programme for the Roma community in
Poland for the years 2004-2013, Programme for the integration of the Roma community in Poland for the years 2014-2020.

24
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

the Roma culture, holiday rest, protective vaccinations, dental care etc. Therefore, it can be said that
Roma students are surrounded by extraordinary - in comparison with other students - possibilities
created by the state. On the other hand, their educational situation is determined by their own culture,
characterized by low education of parents, sometimes on the verge of illiteracy, low valorisation of
formal education and studying, aversion to school institutions that has been established in previous
generations, despite the fact that Polish schools have clearly changed their face to a more multicultural
one.

It should be noted, however, that we are experiencing a slow change in attitudes towards the education
in general and towards school as an institution among the Roma. Among other things, the following
effect of the Programme for the Roma community in Poland for the years 2004-2013 was identified in an
independent evaluation carried out in 2011: The school is the basic integrating centre both for Roma
children and their parents. The Roma are not afraid to come to school, they feel safe there (in contrast
to other public spaces)13, and the employment of Roma education assistants was considered to be one
of the best solutions of the Programme.

During the introduction of the above-mentioned strategies into the Polish legal system a number of
necessary legislative changes have been made, including these related to the financing of education of
pupils from national and ethnic minorities at all stages of education, in order to support this group
maximally and to eliminate legal and financial barriers limiting the quality of education of Roma
students. To illustrate the scale of this support, the amount of additional financing for self-governments
running schools in which Roma students study, which makes it possible to organize additional
educational assistance for these students (employing teachers, assistants, organizing additional classes,
etc.) is presented below:

Additional funds for local governments for the education of Roma students:

School year 2010 2011 2013 2015 2016


PLN 15,655,321 16,691,998 17,961,019 16,269,412 17,445,807
14
€ equivalent 4, 014,185 3,793,636 4,380,736 3, 873,670 3,964,956
n° of Roma 2,340 2,306 2,267 2,273 2,359
pupils

It should be noted that due to the fact that 92% of the Roma in Poland live in cities, it is not physical
inaccessibility or lack of transport to schools that limits the fulfilment of schooling obligation - the
problem which other countries in the region need to face. There are no so-called "Roma classes" or
"Roma schools".

Nevertheless, despite the actions taken, many aspects of educational situation of Roma students still

13
Programme for the Roma community in Poland for the years 2004-2013, p. 105,
http://mniejszosci.narodowe.mswia.gov.pl/mne/romowie/program-integracji-spol
14
Average rate of Polish National Bank in each year.

25
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

stands out from the situation of non-Roma students. It should be noted that so far the 6+3+3 education
model was in force in Poland: 6 years of primary school, 3 years of lower secondary school, and 3 years
of secondary school. Since 2017, this system has been gradually replaced with the 8 + 3/4/5 education
model: 8 years of primary school, 3/4/5 years of secondary school, i.e. respectively: vocational
(professional) school, secondary school or technical school. This fact should limit the phenomenon of
dropping out of students from the education system after completing six grades observed so far and
increase the number of Roma who receive primary education.

Many years of activities and experience make it possible to make several general remarks:

- the fulfilment of schooling obligation by Roma pupils in the primary school (grades 1-6) has clearly
improved, reaching almost 100%, which was, to a large extend, achieved thank to the Roma education
assistants,

- much less Roma students attend the lower secondary school (grades 1-3), however, in the 6 + 3 + 3
education model which was in force in Poland which until 2017 only the completion of primary school
and lower secondary school (6 + 3) provides the primary education,

- the situation at the secondary education level is even worse - 50-60 Roma students a year participate
in the education at that level, despite the fact that Roma students at the secondary education level
receive grants, which allow them to cover additional expenses (they amount to around € 35 per
month),

- for several years the number of students of Roma origin remained at the level of approx. 60 people a
year, however, in recent years (2015 and 2016) fell to approx. 30-40, despite the fact of receiving
relatively high grants (around €130 per month). It is worth noting that some of these students come
from the so-called mixed families, and not from typical, homogeneous Roma communities.

The number of Roma students at different levels of education15 :

15
The quoted data: in relation to kindergartens, primary and secondary schools from the Educational Information System (SIO), in relation to
the higher level - the number of grant holders (it can be assumed that it is nearly 100% of students of Roma origin).

