MINELRES: New EUMAP monitoring reports: Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma, Volume 2

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Dec 27 10:30:27 2007


Original sender: Joost van Beek <jbeek@osi.hu>


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EU MONITORING AND ADVOCACY PROGRAM

OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE

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19 DECEMBER 20007

EQUAL ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ROMA: Volume 2 of the series of
EUMAP monitoring reports is out today. Includes international overview
and country reports on Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovakia.

In this announcement:

* Open Society Institute decries discrimination against Roma children
* Monitoring reports offer comprehensive data, recommendations and
resources
* Editorial perspective: The Curse of Low Expectations
 
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EQUAL ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ROMA: Volume 2 of the series of
EUMAP monitoring reports

EUMAP is pleased to announce the release today of volume 2 of its series
of monitoring reports on Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma. The
volume includes both an international overview and country reports on
Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovakia. The country report on
Slovakia has been updated since its pre-release last month.

Volume 1 of the EUMAP reports on Equal Access to Quality Education for
Roma, published in April 2007, covered four other countries
participating in the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015: Hungary,
Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia. Both volumes have been produced by EUMAP
in cooperation with the Open Society Institute's Roma Participation
Program (RPP) and Education Support Program (ESP).

Both volumes are available online, along with information about the
project and methodology, press releases and an overview of selected
media coverage, at http://www.eumap.org/topics/romaed. 

To receive a hard copy, use our publication order form at
http://www.eumap.org/puborder.

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Open Society Institute decries discrimination against Roma children

The reports in volume 2 confirm that despite years of governmental
promises, Roma children in many European countries remain excluded from
quality education. Segregation of Roma in schools, recently condemned by
the European Court of Human Rights in the case D.H. and Others v. the
Czech Republic, is pervasive but unacknowledged in Slovakia, Macedonia,
Croatia and Montenegro. Segregated into Roma-only classes or schools,
wrongly shunted into special schools for children with intellectual
disabilities, crowded into decrepit classrooms and let down by teachers'
low expectations, Roma children face serious challenges to complete even
basic education. 

MEP Viktoria Mohacsi said, 'The OSI reports confirm that segregation of
Roma children is not only based on the colour of their skin, but also
provides lower quality education for our children. Europe should not
accept such serious discrimination. Hungary was the first country to
create a legal basis for desegregation. At least a dozen EU Member
States should follow these steps.'

The reports released today do give examples of noteworthy progress
achieved in the countries monitored, often with EU support. Moreover,
each of the countries monitored has joined the Decade of Roma Inclusion
2005-2015, an international initiative establishing a coordinated
approach to improving the situation of Roma in Europe. But positive
examples and commitments alone are insufficient to ensure meaningful
improvement. 

Governments must acknowledge and prohibit segregation in education. They
must also attend to fundamental inadequacies in national school systems
that have a particular impact on Roma families. Teachers must receive
better support. At the European level, the EU must articulate a clear
and comprehensive framework for progress. Education policies must
address racial segregation and the unequal and inadequate level of
provision for Roma. 

Roma are Europe's largest minority and a key part of its future. Unless
European leaders live up to their promises, Europe will pay dearly for
losing another generation of Roma children to discrimination and
neglect.

Read the EUMAP press release about volume 2 of the reports on Equal
Access to Quality Education for Roma at
http://www.eumap.org/pressinfo/press_releases. 

_____________________________________ 

Monitoring reports offer comprehensive data, recommendations and
resources

Volume 2 of the EUMAP monitoring reports on Equal Access to Quality
Education for Roma includes both an international overview and country
reports on Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovakia. In 575 pages,
the volume explores the current status of access to education; enrolment
and retention data; trends and types of segregation; and government
educational policies for each of the countries covered. They also review
governmental policies and programmes on Roma and their state of
implementation, in particular with respect to the "Decade of Roma
Inclusion". 

The reports describe the main constraints to access to education faced
by Roma, including costs, residential segregation and school and class
placement procedures, as well as barriers to quality of education such
as school infrastructure, curricular standards, school-community
relations and discriminatory attitudes. For the sake of international
readers, the reports also briefly detail the organisation and operation
of the school system in each country.

The international overview report reviews international initiatives for
the education of Roma, on the part of the EU, UN, OSCE and NGOs as well
as within the framework of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and the Roma
Education Fund.

As with all EUMAP reports, the country reports include detailed
recommendations to the national governments and education agencies,
local authorities, and training institutions. The overview report
includes recommendations at the international level, both to the
European Union (EU) and to the bodies governing the Decade of Roma
Inclusion and the governments participating in the Decade.

The volume encompasses case studies of three communities in each of the
countries covered, as well as a comprehensive overview of the existing
literature and relevant documents. 

For further information, contact EUMAP (eumap@osi.hu) or Miriam Anati,
EUMAP Advocacy Manager (manati@osieurope.org).

_____________________________________

Editorial perspective: The Curse of Low Expectations

Katy Negrin is the senior editor of the 2007 EUMAP monitoring reports on
Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma. In an editorial perspective,
she provides an editorial perspective on the daunting odds Roma children
face when it comes to acquiring the same quality education as their
non-Roma peers:

"I often hesitate for a moment when people ask about the work I do,
because the answer involves Roma. Roma are different, the girl on the
train assures me; they don't want to be normal, my neighbour asserts.
'Have you seen how they live?' asks a dinner guest.

For the last two years I have been working on a series of reports that
examine Equal Access to Quality Education for Roma, in eight countries
across Central and South-Eastern Europe. These reports present a rather
bleak outlook, given that Roma children make up an increasingly large
proportion of the population here, and that they have dramatically worse
rates of participation and performance in school. But in this regard, it
seems they are in many ways only living up to expectations, of their
teachers, their peers, and society at large. And this is something that
I am certain needs to change, if the situation of Roma - and of the
region - is ever to improve.

There are common refrains, "Roma don't care about school", "Roma parents
don't bother to enroll their children in the first place or make sure
they continue to attend". While this may be a genuine problem, it is
only rarely because Roma parents don't care about school. The cycle of
low education in Roma communities is one of the most difficult aspects
to overcome. Roma parents may be illiterate, and unable to read the
notification advising them to enrol their children by a particular date.
They may never even get such a notification: Roma in many countries live
in marginalised settlements, often illegal or unregulated, and their
children are not included in the usual call for enrolment. With poor
access to health care, Roma children may not have the medical
certificate required for registration."

Read the full article at
http://www.eumap.org/journal/features/extra/curse.

The article is free for reprint (though do inform us if you do so).

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ABOUT EUMAP.ORG

eumap.org is an online centre for resources, news and analyses about
human  rights and the rule of law in Europe.

eumap.org is the website of the Open Society Institute's EU Monitoring
and Advocacy Program. To find out more, view http://www.eumap.org/about 

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