The school segregation is one of the heaviest problems that disturb the access of Roma to quality education. The project 848854 NOSEGREGATION: Local Action Against School Segregation of Roma is implemented by Center Amalipe (Bulgaria) (lead partner), Fundacion Secretariado Gitano FSG (Spain) and European Roma Information Office ERIO (Belgium). It is financed by European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program (2014 – 2020).
The overall project objective is to create preconditions and to raise political commitment for local actions for fighting school segregation and improving the access to quality education of Roma via: combating anti-Roma stereotypes and raising the stakeholders’ awareness, empowering the local Roma communities, establishing cooperation that involve educational authorities, professionals and Roma community representatives.
The project goals are:
• researching the existing situation with school segregation at local, regional and national level,
• mutual learning and exchange of successful models for creating preconditions and raising political commitment for preventing segregation (from Spain), for desegregation actions (from Bulgaria), for integration of migrant Roma children in mainstream schools in the hosting countries (Belgium, Spain)
• training of professionals and other stakeholders to carry out activities for avoiding school segregation and overcoming the existing one,
• awareness raising and creating supportive public environment,
• capacity building of Roma and pro-Roma civil society active at the local level.
The main target groups of the project are:
• fieldworkers in Roma community: such as teachers, other education staff, Roma mediators, community moderators, community activists and others: the project will raise their commitment to work for facilitating the access of Roma to quality education and will raise their capacity to integrate Roma students in ethnically mixed class-room;
• officials from institutions that have responsibilities to stop school segregation: municipal authorities, school principals, national institutions (ministries of education and others). The project will raise their commitment, knowledge and skills to prevent segregation and overcome the existing one;
• NGOs and CBOs that work at local level: the project will raise their capacity to present the community interest, to advocate before the respective institutions and to cooperate with them against segregation;
• national decision makers in the fields of Roma integration and EU funds: such as Ministries of Education, National Contact Points for NRISs, Managing Authorities of EU funded programs (especially ESF ones) since they could provide political framework and financial tools for avoiding segregation;
• EU decision-makers: such as EC representatives, MEPs, FRA representatives and others since they could recommend to the national governments actions for desegregation and using EU funds: within European semester and others;
• Roma community leaders and activists: since they are driving force for the entire Roma modernization and integration, and would require action for desegregation at local and national level
Certain results will follow the project implementation:
• Maps of the present state of school segregation by regions and municipalities – in Bulgaria and Spain – will be prepared on the basis of thorough research;
• Good practices for facilitating the access of Roma to quality education (including avoiding school segregation and desegregation of segregated schools) and for empowering Roma from all participating countries will be researched and united into models;
• Models and instruments / tools for implementation of the “Education” part of the National Roma Integration Strategies and the Municipal Roma Integration Plans will be prepared, piloted and standardized: easy to use, with clear methodology and financial standard;
• Increased political commitment at municipal and national levels for action facilitating the access of Roma to quality education;
• improved commitment, knowledge and skills of the main stakeholders for implementing Roma education activities: in coordinated way with the other stakeholders and engaging and empowering the local Roma communities;
• increased awareness of the key stakeholders about the available possibilities, models and tools for applying local actions for increasing the access of Roma to quality education that empower Roma;
• improved capacity of Roma and pro-Roma civil society active at the local level: to present the community interest, to advocate before the respective institutions and to cooperate with them against segregation
• facilitated exchange of know-how among the participating countries
• increased awareness of the broad public about the importance to invest in Roma integration and Roma education: this will contribute for creating favorable public environment
DELIVERABLES AND MAJOR PRODUCTS
The Platform TO LEARN TOGETHER (2L2G) aims to bring together educational resources related to Roma culture and traditions, characteristics of the Roma community in Bulgaria; facts and figures about educational segregation
at local and national level; forms to report educational integration, etc.
Regarding Bulgaria, people can find there information about the ethnic diversity in the regions in the country
at municipal level, information about Roma holidays and customs and success stories.
The methodology of the proposed theoretical-empirical study follows the developed author’s concept of creating dynamic models for desegregation in the education of Roma children and students based on the analysis and evaluation of practices implemented in the educational system6 of non-governmental organizations The objects of the research are the processes of inclusion and educational integration, which at the regional level are predetermined and highly dependent on the specific features of the specific region such as socio-economic conditions, demographic picture, ethno-cultural characteristics of the population, degree of inclusion in the social environment, educational level. The subject of the study are the regularities of the procedural flow and the operational provision of a large-scale desegregation process at the municipality level as a necessary solution to overcome educational segregation.