31.07.2009Creative workshop for decreasing the dropout school process among Roma

Thirty six teachers and school principals from primary schools all over Bulgaria discussed how to decrease and stop the drop out process of Roma kids during a creative workshop. It took place in Lyaskovetz on July 26 - 28. The seminar was organized by Center Amalipe with the support of America for Bulgaria Foundation. Prof. Maria Baeva (Sofia University), Mariana Bancheva (Ministry of Education), Boyan Zahariev (Open  Society Institute – Sofia) and Deyan Kolev (Center Amalipe) moderated the workshop. Sarah Perrine from USA and Luis Aiatolla from Benin presented experience from their countries as special guests of the seminar.


The participants presented their experience in organizing different activities for attracting and keeping Roma children at school. Within the discussion it became clear that the process of dropping out is sharply decreased and even stopped in the schools represented at the seminar. There are five major types of activities contributing to decreasing the dropping out: introducing intercultural education (through “Roma culture and folklore” subject, extra-class activities and within the compulsory subjects), incorporating interactive techniques in the school process, establishing mechanisms for work with parents, organizing extra-school and extra-class activities and incorporating the so-called “life skills”. The participants presented concrete experience from their schools in these directions. After discussions they formulated suggestions for set of pedagogical activities that could stop the drop-out process. Suggestions for changes in the legislation, better teacher qualification and improving the so-called “systemic environment” (work with social workers, etc.) were also prepared.

Pedagogical materials will be prepared on the basis of these suggestions as a follow up step. They will be introduced in 30 pilot schools from the next school year.

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