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Integration of the Roma population in and through Education European Educational Experiences

Abstract: The analysis reports with regard to the education of the Roma population on 19 th of May, 2011, at the Council of the European Union, on the establishment of a unitary European framewor for national strategies for Roma integration by 2020, Member !tates were re"uested to impro#e the socio$economic situation of the population, by promoting e"uity, social cohesion and acti#e citi%enship, suggesting that education is a priority and they should prioriti%e inclusi#e education systems in Europe by ensuring that all students &including those from disad#antaged bac grounds, those with special needs and migrants' ha#e access to it and to create the facility to be able to complete education programs for lifelong learning( )n addition, *b+ecti#e , is proposed to eliminate all types of discrimination and pro#ide real solutions( -e intend to analy%e some aspects of the educational policy regarding the continuation of schooling through adulthood, in se#eral European countries, as well as the attracti#e moti#ational components of the curriculum &!pain, )reland, .reece, /ulgaria and Romania'( Key words: inclusi#e education, education policy, the Roma population(

Introduction
0t the European le#el, education and training, ha#e been enacted since 2009, according to the latest decisions of the 1ouncil of Education, 2outh and 1ulture, by adopting new strategic framewor for European cooperation in education and training &E 3 T 2020'( This document pro#ides for the conduct of educational acti#ities by 2020 and sets out four new strategic ob+ecti#es of cooperation at E4 le#el( Strategic objecti e ! which defines successful educational experiences and promotes the integration of Roma in and through education , aims at a better Roma integration that can be achie#ed primarily through education and which can also bring socio$economic progress( These issues concern the access to the labour mar et, which directly depends on education, basic element to ensure the inclusion of Roma( Therefore, their participation in education must be permanently considered in all European and national policies(&1ouncil 1onclusions of 12th of May 2009 on a !trategic 5ramewor for European 1ooperation in Education and Training &E 3 T 2020' 6*fficial 7ournal of the European 4nion 1 119 of 28(9(2009: p(2$; and The 10 1ommon /asic <rinciples on Roma )nclusion , 2009' /ut the ma+or challenge for this study started from the e=isting reality at >.eorge Enescu? 4ni#ersity of 0rts in )a@i where Roma students are always present in Music Ma+or department, then descending numerically in Aisual 0rts and Theatre, which do not ha#e reser#ed places for minorities( !ince the Ministry of Education allocate only 1 uni#ersity place a year, Roma candidates who wish to study at our uni#ersity, they occupy the places of the ma+ority , and thus omit to declare their ethnicity(

"indings
The analysis that we intend to achie#e with this study is based on the actual situation in Romania concerning access to and completion of uni#ersity studies by Roma citi%ens( /ut to get to a /achelor of 0rts student programme, one must be a graduate of secondary education &high school' with baccalaureate degree( Bote that the Roma minority has been ac nowledged as a national minority in Romania after 1990( 0naly%ing the reports which identify the Roma citi%ensC participation in education, according to a -orld /an Report, data from 2009 show that a percentage of 0(DE of Roma aged 29$29 completed higher education( 0ccording to the 2002 census, 2(9E of the population was Roma, and in 2011 this figure was ,(2E( The presence of young Roma in pre$uni#ersity education, according to information reported by the Ministry of Bational Education, the number enrolled in high schools in Romania increased by ;;(,E from 2009F2010 until 2011F2012( &5inal Report on RomaniaCs Giabilities in the European Higher Education 0rea &EHE0' and the E#aluation of their )mplementation at the Bational Ge#el in 201, p( 29' E#en if there is a significant increase for the places applied for, ;0(1E of the special places in high schools specifically designed for this category remain unfilled( -ith regard to participation in higher education, according to .o#ernment decisions for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 on the number of graduates, the number of places allocated for Roma students ha#e increased( There is no official information on the places occupied by the Roma youth in uni#ersities, since this aspect is not monitored by the Ministry of Education( *ur concern is to compare these data with those of other European countries where the Roma population are declared and recorded, to analy%e the efficiency of the e=isting educational system( &0n 0nalysis of the Bational !trategies in the 5ield of the !ocial IimensionJ Report <repared by the 1oordinating .roup of the /54. in 1harge of the !ocial Iimension, 2009' Roma population in #ulgaria is ac nowledged as an ethnic minority and represent $ according to data released $ ;(8E of the population &according to 2001 census( E=perts confirmed that the percentage is actually two times higher', /ulgarian Roma children in the educational system representing a considerably smaller group of students, both in numbers and percentages( 0ccording to the Ministry of Education, there is a percentage of 1,(9,E of the students from the first grade to 1,th grade( The situation in pre$school is 12E of Roma children and ;D(2E of Roma ha#e completed primary school( Roma secondary education represents a rate of only K(8E of the total population( )nformation on higher education is rather appro=imate( Thus, 0(2$0(; E of Roma students has graduated from uni#ersities( The percentage of those who did not complete the first grade of primary education is #ery high, about 20(9E, while most of the population is illiterate( &*perational <rogramme Human Resources Ie#elopment, 200K, p 29$2D and 0malipe 1entre, 0nnual Report on the )mplementation of <olicies for Roma )nclusion in /ulgaria $ 200D( Aeli o Tarno#o: 0starta, 200K, p K9$80'(

