Second Chance programme for Roma students

Second Chance programme for Roma students

Presentation
General Context: 

In socio-economic terms, the area where school no.95 is located, live 30 Roma families who either do not have a fixed job or perform paid work or practice on small business (often illegal) because they did not complete education binding and have no qualifications. Besides these, 21 families live hard, sometimes to survival limit, are dependent on their children state allowances and social assistance mechanisms (Social Welfare Department of the City Council District 3, Red Cross). In most cases it is practically impossible for some families to bear the cost side school (clothing, school supplies, and medicines).

Presentation of the Individual: 

In socio-economic terms, the area where school no.95 is located, live 30 Roma families who either do not have a fixed job or perform paid work or practice on small business (often illegal) because they did not complete education binding and have no qualifications. Besides these, 21 families live hard, sometimes to survival limit, are dependent on their children state allowances and social assistance mechanisms (Social Welfare Department of the City Council District 3, Red Cross). In most cases it is practically impossible for some families to bear the cost side school (clothing, school supplies, and medicines).

 

High percentage of Roma population (22%) and unemployed (16%) is reflected in poor financial situation of many school students families. The apartments, which these families live are overcrowded, affecting normal psycho-intellectual and behavioral development of children.

 

Approximately 10% of the pupils' families, have an unclear marital status, legally speaking, some children are indefinitely entrusted to be grown by relatives. Reality reveals the existence of many single parent families (12%), especially single mothers with children living alone on welfare and the allocation of children. As a result, many of these children are used by their parents, in activities of provision which bring additional income into their family in order to succeed in surviving.

Intervention: 

We have organized an action whose aim was the popularization of the "Second Chance" program, to bring those interested in school, and to attract those who hadn’t proposed this yet. In particular, our attention was directed toward the discovery of those who left school after four, five, six, or seven classes, that have to enroll in lower secondary classes, school will receive in its program students in the classes I – VIII.

 

We organized meetings with people interested and responsible in education process, from sector in which school works, namely:

 

  • School support group - director, secretary, counselor, mediator, teachers, Roma parents;
  • Representatives of the community public institutions - hall, prefecture, police, church, health care;
  • NGO repræsentatives;
  • Representatives of state and private companies.

 

We presented the “Second Chance” program and its first year results. Informed people about the school's ability to expand the program and about possibilities to cover educational needs of young people who have left school before obtaining a mandatory eight grade diploma. Without this degree students cannot follow professional qualification courses, are not employed and are unable to earn a decent living

 

Were made up work teams composed of people representing various institutions and organizations, who proposed themselves targets/objectives:

 

  • to identify (young) adults fall into target
  • to directly contact them and their families
  • to inform them about the program
  • to lead and help them to enroll in courses

 

Were identified possible barriers and solutions, working methods and deadlines were proposed.

 

The action took place over three months - July, August, September, and was double sense monitored. Teams representatives phoned and asked to be informed if people contacted and informed by them were enrolled in school; school, in turn, contact the team responsible for bringing up to date information.

 

Moreover we hired a roma mediator in order to help roma people to feel more comfortable and to discuss not only with the students, but also with their families. In this way we were able to reach this target group and not only convince them to finalize their studies, but not to abandon once more school.

Results: 

In this way, at 1st of October the number of young people enrolled in the “Second Chance” Program lower secondary education increased considerably. We formed a network that works and it is very helpful for them and for us, a network that is continuously developing and formed by different stakeholders.

Individual's commments: 

After many months of working with these persons, we received positive feedback from them, and in turn they helped us to promote the Second Chance Programme.

 

We’ve realized that success was due to the fact that we managed to keep a permanent connection and I communication with them and their families, we anticipated problems that could occur, and  helped them overcome barriers.

Documentation
Author's Position: 

I am director of School no.95, Bucharest and the coordinator of the “Second Chance Programme” which is implemented in our school. The "Second Chance" Program is an initiative of the Ministry of Education, Research and Innovation (MERI), which comes to a problem faced mainly by disadvantaged communities, namely the existence of a large number of people who exceeded the legal age of school without being able to complete compulsory education.

Professional context: 

School no.95, situated in Vitan district, Sector3, Bucharest, next to the Mall store, has as over 100 years history and is considered to be an architectural monument. It was founded 1893 as the Mixt Primary School no. 31 – Mentropolitan Nifon.

 

In terms of educational and cultural environment from which disadvantaged children in most of the dropout situation come from, especially Roma, do not provide the foundations for cultural and linguistic knowledge necessary appropriating minimum scale.

 

In school there are 127 recorded statements of self recognition of ethnicity. This is not found in other ethnic minorities in the school, whose share in the school population is much lower, but varied.

 

The drop-identified causes are:

 

  • children disinterest towards education;
  • negative perceptions of Roma people regarding the education role and importance in their children training and development;
  • precarious financial situations;
  • conflicts with colleagues;
  • affiliation to "neighbourhood gangs".
Formal documentation: 

secondary education for those who have not completed school. Therefore, it is aimed to increase the number of classes in the "Second Chance" Program, lower secondary cycle.

 

Starting with 2005-2006, School no.95 entered in the "Second Chance" Program, first in the primary – i.e. grades I to IV for (young) adults who abandoned school in the range of these classes, or had never been enrolled in school.

 

After couple years of experience in which we dealt with a lot of young people in grades 1-4, aged 14-23 years, at the graduates suggestion we started enrollment in lower secondary school grades 5-10.”

Metadata
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