UNICEF Montenegro releases study on educational obstacles for Roma and Egyptian children
PODGORICA, 21 June 2013 - UNICEF Montenegro today released the publication “Study on the Obstacles to Education in Montenegro: Roma and Egyptian Children.” This comprehensive report provides an in-depth insight into the problems faced by Roma and Egyptian children and their families relating to inclusion in compulsory education.
“No social problem is ever explained by a single cause,” says UNICEF Representative Benjamin Perks, “and the Study on Obstacles to Education in Montenegro is the first in the region to capture the multidimensional nature of this issue.”
According to the Census 2011, only about half Roma and Egyptian children are in primary school in Montenegro at any given time. Currently only a third will complete primary school, and only 7% will complete secondary school. Preschool, which improves Montenegrin language skills and prepares children to be more successful in primary school, attendance rates remain low. Such poor educational outcomes represent one of the major human rights challenges in Montenegro.
The “Study on the Obstacles to Education in Montenegro” provides data which will help the Government better monitor and evaluate the status of Roma and Egyptian children in the education system. The study is also a valuable supplement to general surveys on the Roma and Egyptian population in Montenegro.
As a pre-accession country, Montenegro aspires to meet specific European Union standards. The accession process includes implementing policies that eliminate obstacles Roma and Egyptian children face in accessing education.
Additionally, Montenegro has committed to the Millennium Development Goals, which include a stipulation that 100% of boys and girls will be enrolled in primary education by the year 2015, with special emphasis on the inclusion of children from marginalized groups and the prevention of early drop-out from the education system.
“Education is the key to breaking cycles of poverty and exclusion,” said UNICEF Representative Benjamin Perks. “It is the most effective way to integrate marginalized groups into society. However, sustainable improvements in Roma and Egyptian education outcomes can only be achieved by simultaneously addressing all obstacles.”
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