26
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

34
2016/2017 47
468
1 597
228
37
2015/2016 50
476
1 634
192
59
2014/2015 43 419 1 563
242
72
2013/2014 48 459
1 699
337
75
2012/2013 53
514
1 719
286
74
2011/2012 65
511
1 727
289
70
2010/2011 65
532
1 703
233

0 500 1 000 1 500 2 000


Academic level Secondary Gimnasium Primary Kindergarden

A certain improvement in the approach to education in the Roma community is confirmed by the fact
that the number of Roma children who are placed by their parents in special schools, on the basis of
disability certificate on mild degree of disability issued by the Psychological-Pedagogical Counselling
Centre (hereinafter: PPP), has clearly decreased, despite the fact that children holding such a certificate
can study in regular schools (approx. 10% in primary schools, approx. 25% in secondary schools), which
is the result of intense state activities, that have been undertaken since 2012 and addressed to both PPP
employees and Roma parents16.

Number of Roma students in primary schools - integrated and special ones:

16
e.g. adaptation of model diagnostic tool sets, improvement of standards of functioning of psychological and pedagogical counseling centers,
conducting a series of information and consultation meetings for psychological and pedagogical counseling centers, preparation of a publication
concerning the diagnostics of children with special educational needs, training sessions and seminars devoted to this, publications in the
Romani language for parents, etc.

27
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

3000

2500
249 225 234
208 179
190 198
2000

1500

2235 2238 2233 2158 2110 2065


1000 1982

500

0
2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 2013/2014 2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017

n° of Roma pupils in P&G in total including in P&G Special

P&G – primary: 6 classes, G – gymnasium - 3 classes – which together is considered the basic education

It should be noted that participation of children in pre-school education has improved, even though for
cultural reasons, "leaving" a child at a kindergarten is frowned upon in Roma families and perceived as a
lack of motherly care – this pattern is slowly changing, although not all children fulfil their pre-school
duty.

Educational deficits in Roma families affect their school results, which (on average) are significantly
worse compared to their non-Roma peers; they still oscillate around mediocrity in spite of the children
being equipped with textbooks (a lack of textbooks is often perceived as the main hindrance in achieving
better school results); however, the home environment clearly fails to develop the cognitive skills of the
children and does not increase their motivation and education-related ambitions.

The transition between the 6-year primary school and the 3-year lower secondary school causes a large
group of Roma children to drop out of the education system, which is to some extent connected with
the children entering an age at which – from the Roma culture's point of view – they are ready to get
married and start a family (as also indicated by research of the Fundamental Rights Agency - FRA17); on
the one hand, some of the parents want to protect their children against premature marriage and limit
the possibility of a "traditional kidnapping". On the other, a number of them believe that it is "time they
began thinking about starting a family"; the few researches which have been carried out 18 indicate that
family (a large one) and marriage (inside their group) are the most important values in the Roma culture,

17
http://fra.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-and-maps/survey-data-explorer-results-2011-roma-survey
18
e.g. a research project entitled "Obraz siebie i obraz świata w badaniu jakościowym młodzieży romskiej z Wałbrzycha" (Self-image and the
image of the world in a qualitative study of the Romani youth in Wałbrzych), run since 2014 by dr hab. Barbara Weigl of the Maria
Grzegorzewska Academy of Special Education in Warsaw among Roma students in Wałbrzych schools.

28
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

which come long before receiving education, also for the current generation of Roma teenagers.

Having a family necessitates a way to provide for it however there is no real correlation between the
(declared) awareness that higher education increases long-term economic independence and the actual
continuity of education. A small number of Roma students continue their education at the secondary
level, however in terms of acquiring vocational skills, it should be noted that the vast majority (over 70%
of the students) choose vocational schools: a 2/3-year (depending on the chosen profession) vocational
school or a 4-year technical school, which constitutes a good prognosis for the future:

The number of Roma students in secondary schools (vocational, general high schools):

60
49 49
50
43
41
38
40 36 34

30

20 16 16
12 12 12
9
10
4

0
2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013 2013/2014 2014/2015 2015/2016 2016/2017

vocational schools general high schools

Vocational education seems to be an interesting solution for those Roma students and/or communities
which are not interested in continuing their education for too long (e.g. due to starting a family and
having children early on). Vocational schools allow to achieve secondary education, provide professional
skills and qualifications which are often highly paid, give a potential basis for starting one's own
company, which is important from the cultural point of view - a tendency towards a certain degree of
isolation from non-Roma communities - as well as, within these companies, to employ one's own family
members and create a family business, which fits in with the Roma tradition.

