(i) After-school support: The Project has designed and successfully implemented an effective model for after-school support through Education Centres (ECs) with two principal objectives: (i) decrease dropout rates and (ii) increase the quality of education. This program is run in 20 locations, representing nearly two thirds of all after-school support programs in Kosovo, providing direct support to approximately 1,000 primary school children annually, which represent 15% of the total number of children from these communities enrolled in primary and lower secondary education.
This intervention, with focus on the students and their specific needs, is implemented with support of Teacher’s Assistants and with the active participation of parents and teachers on the regular school premises. The activity in Education Centres has been evaluated as impactful with regards to preventing school dropout, providing educational and material support to children who do not receive such help at home, improving school attendance and performance in two main school subjects: Albanian/Serbian language and Mathematics. Both Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian parents and teachers have expressed a positive assessment of the impact of ECs on the educational achievement of participating children.
In light of this success, the Project has taken a pro-active approach to advocate for the uptake of the model by central and local government institutions. Strategic coalitions are discussed with peer civil society organizations (CSOs) in order to further promote and institutionalize this approach. The advocacy activities are successful at the local level, whereas 11 strategic MoUs have been signed with municipal departments for education, which agreed to integrate the after school support programs within school premises, as well as co-finance its work and operations. Whilst at the national level, MEST has adopted the Administrative Instruction for Establishment and Functioning of ECs, however, the Project faced challenges in delaying the development of mechanisms and modalities which will put this sub-legal act into practice.
(ii) Scholarships and mentoring: Between 2013 and 2016, the Project Consortium has upgraded and successfully implemented the Scholarship and mentoring program, given that 270 scholarships were awarded in 2013/14 whereas 500 scholarships were awarded in 2016/17. Given the poor socio-economic situation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian families, which often negatively affects the continuation of upper secondary education of children, the scholarships and mentoring programs are contributing to improved access to secondary education through financial support in the form of an annual scholarships in the amount of 300 EUR to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian upper secondary school students. This component is supplemented with coaching and mentoring activities, which provide these children with further support, fostering their motivation to pursue higher education.
The Scholarship and mentoring program has been highly appreciated by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST), which agreed to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation with VoRAE in 2014 in order to set the grounds for their involvement. This partnership has attracted other agencies to join, such as the Roma Education Fund and Kosovo Foundation for Open Society, which helped build a National Secondary School Scholarship Program for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian secondary school students, which in 2016-2017 school year awarded 500 annual scholarships. The share of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to the overall budget for scholarships is 40% in 2016/17, compared to 10% in 2014/15. Since 2015 the management of the scholarship program is under the full responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The institutionalisation of this project component is one of the most notable achievements of the Project.
Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians are often victims of racial and social discrimination without equal access to education, employment, housing and other services. Our projects target specifically those challenges.
The intervention aims to reduce the educational achievement gap through the provision of after-school support, scholarships, mentoring and tutoring and with inclusion of parents in education of their children. Project also aims to institutionalize the good models of intervention
The intervention aims to improve the living conditions and living standards by ensuring access to water and sanitation and access to functional bathroom with hot and running water through a dweller driven house up-grading model of approach.
Through vocational and professional education, the intervention aims to build capacities of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians so they can be more competitive in the labor market. In addition, it also aims to reaching equal access to employment opportunities