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10.07.2008Experts from Regional Inspectorates of Education discussed Roma educational integration under the delegated school budgets

 

The number of Roma drop-outs of school most probably will sharply increase from the beginning of next school year since most of the parents who live in villages where schools will be closed are not ready to allow their children to study in another place. The number of closed schools is already too big and the process of drop-out of children who had studied in them could not be controlled. It is not an exception schools with relatively big number of students to be closed. In the village schools that are not closed the budget hardly can cover the minimum and that is why all elective classes and “classes in the afternoon” in them will be cancelled that will make the educational process in them significantly worse. From the other side in many focal-point schools that will integrate Roma students from the closed schools certain fears among the parents and even among the teachers could be observed.

These were pointed as the sharp problems before the educational integration of Roma children during the National working meeting “Educational integration under the delegated school budgets”. The meeting was organized by Center “Amalipe” and it took place from July 6 to 8 in Lyaskovetz. Experts from 15 Regional inspectorates of education (RIE) responsible for the educational integration took part in it.

The reportEqual Access of Roma to Quality Educationpublished by OSIBudapest was presented during the meeting. The participants discussed how to apply its recommendations under the conditions of educational reform from January 2008. It was discussed also the present stage of “Folklore of the ethnoi – Roma folklore” program as well as the effect of the delegated budgets on intercultural education. Deyan Kolev, Teodora Krumova (Center Amalipe) and Boyan Zahariev (OSI – Sofia) moderated the meeting.

The participants agreed to propose to Ministry of Education and to Ministry of Finance to establish National Program for Support of Intercultural Education as a mean for financing the elective classes and the “afternoon classes” outside the delegated school budgets. They will also propose the incorporation of additional component for schools that implement the Strategy for educational integration (approved by Minister of education in June 2004) in the formula of the so-called “unified standard of expenses” (i.e. the sum provided by Ministry of Education and Science for the education of 1 child).

It was decided also Center “Amalipe” and RIE to organize regional meetings with principals of focal-point schools in the six regions of Bulgaria. Successful practices for attracting, keeping and integrating Roma children at school (such as Roma folklore classes), main conclusions of the report Equal Access of Roma to Quality Education” and opportunities for financing Roma integration measures within the delegated budgets will be presented during the meetings. The first one will be organized on July 15 in Shumen. Principals of focal-point schools from North-Eastern region of Bulgaria will take part in it.

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