Programs / Introducing intercultural education and educational integration for Roma children

Intercultural education is one of the leading aspects for modernization of Bulgarian education system to answer the needs of children and their parents. Intercultural education is directed both, to minority and majority children. Its major goal is building mutual knowledge about each other, tolerance and friendship among all students.

In order to achieve this goal Center Amalipe works in five directions:
1. Introducing Roma folklore and culture classes in the curriculum of primary state schools. The program has started in 2002 in 13 schools from Veliko Turnovo district. At present it includes more than 5000 students (Roma, Bulgarians, and Turks) from 232 schools allover the country. The program is directed to children from all the ethnic groups in Bulgaria. It has proved to be a successful tool for raising the presence and motivation of Roma children at school, as well as a tool for preserving their cultural and ethnic identity. Two textbooks and a set of pedagogical materials are published to serve the needs of the program.
2. Trainings for teachers for acquiring intercultural knowledge and skills. Center Amalipe organizes practical trainings for teachers teaching Roma folklore and culture. The curriculum of the trainings includes knowledge about Roma culture and diversity, specifics in the work in multicultural environment, and so on. Up to now more than 350 teachers have passed through these trainings.
3. Technical supports of schools for preparing and implementation of projects directed to intercultural education and educational integration.
4. Integrating children without any disabilities from special to mainstream schools. Since 2006 Center Amalipe has been working with Roma parents to prevent enrolling Roma children without disabilities in the special schools for mentally disabled children. In 2006/2007 school year Center Amalipe has supported the integration of 10 children from the Special school in Veliko Turnovo into mainstream schools in the city.
5. Supporting the educational courses for illiterate adult Roma organized by the local labor offices in Veliko Turnovo and Gorna Oryahovitza.

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