Roma Education Fund/REF Through its programs, the goal of the REF is to ensure equal approach to quality education and establishing of conditions for effective and sustainable inclusion of marginalized Roma children into mainstream education system
Roma Education Fund/REF Planned results of REFs programs include: achieving the full realization of national framework of regulations and application of which would secure enrolment into PPP and primary school for all children improvement of compulsory education financial planning mechanisms at the national and local level. To develop strengthening mechanisms which will enable parents take over active role in their children education
Roma Education Initiative-REI ( ) Project conducted in Montenegro
REI Donors, chief implementation partners and local community partners REI Financially supported by Roma Education Fund (REF) 2.Implementation partners: Ministry of Education and Science of Montenegro and NGO Pedagogical Center of Montenegro - PCMNE 3. Local implementation partners were in: Podgorica - 2 NGOs, 4 Roma Assistants and 2 Roma Facilitators engaged Bar - 2 NGOs and 2 Roma Assistants Ulcinj - 1 NGO, 2 Roma Assistants and 1 Roma Facilitator
Job description of RA - Roma assistants in schools and kindergartens ACTIVITIES IN ROMA COMMUNITY Work on compiling a database (in cooperation with RF) on the number, condition and needs of Roma children of the proper age or already enrolled in school between the 1 st and 8 th /9 th grade, requiring necessary direct assistance of Roma assistants, facilitators, teachers and expert school associates: needs related to classes, knowledge and skills; regularity of attendance; social status of children within the class; special interests and predispositions; health-hygiene status Visits to families (together with facilitator): establishing of the contact with families in order to develop and support motivation for education of children; collecting of basic socio-economic data; scoping pedagogical competencies of parents and their needs for acquiring further knowledge and skills related to education, upbringing and development of their children, etc. informing of Roma parents regarding school duties and obligations, possibilities, parental meetings, children success and school life of their children and other issues of importance.
Job description of RF- Roma facilitators ACTIVITIES IN ROMA COMMUNITY Monthly family visits, several times if necessary, and establishing of contacts for the purpose of developing and supporting motivation of parents for education of their children, exchange of information on all arising problems/needs regarding education and reporting in a written form on these visits; Organizing and conducting one monthly workshop with parents/mothers of REA population for the purpose of creating more efficient environment for education of their children according to the program Getting ready for school (conducted during 2006); Compiling of a database on all included and covered families (first and last name of all family members, age, personal identification number, gender, status, class/group, school/kindergarten where a child/children were enrolled...contact phone...);
Forms of cooperation of assistants and facilitators OTHER ACTIVITIES Cooperation of assistants and facilitators with the aim of considering all relevant needs/problems; Cooperation between school/kindergarten coordinator, assistant and facilitator with the aim of more efficient solving of arising problems in kindergarten/school; Attendance at all seminars/meetings/workshops related to REI project (upon invitation of PCMNE and/or Ministry of Education); Active participation in the work of sections and other activities accompanying the needs of REA population families, pupils/children in kindergarten/school/local community; Participation in joint project activities as needed (agreement over procedures....) and/or solving of urging problems; Regular mutual communication between all assistants engaged in the project; Monthly program reporting to the school/kindergarten coordinator.
Why RA and RF? Establishing of solid and constant bonds between the family and educational institutions; Support and assistance to children in solving of family-education institution problems; Support and assistance to children (and teachers) in overcoming of language barriers; Support and assistance to children in overcoming of other educational needs.
Main program results and outcomes RAE children education problem became public; Support, developed awareness and proactive action of all actors regarding importance of engagement of RA/RF; The number of enrolled pupils, regularity of school attendance and academic achievements recognized as problems and competencies of schools/kindergartens; Initial steps made towards protection of RAE culture, tradition, customs and languages (school with the highest number of REA population children expanded curriculum by 20%); Improvement of activities and mutual work cooperation between NGOs, educational institutions and other donors; Directing of further activities towards institutional solving of RA/RF status within the education system in Montenegro.
Conclusion and recommendations It is necessary to institutionalized position of Roma Assistant/Facilitator in Montenegro educational system (idea-to use positive example from Serbia/Pedagogical Assistant Parallel work with educational institutions, parents and children (from state level, international agencies, civil society) To work on additional motivation of Roma parents To enlarge Roma parents involvement in school/educational system (Parents Councils, School Boards, etc)