06.12.2008Meeting of municipal officials “Educational integration in the context of delegated school budgets”


Municipalities and the National Association of Municipalities should be more active in the process of educational integration of Roma kids. The efforts for educational integration can be backed up at municipal level through incorporating additional component “activities for Roma pupils’ integration” in the formula for defining delegated school budget. This would provide “fresh money” for activities in the so-called “accepting” schools. Approving Municipal plan for educational integration backed up also by the municipal budget is another step in this direction. The National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria should take active part in the preparation of renewed Framework Program for Roma Integration and to propose a decentralized way of implementing it: national institutions should dedicate significant amount for co-funding municipal strategies for integration and to control rather than to manage the process. The new Public Education Act should incorporate points that support the efforts for educational integration and Ministry of Education and Science should overtake the other more active institutions.

These were some of the main conclusions from the National meeting of municipalities “Educational integration in the context of delegated school budgets”. It took place in Veliko Turnovo from 3 to 5 of December. The meeting was organized by Center “Amalipe”, Municipality of Veliko Turnovo and the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB). Thirty-two representatives of municipalities all over Bulgaria – members of the Commission for Education of NAMRB took part in the meeting. It was financed by EUMAP program of Open Society Institute Budapest.

Teodora Krumova got the participants informed with the conclusions of “Equal Accesss of Roma to quality education” report of EUMAP program of OSI – Budapest. Deyan Kolev spoke about the application of these conclusions in the context of delegated school budgets. He insisted on the concrete mechanisms for dedicating additional financial resource and for approving good municipal plan / strategy for educational integration. Kosta Bazitov (Deputy Mayor of Varna Municipality and Chair of the Commission for Education of NAMRB) gave as example the Strategy for Educational Integration of Varna Municipality that is backed up with 200 000 BGN per a year. He presented the main points in the discussions of the new Public Education Act. At present there is no official draftpointed Mr. Bazitov. He engaged himself as member of the commission for preparing the draft to propose and advocate for incorporating points for educational integration in the new Act. Rumyana Iordanova (Director of Education Directorate of Veliko Turnovo Municipality) spoke about the successful experience of Veliko Turnovo for incorporating additional component “integration of minority students” in the formula for defining delegated school budget. She proposed the other municipalities to join this experience.

Boyan Zahariev made a presentation about the project of Open Society Institute – Sofia, Center “Amalipe” and the National Association of Roma in the Public Administration “Making more funds for Roma”. Technical assistance for preparing projects for Roma integration financed by EU funds will be provided to NGOs, municipalities and schools within this project. He called the participants to use this project that would start from January 2009. Mariana Bancheva (expert in Ministry of Education) presented the call for proposals “Let’s make school attractive for the young people” within Human Resources Development OP. Training for preparing projects for educational integration within this call was carried out.

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