The Polish experience indicates that poverty is not the sole reason for the lack of higher education
among the Roma. What is more, the Family 500+ (Rodzina 500+) government demographic programme
has significantly improved the financial situation of Roma families – it can be stated that each Roma
family receives additional support19 of at least the minimum salary in Poland (approx. €120 monthly per
each child in case of a family with 4 children). Despite the systemic elimination of financial and
organizational barriers, the level of education of the Roma does not increase to the extent that enables

19
Apart from other common social benefits that Roma are entitled to as all other citizens.

29
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

a greater degree of social integration, participation in the labor market and economic independence,
which could liberate the Roma (and the state) from their dependence on social welfare. The
improvement in the scope of participating in the primary education by Roma students, although it is
important, still does not result in mass participating in secondary education, and only the secondary
education enables economic independence, especially if it involves acquiring professional competence.
Therefore, the objective for the future is to find an effective way of encouraging Roma students to
participate at least in vocational education.

Ukraine
Roma children of preschool and school age, as children of other nationalities, have the right to receive
pre-school, secondary and higher education, to choose the appropriate form of training and educational
institution according to the Constitution of Ukraine, Laws of Ukraine "On Education", "On Preschool
Education "," On General Secondary Education "," On Higher Education ".
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine informed that pedagogical teams of general
educational institutions, representatives of education management bodies of local state administrations
and local self-government continued the explanatory work among persons belonging to the Roma
national minority about the importance of education, especially for children and young people.
Appropriate educational work is carried out through mass media, social, pedagogical and psychological
support of children.
The most compact Roma population lives in Transcarpathian, Odessa, Luhansk, Khmelnytsky, Kharkiv,
Donetsk regions.
In these regions, the Departments of education and science create all conditions for the education of
Romani children. In addition, the Departments continue systematic information and educational
activities aimed at combating prejudices against the Roma minority students, explaining about the
importance of education and raising their awareness of human rights.
Roma children (by their parents’ wishes) attend preschool education institutes free of charge; their
parents have the right to choose the different forms of pre-school education (short stay groups and
consultative points). This also applies to general education institutions in which Roma students study in
conjunction with students of other nationalities and have equal rights to receive high-quality education.
In addition, Romani children study their mother tongue, history, culture, traditions of the Roma people
on Saturday and Sunday schools.
In September 2013 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the action plan for implementation of
the "Strategy for the protection and integration into Ukrainian society of the Roma minority for the
period till 2020", in the development of which the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine was
involved.
In order to further optimization of working on the implementation of the National Strategy and Action
Plan for its realization by the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine together with the Ministry of
Culture of Ukraine to implement the protocol number 1 of meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Working
Group on implementation of the action plan to implement the strategy was established a permanent

30
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

Working Group on Education and culture. It includes representatives of state authorities, Roma
community organizations, and academic institutions.
By the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and regional departments of education and science
were developed plans for the implementation of the abovementioned document in the field of
education.
First of all, the teaching staff of secondary schools, representatives of the education authorities of local
state administrations and local authorities conducted explanatory work among persons belonging to the
Roma national minority about the importance of education, especially children and youth. Parents are
invited to parental meetings, individual conversations, and, if necessary, the representatives of
children's services, psychologists and social educators of schools are involved.
There is constant control over the systematic attendance of school activities by all students, including
Roma nationality. Together with child and parental services, systematic raids have been organized to
control the attendance of pupils in general education institutions. Pedagogical teams are constantly
working on increasing the number of students of Roma nationality, who complete their studies in general
education institutions.
School psychologists constantly provide psychological assistance to students of Roma nationality for the
purpose of their successful adaptation to the educational process. For this purpose, school practical
psychologists implement a systematic approach to work with students of Roma nationality.
In many regions programs of psychological and pedagogical support for the adaptation of pupils of
Roma nationality to schooling have been developed. The main tasks of these programs are: the
formation of positive motivation of the students, social and cultural development of the individual,
mastery by students of ways of independent activity.
As a result of socio-psychological research, practical psychologists, social educators prepare thematic
speeches at meetings of pedagogical councils, bring to the attention of the teams the results of attitude
of students of Roma nationality to school education, provide methodological recommendations for
teachers to adapt each child to school life.
With the purpose of psychological and pedagogical support of students of Roma nationality, who have
difficulties with social and psychological adaptation, specialists of psychological service conduct
correctional and developing exercises to increase self-esteem, decrease the level of aggression, anxiety,
development of tolerance.
Group classes are conducted in a gaming form that prompts students to manage their behaviour and
through interaction with peers expands the capabilities of each child. Such classes give children
psychological support, ability to communicate with peers and adults in new situations, train individual
and collective work skills, introduce the basic rules of conduct at school.
Practical psychologists and employees of educational institutions pay special attention to working with
parents of students of Roma nationality. With them classes are held to familiarize adults with the main
tasks and difficulties of the period of primary adaptation, tactics of communication and assistance of
children. This direction is realized at the expense of educational and consulting directions of the work of
a practical psychologist.
In addition, vocational guidance work with senior students about the importance of vocational and

