MINELRES: Fwd: UNESCO meeting on education for Roma children

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Sep 6 18:45:43 2007

Original sender: Roma Virtual Network <romale@zahav.net.il>

UNESCO meeting on education for Roma children
Mateo Maximoff 


Education for Roma children will be the focus of a meeting organized by
UNESCO and the Council of Europe on 10 and 11 September at UNESCO
Headquarters. Entitled “Towards quality education for Roma children:
transition from early childhood to primary education”, the meeting will
bring together experts – representatives of education ministries,
members of international and regional organizations, academics,
researchers and civil society stakeholders – from fifteen European

The educational level of the Roma population, which suffers from
poverty, unemployment and discrimination, is generally much lower than
the average. In Europe, for instance, as much as 50% of Roma children
fail to complete primary school. In Central and Eastern Europe, 50% to
80% of Roma children enrolled in school are still systematically routed
into “special schools” established in the 1950s and 1960s for children
with learning disabilities (Source: Council of Europe, 2006). 

They are also under-represented in pre-primary school. For example, in
Bulgaria and Romania where three-quarters of children participate in
preschool education, only 16% and 17% respectively of Roma children are
enrolled in this level (Source: UNICEF, 2007). And as shown in the 2007
Education for All Global Monitoring Report, “Strong Foundations”,
published by UNESCO, the most vulnerable children who would benefit the
most from early childhood educational programmes, are also those least
likely to have access to them. 

The meeting will make it possible to identify key issues in education
for Roma children and to review effective strategies to promote their
access to schooling. It is organized within the framework of UNESCO’s
activities related to education of children in difficult circumstances.
Expansion of early childhood care and education is the first of the six
goals adopted by the international community at the World Education
Forum in Dakar (Senegal) in 2000. The meeting is also part of a wider
Council of Europe project, “The Education of Roma children in Europe”. 


Meeting: 10 and 11 September at UNESCO, 7 place de Fontenoy, Paris (Room
VIII, level -1) 
Journalists who wish to attend must obtain accreditation.


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