Bratislava, July 16 (TASR) – Teaching assistants and other coordinators of inclusive education might be engaged in nursery schools in towns and villages with Roma communities as early as of September, Government Proxy for the Roma Community Abel Ravasz (Most-Hid) told media on Monday when presenting a new nationwide project called ‘Support for Pre-primary Education of Children from Marginalised Roma Communities’.
Ravasz believes that the project will lead to more Roma children undergoing pre-school education.
“If we increase Roma children’s chances of reaching the level of their majority-community classmates in the first grades, we’ll significantly reduce intercultural tension, but chiefly give these children a chance of obtaining an education that is of key importance for improving the quality of life in these communities,” stated Ravasz.
“The project will take place in a group of 150 towns and villages that have been included in the under-development index in the Roma Community Atlas. A nursery school must admit at least five children from a marginalised Roma community as of the new school year to qualify. Local governments will decide if a particular nursery school can take part if there are several of them in a given village. “The cost of teaching assistants and other professionals, such as specialist pedagogues, psychologists and speech specialists will be refunded to nursery schools,” stated Ravasz. “Their role will be to help to implement inclusive education so that pupils aren’t selected for classes based on their ethnicity, disabilities or language,” he said.
Ravasz expects 400-500 assistants and professionals to be engaged in the project. “We expect one assistant be employed in smaller nursery schools and two in larger ones,” said Ravasz, adding that he believes that the project will be sustainable long term.