Advancing Education of Roma in Macedonia

Type Report
Title Advancing Education of Roma in Macedonia
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2007
The Roma Education Fund (REF) has been very active in Macedonia: As of February 2007, it had
received 30 projects proposals, and had approved funding of EUR 1,500,000 for six projects.
The largest project the REF finances is a comprehensive programme of scholarships for secondary
school Roma students, managed by the Ministry of Education and Science and the FOISM. The
project is progressing well and shows the importance of scholarships and mentoring to increase
Roma student enrolment in secondary and tertiary education. This approach seems to be a good
programme for extending to other cohorts.
Another project that will soon be completed focuses on capacity building of Roma Education
Centers in Macedonia. The project is implemented by the Roma Educational Network with the
involvement of national and local level officials. The main outcome of this project is a collection of
best practices and a strategy for the Network of Education Centers, which are providing out-of-school
support for Roma children as a basis for their development and for increasing their integration in
the Macedonian education system. The sustainability of these centres remains an issue. They are
entirely funded by external donors, but the preparation of the best practice guidebook and strategy
has provided a forum for discussion of important problems related to support for Roma children in
integrating pre-school-education and enroling in primary education.
The REF has also financed two projects to support a campaign for Roma children’s enrolment in
schools, implemented nationwide by the National Roma Center. It has also financed a programme
for TV debates and discussions on Roma education issues with the NGO Romano Vas and a national
TV channel. Finally, REF is financing a programme to scale up the inclusion of Roma children in
pre-school education with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. The programme will help the
Ministry to test an approach to supporting Roma children in enroling and in avoiding drop outs
from pre-school, a major issue in Macedonia.

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