31
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

higher education, including students belonging to the Roma national minority, is conducted in all
regions.
Measures on vocational guidance are developed by departments of education and local employment
centres.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine created and issued curricula for Roma language and
reading for grades 1-4, Roma language for 5-11 grades of general education institutions.
In accordance with the existing curricula, textbooks were created for the oral course of the Roma for 1st
class students and the "Primer" for 2nd class students.
At the regional level, methodological aids, didactic materials for using during the educational process in
general education institutions where Roma children learn, are developed.
For example, in the Transcarpathian region, were prepared /methodological aids for primary school
teachers working with children of the Roma national minority "Teaching Hungarian language in grades 1-
4 in tables and examples" (compiled by Sergiychuk Yu.P.), "Wreath" (methodical manual for Physical
Education, author of Mukha VV), "Learning the Songs at Elementary Classes" (using Romani folk songs,
author V. Gusnyuk), "Integration of educational subjects in elementary classes" (compiled by Sergiychuk
Yu.P.)
The methodical recommendations for "Using the heuristic and program method of teaching in primary
school classes", "Integrated study of the arts and aesthetic cycle in elementary classes", "History of the
Roma", "Roma language", "Organization of training students of the Roma national minority" is made.
An electronic version of methodological recommendations, manuals, workshops of Hungarian and
Ukrainian for elementary school students, textbook notes for teachers of schools where the majority of
Roma children study is created. In the Transcarpathian region, a course on "History, Culture and Life of
the Roma" is presented among the subjects of the variable component, to which a methodological
manual and a book on the history of the Roma Holocaust were created and published. They are used by
teachers of the history of other schools in order to cultivate a tolerant attitude towards the
representatives of the Roma people and the bearers of Roma culture.
Regarding segregation issues, Roma children are educated and trained in preschool and general
education institutions along with children of other nationalities.
Administrations and pedagogical teams of schools where this category of children are studying, take into
account the traditions and customs of the households of this category of children, contribute to the
improvement of their educational achievements, social adaptation.
In October 2015, in Kyiv, a meeting-seminar with the support of the International Renaissance
Foundation and the All-Ukrainian Foundation "Step by Step" was held for the representatives of the
Roma population to further improve education in the field of education.
Representatives of the departments of education and science of regional state administrations,
representatives of Roma NGOs, scholars and teachers were invited to participate in this event.
During the meeting, the state of education of Roma children was discussed and ways to improve this
work, familiarized with the experience of teachers, Roma community organizations in certain regions of
Ukraine, as well as in Bulgaria, Latvia, and Slovakia.
The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, regional institutes of postgraduate pedagogical

32
Thematic group of experts CAHROM on enhancing the effective realization of Roma children’ compulsory school education as the
most efficient tool towards the mid-term improvement of the situation of Roma communities, and added value of ensuring access to
vocational education for Roma youth

Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, 24-26 April, 2018

education, together with public Roma organizations, conduct seminars-workshops, trainings, and round
tables for teaching staff of general educational institutions in which students of Roma origin are
studying.
In their activities, all educational organizations work closely with community organizations and Roma
communities.

33
PROJECT BRIEF

Project title: “Promotion of increased participation of Roma children in education”

Location: Vulcănești Village, Cioreşti Commune, Nisporeni District, Republic of Moldova

Implementing partner: NGO Youth Resource Centre DACIA

Project duration: November 2016 – April 2018

Technical and financial support provided by: UNICEF Moldova

Background

The Villages of Vulcănești and Cioreşti make up one commune, with one Mayor’s office and two schools –
one in each village. Roma ethnics constitute 90 per cent of the total population of Vulcănești while Cioreşti
is mainly populated by non-Roma.

