Roma Inclusion in Education - Roma Education Fund

Funding to encourage Roma students to complete secondary schools: The Office of the Plenipotentiary for Roma Affairs provides funding to encourage Roma.
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Roma Inclusion in Education

Position paper of the Roma Education Fund for the High Level Meeting on Roma and Travellers organized by the Council of Europe in close association with the European Union, Strasbourg, 20 October 2010

***** The Roma Education Fund (REF) was established in 2005. Its main office is in Budapest, Hungary. The mission of REF is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. The REF gives priority to countries that made the political commitment to design and finance actions to improve Roma’s living conditions by taking part in the Decade of Roma Inclusion. REF’s main programs include: a) project support grants to governments and NGOs, b) policy development, c) communication and cross-country learning, d) tertiary level scholarships and e) reimbursable grants to help NGOs and local governments access EU funds for the purpose of expanding Roma access to education.

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Contents:

Introduction...................................................................................3 Ensure the institutional and financial means for national policies to be implemented on the local level..................................................3 Create synergies between the human rights agenda and the economic efficiency agenda ...........................................................5 Stress the centrality of Roma participation ....................................6 Partnerships for promoting what works.........................................7 Conclusion .....................................................................................9 Annexes – REF Country Assessment summaries ..........................10 Country Country Country Country Country Country Country

Assessment Assessment Assessment Assessment Assessment Assessment Assessment

Executive Executive Executive Executive Executive Executive Executive

Summary Summary Summary Summary Summary Summary Summary

- Bulgaria ................................................. 10 – Czech Republic ....................................... 13 - Hungary................................................. 15 - Macedonia.............................................. 18 - Romania ................................................ 21 - Serbia ................................................... 24 - Slovakia................................................. 27

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INTRODUCTION Half way through the Decade of Roma Inclusion, it is clear that there is still much to be done. Progress made thus far has not led to substantial, visible changes in everyday lives of the majority of Roma. Increased migrations of Roma from ‘New’ to ‘Old’ Member States, has resulted in governmental reactions which are controversial and highly politicized.1 Over the last five years, there has also been a rise in far right, extremist groups and parties, with clear anti-Roma agendas, and various forms of anti-Roma violence are reported regularly across Central and Eastern Europe.2 Given the current state of affairs, the Roma Education Fund believes that closing the educational gap between Roma and non-Roma is both a matter of urgency and top priority for improving the situation of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe. Increased, long-term investments in the education of Roma are required, alongside more effective actions to address other facets of exclusion employment, health and housing, as they have a mutually reinforcing effect. Discrimination and intolerance toward Roma is cross-cutting all facets, including education, and measures must take into account the need to address this deeprooted tendency. In its five years of operations, the Roma Education Fund has elaborated specific approaches for its interventions, based on a number of pillars, which should also guide pan-European actions in the field of education. These are presented in the following sections. As an annex to the paper, we have included the Executive Summaries of the