Roma in Europe: How to fight social exclusion through education
Many of the estimated 10 to 12 million Roma in Europe face prejudice, intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion in their daily lives. The ETF participated in the fifth meeting of the Integrated European Platform for Roma Inclusion in Budapest on 7-8 April 2011. The event was organised in the framework of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU.
The participants discussed actions in marginalized rural communities, desegregation measures to ensuring equal access to resources and services.
‘The research the ETF conducted in the Western Balkans points to a particularly complex situation for the Roma as an ethnic minority,' said Lida Kita, an ETF expert who specializes in the questions of social inclusion.
‘The upholding of ethnic and linguistic minority rights e.g., the right to a linguistically and culturally sensitive curriculum and environment, and the right to education in the mother tongue, has sometimes inadvertently led to educational and social segregation with the highest influence among Roma.’
Ms Kita, who took part in the conference, said that Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian ‘face long-standing multifaceted disadvantages: stigmatisation of groups and individuals such as Roma are accepted by too many people in societies and, as some sociologists assert, also in schools, where harmful social norms are inevitably replicated in the education system.’
The meeting, attended by the representatives from the EU Member States and the candidate countries, EU institutions, international organizations, Roma civil society and academia, provided an opportunity to present recent EU initiatives of the EU: the resolution of the European Parliament on EU Roma strategy and the European Commission's communication on EU framework for national Roma integration strategies.
The Commission’s communication covers also the Western Balkans and Turkey. Due to the wars in the Balkan region, many Roma families had to move as displaced persons to other countries in the region or to Western Europe. In Turkey, Roma groups are diverse, but a large proportion suffers from multidimensional social exclusion.
The ETF provides information and analysis on access to education and training by marginalised groups, including Roma, in the EU enlargement region. The ETF explore how education and training impact on social exclusion in culturally diverse societies and how to develop and implement long-term, sustainable policies in this field.
Find out more
Documents of the Fifth Meeting of the European Platform for Roma Inclusion
Read about ETF conference on challenges to social inclusion in the Western Balkans and Turkey (4 April 2011)
Photo: Romani flag
Put simply, lifelong learning means that people can – and should have the opportunity to – learn throughout their lives.
Increased labour mobility across borders brings the skills issue onto the international agenda so the ETF also focuses on policy actions related to skills and employment of both emigrants and returnees.
The ETF aims to develop the capacity of partner country institutions and other stakeholders in developing, monitoring and reviewing policies in the areas of entrepreneurial learning and enterprise skills.
“Employment”: promoting better functioning and inclusive labour markets and vocational education and training systems in ETF partner countries.
The ETF's role in qualifications is to provide expertise for the reform of qualifications systems in partner countries, in their various stages of planning and implementation.
Teachers are a critical factor in education reforms. The ETF takes therefore the role of schools and teachers seriously throughout its work.
Quality assurance is provided through the development of methodological instruments to facilitate a structured policy learning process, integrating quality assurance principles, and reinforcing the quality assurance dimension in the Torino Process.
Governance modes and models have a high correlation with the overall performance of education and training policies, influencing their strategic formulation and implementation.