For about 20 years, the school in Vulcănești has been struggling with the lowest school attendance in the
country, despite the existence of a sufficient budgetary capacity for 100 students, as well as available text
books, and school meals for primary school. Though the school reported more than 100 children on the
territory, only about 5 to 7 children would attend the school daily.

The schools and local authorities had several perspectives on the absence of Roma children from school.
First, they believed that children are absent because parents take them with them for seasonal migration
abroad. Second, teacher availability and their motivation to prepare classes is affected by the low
attendance (an average of 5-7 children per day), and the ever-changing nature of the student body.
Furthermore, it was explained that parents perceive education to be both of low relevance and of low value
for their children.

In reality, there were additional barriers: the school did not possess an accurate list of the actual number
and identity of school-age children in the village; there were no instructions on preventing and addressing
cases of school absenteeism and drop-out; the inter-sectoral mechanism for prevention and addressing of
cases of abuse and neglect was not applied at the community level; and Roma children were not provided
with text books like all other children in the country. Moreover, teacher absenteeism was not addressed
consistently; the mechanisms for teacher training or experience sharing did not function; and there was
little meaningful collaboration between the education authorities at district level, the school, and local
administration for the purpose of Roma children’s education.

Several initiatives to bring children to school failed and there was little believe that the situation could
change.

At the end of 2016, UNICEF Office in Moldova, in partnership with the Youth Resource Centre DACIA (NGO),
initiated a project in Vulcănești to bring children of Roma ethnics to school and create conditions for them
to learn. About 85 children were identified, out of whom 70 were on the territory of the Village of
Vulcănești.

Project main activities and results

PROJECT TITLE: Promotion of increased participation of Roma children in education


IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Youth Resource Centre DACIA, 21, Mihail Sadoveanu Str., Soroca, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373 230 23619, fax:
+373 230 92964, e-mail: crt.dacia@gmail.com, http://wwww.youthsoroca.md.
TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT: UNICEF Country Office in Moldova, 131, 31 August 1989 Str., Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373
22 220034, fax: +373 22 220244,. e-mail: chisinau@unicef.org, http://www.unicef.org/moldova .
1
The initiative employed multiple strategies, including: capacity development, communication for
development, partnership creation and consolidation, service delivery and monitoring. The main focus was
on identifying all existent institutional, human, material and financial resources, mobilizing the community
and the respective resources, and building the capacity of authorities, parents and professionals to exercise
their obligations and functions.

The project supported the consolidation of the efforts of all the authorities, and their capacity building,
mobilization of local leaders and parents, Teacher-Parents Associations and professionals around the issue
of Roma children education. As a result, 70 children who are on the territory, attend the school now – 15 go
to the school in Cioreşti and 55 go to the school in Vulcănești.

The main actions of the project focused on:

- the identification and hiring of new teachers,


- summer school and after school classes to support children for the preparation of the homework
throughout the year; “second chance education” for 4 adolescents who have not finished
compulsory education to prepare for the graduation exams ,
- Mothers’ and Fathers’ clubs to help parents learn and get involved with the child and the child’s
education,
- Capacity building of local authorities to apply the policy for school drop-out prevention at local
level,
- Training of teachers from the schools in Vulcănești and Cioreşti on child centred methodology
- Capacity building of the local NGO “Corona Romani” for project writing, mobilization of financial
and human resources and monitoring of children’s participation in education,
- Training of the Teachers-Parents Association on the organization of activities for parents’ and
children’ education.

The main results include:

- 70 out of 85 children form Vulcănești attend school and 3 out of 10 attend kindergarten;
- Three out of five adolescent supported through “second chance education” passed the final exams
and got their certificate of lower secondary education (compulsory education);
- 8 out of 10 students of the final compulsory education grade attempted and passed the graduation
exams;
- Educators and teachers from Vulcănești and Cioreşti apply new teaching methods to support Roma
children who return from migration;
- More than 80% of the parents who are present on the territory of the Village of Vulcănești get
involved in the activities of the Mothers’ and Gathers’ Club, attend Teachers-Parents Association
meetings and monitor with the teachers the children’s learning and results;
- Local authorities, teachers and other public bodies, education institutions and NGOs get involved
with the school and promote increased participation of Roma children in education;

PROJECT TITLE: Promotion of increased participation of Roma children in education


IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Youth Resource Centre DACIA, 21, Mihail Sadoveanu Str., Soroca, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373 230 23619, fax:
+373 230 92964, e-mail: crt.dacia@gmail.com, http://wwww.youthsoroca.md.
TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT: UNICEF Country Office in Moldova, 131, 31 August 1989 Str., Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373
22 220034, fax: +373 22 220244,. e-mail: chisinau@unicef.org, http://www.unicef.org/moldova .
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- The NGO Corona Romani organize activities with and for the young people in the community to
help them acquire new computation and music skills and to increase their participation in school
and monitor children’s participation in education.