The Roma in $reece are not ac nowledged as a national minority( 5or this reason, the .ree !tate was not re"uired to ha#e a special education policy for Roma in the country because access to education was considered to be e"ual for all .ree citi%ens( Howe#er, they are presented formally for the first time in official documents related to education in 198K, but there is a total absence of Roma children in pre$school education as well as a limited number of Roma in primary school enrollment( &European Report ) !uccessful Educational E=periences that <romote the )ntegration of Roma in F and Education p( ;1$;,' Spain has a population of about D00000$K00000 Roma, being ac nowledged as an ethnic minority after 19D0( 0ccess to education was obtained less than 90 years ago( )t appears that the Roma of !pain has increased with the arri#al of immigrant groups from Eastern Europe, though this aspect is not monitored( 0 no#elty is that "ualitati#e and "uantitati#e action mo#ement of Roma women, formed in 1990, by the 0ssociation of Roma in .ranada, with a positi#e social inter#ention, by contributing to the impro#ement of public policy programs, since 2009( 1urrently, the school is conducted under normal circumstances, the big difference is #isible when analy%ing the academic achie#ement( !chools with a ma+ority of Roma population ha#e much lower results than other schools( 0 constant is represented by the Roma students who drop out of school, so K1(2E are completely illiterate or functionally illiterate, this meaning that appro=imately ,;0,000 persons of Roma ethnicity are in this situation, and of these, about one fifth &18(;E' are completely illiterate( 0t the same time, the Roma aged o#er 19 years, with a le#el of education higher than primary le#el, do not e=ceed1;E( 0 positi#e aspect is that college attendance rate among the Roma population is 1E, and 80 of them are Roma women( 0fter 90 years of schooling, the first generations of Roma students and freelance professionals are ac nowledged( ( &European Report ) !uccessful Educational E=periences that <romote the )ntegration of Roma in F and Education, p( 19$18' The problem of poor education results for nomadic Roma in Ireland has long been noticed, and efforts ha#e been underta en in this area by successi#e .o#ernments in recent years in )reland( Howe#er, strong ine"ualities between children of the nomadic Roma and the ma+ority population are those related to education( Early school drop outs ha#e been a particular problem for them, although there ha#e been some small impro#ements in recent years( 0ccording to the 200D census, 9,E of the nomadic Roma aged o#er 19 years ha#e a primary le#el of education, ,E ha#e completed the second le#el and 0(9KE ha#e graduated school at the third le#el( 0lso there were problems with the school discriminatory policies in which Roma were e=cluded( &1hristian /rothers High !chool, A !to es, 2012'( There are few data on the e=periences of Roma and access to education, but they face ma+or obstacles in access to education in )reland( &European Report ) successful educational e=periences that promote the integration of Roma in F and education p D, $DK'

