Training of Trainers - Inclusion and right to education: practical aspects and positive frameworks for Roma children
In the frame of DARE- Net project, “ANTIGONE - Information and Documentation Centre on Racism, Ecology, Peace and Non Violence” organised the training of trainers entitled “Inclusion and right to education: practical aspects and positive frameworks for Roma children” on Friday 7th of March 2014 and on the 26th and 27th of March 2014. The overall aim was to promote a beneficial inclusion of the Roma children in education while identifying solutions and approaches that best address the specific situation of Greece. For this reason, the training was divided into several sessions: three morning sessions which took place in four schools where Roma children from the most problematic settlement of the city are enrolled, and one long afternoon open session held in the social space “Oikopolis - A Parallel Town for Ecology and Social Solidarity” .
The trainers, selected on the basis of the relevance of their experience in respect to the aim of the training and their specific expertise in Roma issues, were: Ms. Niki Bafe, Representative of the Ombudsman’s office on the Rights of the Child, Mr. Dimitris Hormovitis, Representative of the Ombudsman’s office on Roma issues and Ms. Efi Karathanasi, Dr Architect and Urban Planner.
During the morning session of the 7th of March, the trainers met the educational staff of two schools that accept Roma children from the settlement of Agia Sofia to discuss the problems that they are facing and to give suggestions on how to facilitate the attendance through a positive inclusion of the Roma in the school environment.
In the afternoon open session of 7th of March, Ms. Karathanasi started with the presentation “The cultural perception of the learning space. The Roma case”, Ms. Bafe continued with the “Integration and school attendance of the Roma children. Ombudsman’s suggestions” and Mr. Hormovitis ended the presentations with the “Linkage of the education to the rest of the problems that concern the Roma families (housing, state, employment, etc) and international experience”. The trainers led the participants into a fruitful debate directed at discussing possible solutions for the problems that mostly affect the education of the Roma children: exclusion, segregation, dropping out, lack of facilities and supportive programmes.
In order to address the problems of the Roma in the field of education, all the trainers underlined the necessity to set up a coordinated and common action initiated by the central authorities and then transferred to all the other actors involved (schools, local authorities, social workers, CSOs, etc). Their collaboration on permanent basis will guarantee the continuity and the efficiency of the action.
The high level of participation in the DARE training of educators, psychologists and social workers of the schools that receive Roma children seems to confirm the need and the interest of these people in finding tangible answers to the unsolved issue of the positive integration of Roma children in the educational system of the country.
The participants reached the conclusion that in order for the hope of change to exist for the integration of Roma children in the school, all involved need to join forces and to commonly approach the issue. The training continued till late, and ended with the decision to create a network in order to find joint solutions to the problems that concern the education of Roma youth, to share methods, approaches and best practices.
The training continued the 26th and the 27th of March, when ANTIGONE’s team involved in DARE-Net project met the educational staff of two other schools which accept Roma children to discuss with them the problems that they tackle and to suggest specific actions to be undertaken for guaranteeing the inclusion and participation of the Roma in the school environment. The meeting represented an occasion for stressing the focal role and responsibility of the schools in combating segregation practices.
More information on DARE-Net project are available on the website: http://www.dare-net.eu/index
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.