On 25 April, the results of the project were shared within a conference with the participation of Roma
children and parents from Vulcănești, central and local authorities from all over the country, embassies,
Roma community representatives, donors, development partners and other actors.

A resolution was issued by the conference participants to call for consolidation of efforts to further support
the fragile results achieved and promote participation of Roma children in education.

Additional information

A short film presenting the project results can be followed on https://youtu.be/EAPlakkx1Zg For additional
information on the project, please, contact Liudmila Lefter, Education Specialist, UNICEF Moldova:
llefter@unicef.org

AGENDA
Presentation of the results of the project
‘Promotion of Increased Participation of Roma Children in Education’
25 April 2018
Summit Events & Conference Center
49/3, Tighina Str., Chișinău.

DURATION DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITY

10:00-10:30 Registration of participants. Coffee break.


10:30-10:40 Screening of the film about the achievements of the project.
Welcome remarks
 Desiree Jongsma, UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Moldova
10:40-11:00  Natalia Griu, Principal Consultant, Ministry of Education, Culture and Research of the Republic of
Moldova
Facilitator: Ion Babici, Chairperson of YRC ‘DACIA’
Presentation of the achievements of ‘Promotion of Increased Participation of Roma Children in
Education’ Project. Evidence for the implementation of the National Plan for support of Roma
11:00-11:20 Population 2016-2020, SDG and CRC
 Ion Babici, President of YRC ‘DACIA’
 Liudmila Lefter, Education Specialist, UNICEF
Importance of the local level governance, inter-sectoral cooperation and participation for inclusion of
Roma children in quality education. The model of the village of Vulcanesti:
 Nina Sterpu, Head of Education, Youth and Sports Division of Nisporeni District Council;
 Virginia Rusnac, Director of the Republican Centre for Psycho-pedagogical Assistance;
11:20-12:00
 Valeriu Gutu, Mayor of Cioresti Township, Nisporeni District;
 Svetlana Crismaru, Principal of ‘Valeriu Dumbrava’ Gymnasium from Cioresti Township;
 Gheorghe Adam, Principal of Vulcănești Gymnasium.
Facilitator: Ion Babici, Chairperson of YRC ‘DACIA’
12:00-12:20 Impact of the project: Empowering children and the local NGO sector

PROJECT TITLE: Promotion of increased participation of Roma children in education


IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Youth Resource Centre DACIA, 21, Mihail Sadoveanu Str., Soroca, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373 230 23619, fax:
+373 230 92964, e-mail: crt.dacia@gmail.com, http://wwww.youthsoroca.md.
TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT: UNICEF Country Office in Moldova, 131, 31 August 1989 Str., Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373
22 220034, fax: +373 22 220244,. e-mail: chisinau@unicef.org, http://www.unicef.org/moldova .
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 Petru Cobzaru, Chairperson of ‘Corona Romani’ Roma People District Association from Nisporeni.
 Gulica Lidia, Chairperson of ‘Prosperarea’ Parents and Teachers Civil Association from Vulcănești.
 Children’s and young people’s intervention – music band – celebrate achievement!
Facilitator: Ion Babici, Chairperson of YRC ‘DACIA’
Panel discussion and Conference Resolution: Call for Action to ensure sustainability of project
achievements and contribute to the realization of National Action Plan for support of Roma Population
12:20-13:30
2016-2020, SDG and CRC.
Facilitator: Ion Babici, Chairperson of YRC ‘DACIA’
13:30 Lunch

PROJECT TITLE: Promotion of increased participation of Roma children in education


IMPLEMENTING PARTNER: Youth Resource Centre DACIA, 21, Mihail Sadoveanu Str., Soroca, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373 230 23619, fax:
+373 230 92964, e-mail: crt.dacia@gmail.com, http://wwww.youthsoroca.md.
TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT: UNICEF Country Office in Moldova, 131, 31 August 1989 Str., Chișinău, Republic of Moldova, tel: +373
22 220034, fax: +373 22 220244,. e-mail: chisinau@unicef.org, http://www.unicef.org/moldova .
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