Solutions through Affirmati e Educational %olicies to Increase Access to Education for Roma %eople
!ince 2000, through the European policies, actions ha#e been initiated in support of the Roma population, to eradicate school drop$out and impro#ement$ reco#ery measures( &1ouncil of Europe 1ommittee of Ministers Recommendation Bo R &2000' ; of the 1ommittee of Ministers to Member !tates on the Education of RomaF.ypsy 1hildren in Europe &0dopted by the 1ommittee of Ministers on ,rd of 5ebruary 2000 at the D9Dth Meeting of the MinistersC Ieputies' 0 general obser#ation is that in most countries there are no programs for monitoring and statistical analysis at the le#el of the system( -e will analy%e some long$term strategies established by national programmes, proposed by the year 2020, with respect to the education of Roma population( The educational situation of the Roma in Romania has been addressed through the de#elopment and implementation of a series of legislati#e regulations, ha#ing the role to contribute to the socio$economic integration of the Roma population by eliminating discriminatory practices and to help preser#e their cultural identity( .o#ernment policies ha#e been incorporated into the Bational !trategy and ha#e been de#eloped by all ministries, at national le#el or go#ernmental structures under the coordination of the Bational 0gency for Roma, an institution specially designed for this purpose( Gocally, se#eral au=iliary measures ha#e been created to implement the law: a networ of e=perts &local and county le#el', mediators &health' and structures F offices, the local representati#es of the Bational 0gency for Roma( The difficulties of implementation do not persist due to a lac of legislation, but because of the way in which the measures are implemented, due to attitudes and practices adopted by the personsFinstitutions responsible, because of a lac of political commitment and continuously reduced budgets(&E"ual 0ccess to Luality Education for Roma <eople Fhttp:FFwww(opensocietyfoundations(orgFsitesFdefaultFfilesFromania2M200K0,29M0(pdf 0mong the specific ob+ecti#es in the field of education for Roma are included the following: organi%ing courses in Roma language for pupils, supporting schools to hire staff to teach the Roma language, de#elopment of curricula, te=tboo s and au=illiary materials for Roma language teaching, the presence in each Iistrict !chool )nspectorate of an inspector for the Roma minority, monitoring the participation in education of Roma children and young people, >!econd 1hance C, >!chool after !chool?, >5unctional Giteracy? programmes for people who wish to complete their studies by correcting school dropout, as affirmati#e action for children who wish to access secondary$school studies, as well as for those children who wish to pursue academic studies, introduction of new specific professional occupations specific to the educational system$ $ school educational assistant and mediator(& European Report ) !uccessful Educational E=periences that <romote the )ntegration of Roma in F and Education, < 28' *fficial documents that define education and educational integration of Roma in #ulgaria can be found in public education system through the Bational Education Ie#elopment

<rogramme for the de#elopment of school and pre$school education, for education and training &200D$2019', as well as in the Educational )ntegration of 1hildren and !tudents from Ethnic Minorities &!E)1!EM' which sets out three priorities: full integration of Roma children and students through the desegregation of schools and indergartens in isolated Roma neighbourhoods, supporting central schools to ensure access to "uality education, fostering intercultural education as part of the educational integration of children and students from the ethnic minorities in the process of moderni%ation of the education system in /ulgaria( The strategy identifies the problems they ha#e to deal with in the educational integration process, such as common issues to all ethnic minorities and the specific problems faced by Roma children and students ( To o#ercome these issues three strategic ob+ecti#es are set out: #alidation in the regulations of the educational practice of the right to e"ual access to "uality education for ethnic minority children and students of ethnic minorities and their effecti#e integration, preser#ation and de#elopment of the cultural identity of children and pupils belonging to ethnic minorities, ethno$cultural di#ersity into a source of mutual understanding, respect and cooperation in global education en#ironment and create the conditions necessary for successful sociali%ation of children and pupils belonging to ethnic minorities and the formation of social and psychological climate conduci#e to achie#ing this strategy C &1enter 0malipe, 0nnual Report on the )mplementation of <olicies for the )ntegration of Roma in /ulgaria$200D, p( 18' )n accordance with the recommendations of the European 4nion, $reece has de#eloped a national strategy for the social integration of the Roma, which lays down specific "uantitati#e targets for education( The main ob+ecti#e of .ree educational program is the inclusion of Roma children in school, to reduce dropout, failure, and the specifics of their education at all le#els in fighting stereotypes and pre+udices of local communities, increasing social, cultural and functional literacy, inclusion of Roma in the socio$economic conte=t, strengthening the relationship between Roma families and school, support the positi#e effects of education throughout the life of the Roma, de#elopment of a mechanism for monitoring and recording for the Roma ethnic population, the de#elopment of e=tracurricular acti#ities, with an emphasis on specific s ills &music, dance, #isual arts' programs to combat #iolence in schools, N !upport 1lassesN during the summer , the N !econd 1hance N program and NTraining 1entres N for adults, information on se= education issues and teenage pregnancy pre#ention, support for Roma families, with mediators, social wor ers, psychologists, but also financial incenti#es( Roma )nclusion through Lualitati#e !uccessful Educational E=periences p( ;8$ 90, .ree Republic Ministry of Gabour and !ocial !trategy for Roma )nsurance, under Bational !trategy for Roma http:FFec(europa(euF+usticeFdiscriminationFfilesFromaMgreeceMstrategyMel(pdf( 0 particular situation is found in Spain& 5or a more efficient functioning of the entire legal system, there are national policies, which are #alid throughout !panish territory belonging to the Ministry of Health, !ocial 0ffairs and E"uality, Ministry of Education, 1ulture and !ports and the regional policy of the !panish regional go#ernments( )n particular, there are ad#isory bodies made up of Roma organi%ations that are in#ol#ed in the proposal and implementation of policies for them( 0ccording to the Bational Roma )ntegration !trategy in !pain by 2020, there

