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Measures for Roma students in risk of dropping out

hip-hopComplex measures for prevention of risks for early leaving of schools for Roma students in Secondary education

According to information received from the Regional Inspectorate for Education (RIE) –Montana, for 2010/2011 school year 70 Roma children, who were enrolled and accepted in the Secondary schools do not complete their Secondary education and leave that educational level.

In the last 9 years in the town of Montana (Bulgaria) was implemented process for desegregation of Roma school in the Roma ghetto Kosharnik (2001- to 2010), managed and administered by the SHAM Foundation and financed by REF, Budapest.  After the 9th year work with Elementary and Primary schools in Montana, results are following:

  • Around 1 900 Roma children, 1st to 8th grades are successfully finished their primary education (“desegregation program”);
  • The Municipality of Montana accepted as best practice the desegregation program of SHAM Foundation and started covering the transport costs of Roma children, living in the Roma ghetto “Kosharnik”, distributing them in all mixed schools in the city-center of Montana;
  • The Municipality of Montana provides salaries for the same school- Mediators, which SHAM involved in the mixed schools;
  • The Municipality of Montana ensures school buses for continuation of the desegregation program and provides the bus driver salaries.

Compulsory education ends after 8 years of schooling at the age of 14. In order to gain access to university, students need to complete at least 12 years of education to obtain the Matura (high- school exit exam). Nevertheless, the so-called “Matura” – an examination providing general access to higher education for skilled workers offers apprentices in all professions the possibility to access university level education and start courses in tertiary education.

The ambition of our new project for 2013/2014 school year, named “Complex measures for prevention of risks for early leaving of schools for Roma students in Secondary education” is to observe, support and develop these Roma students who are already accepted in the Secondary schools in Montana through variety of measures for prevention of risks for leaving of school with the participation of social workers, Mentors in arts and teachers for creation of new, friendly, supportative school environment.

Lessons for preparation for passing of the State “Matura” exam in the end of 12th grade for 44 Roma students in 2 schools with significant number of Roma students will be provided, which  includes courses in Bulgarian language and courses in Geography (selective subject).

Two Art-studios are created in the Secondary schools for motivation and keeping of 60 students at school. Art-studios receive small school grants for development of their art-related activities.

REF logo_newThe school group in 7th Secondary school “Assen Zlatarov”(Montana) decided to work in journalism field with their Mentor Mr. Raycho Chaprazov- journalist in Bulgarian National Television. The second art-studio in Gymnasium of Light Industry (Montana) works on creation of modern dance performance, mixing hip-hop dances with Roma styles. Activities there are leading by one of the famous Roma hip-hop dancers: Marian Petkov, choreograph of the Dance machine’s group in Youth Centre-Montana. Silvia Lubenova- the Social worker from SHAM Foundation will have individual meetings with Roma students at risk of dropping out from school for motivation of the students, observation of the possible reasons which can lead to dropping out, and development of individual plan for their prevention.

The project is supported by Roma Education Fund-Budapest.