At present Ministry of Education in Bulgaria drafts new Public Education Act (draft name ”Law for School Education”) that will be aproved by Council of Ministers and adopted by Bulgarian Parliament. This law will define the main streams in Bulgarian education as well as the developments of Bulgarian educational (school) system in the following years. In this way the Act will have certain connections with the efforts for educational integration of Roma students and children: it is of crucial importance for the entire Roma integration process to have Public Education Act that explicitly legitimizes and supports the efforts for Roma educational integration.
At present Roma experts and NGOs are not engaged in drafting the new law. There is no evidence that Roma would be included in the process unless advocacy efforts are not undertaken. At the same time Ministry of Education remains open for discussing the draft law with NGOs and experts.
The project aims at ensuring that Roma experts and organizations will take active part in the process of preparing new Public Education Act in Bulgaria and that the new law will legitimize and support the efforts for Roma educational integration. In this way the project sets objectives for mainstreaming educational integration in certain general key points within the Act and incorporating certain Roma integration targeted text in the law.
The purpose and objectives will be achieved through activities for raising broad support from Roma NGOs, NGOs with proved expertise in education, schools and other key stakeholdres (tradeunions, etc) and advocacy activities before Ministry of Education, the Council of Ministers (including the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Demographic Issues and the National Coordinator of the Decade of Roma Inclusion) and the Parliament. Center Amalipe will invite all significant Roma NGOs to participate in the campaign and will play rather logistical and coordinating role.
The project uses this advocacy methodology summarizing the successful previous experience of Amalipe in organizing advocacy campaigns and taking into account the readyness of contemporary leadership of Ministry of Education to involve NGOs in decision making as well as the key positions occupied by Amalipe representatives in the consultative bodies (Consultative Council for Educational Integration, National Council on Ethnic Issues, Monitoring Committee of Human Resources Development Operational Program). These factors establish preconditions for success of a well organized advocacy campaign.
The project will be implemented from May to October 2010