was established an action plan, setting out the main aspects of social inclusion of the Roma and, in the field of education ob+ecti#es such as: generali%ation of the inclusion of Roma children in pre$school, primary and secondary schools, facilitating admission to uni#ersity, further literacy for Roma population aged from 1D years to adulthood in order to eradicate illiteracy, teacher training for intercultural education with studies about Roma culture, inclusion of references to the Roma population in compulsory education curriculum for primary and secondary le#els and continuation to monitor the situation of the Roma ethnic population on education( Bote that there is interest for inclusion in the system of "ualification and training of the adult, population of Roma ethnicity( )n Ireland we find a parado=ical situation( Thus, while the nomadic RomaForgani%ations ha#e called for a re#iew of se#eral of the e=isting educational ser#ices and, in spite of the recommendations made in the report for a strategy of education for nomadsFRoma people, only one of these has been re#iewed so far( Ma+or financial cuts are found with regard to this ethnic group education: budget cuts in education that are disproportionate in comparison with other financial cuts for other educational components, decreasing the progress made in the field of education by the nomadsFRoma in the past 10 years( They abolished all necessary support to education for this ethnic group in 7une 2011, by remo#al from positions of the primary le#el teachers, drastic reduction of the teaching hours for Roma in post$primary le#el, retirement of itinerant teachers, phasing out all training centers and school transportation for nomad children ( &European Report ) !uccessful Educational E=periences that <romote the )ntegration of Roma in F and Education p( K2' 5inally, there must be mentioned the two possibilities of access to uni#ersity studies, accepted in the European education( The first is the one in which the traditional graduation certificate of upper secondary education &general or #ocational' is not the only option for admission to higher education and where there is at least one alternati#e route of access to higher education( The second one considers standard graduation diploma of upper secondary education as the only option for admission to higher education( 0lternati#e arrangements for admission to higher education can ta e different forms and may be based on a #ariety of methods and approaches( Harmoni%ing these possible routes undoubtedly would be a chance for Roma adults to ha#e more fle=ible learning pathways and the capacity to adapt to the contemporary re"uirements( )n addition, in some countries, candidates who do not ha#e the nowledge and s ills re"uired for studying in higher education are gi#en the opportunity to pursue #arious preparatory programs, enabling them to do it afterwards( &Eurostudent, 2011 !ocial and Economic 1onditions of !tudent Gife in Europe'

Conclusions

Eurydice reports analy%ed the social dimension of the European Higher Education 0rea &E01E0 F Eurydice 2010, 2011' and came to the conclusion that significant changes ha#e ta en place in higher education systems, but there is still present a series of failures that need to be impro#ed( )n particular, it was concluded that the number of countries that ha#e established specific ob+ecti#es related to the social dimension is #ery small and that monitoring of the Roma participation has not yet been de#eloped to a significant e=tent( These reports also indicate that, although in many countries special measures are applied in support of this category, these measures are rarely central elements of policies on higher education( Eurydice $ European Higher Education 0rea by 2012 , http:FFeacea(ec(europa(euFeducationFeurydiceFdocumentsFthematicMreportsF1,8R*(pdf p K1 ' -e suggest therefore a set of possible measures: harmoni%ation of educational and socio$ economic policies, the participation monitoring of the Roma children in mandatory educational programs, financial and material support to Roma families, conditioned on the participation of children in the educational process, the completing of compulsory education courses of Roma history, culture, language, introducing )ntercultural Education as sub+ect in schools, mandatory training and employment of teaching staff in educational institutions that ha#e registered Roma children, the introduction of programs with different learning paths for adults who ha#e not completed compulsory education, organi%ing courses, professional training programs in terms of #aluing traditional Roma trades, in#ol#ing academic institutions in training programs to optimi%e the educational reco#ery process of Roma of all age groups, the introduction of social programs in order to attract families to school acti#ities, detection and monitoring of Roma candidates for prospecti#e academic studies and fair distribution of places in uni#ersities(

References
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