Quality inclusive education package

Making sure all children go to school is essential for their chances to thrive.

Our programme aims to ensure that all children start school at the right age, stay in school and learn to their maximum potential, to be prepared for life and employment.
UNICEF/UN1/Gonzalo Bell

The challenge

Many children are still out of school

Not having access to quality inclusive education drastically limits children’s chances to fulfil their potential, to learn essential life skills and to earn a living once grown up.

Although the situation of children in Romania has steadily improved over the past 28 years, challenges persist. For too many children, accessing quality education is an everyday challenge due to factors such as poverty, discrimination or lack of support from parents and the community. As of today:

* Almost 400,000 children are out of school;

* Only four in five children complete grade eight and seven in 10 complete high-school or vocational training;

* One in four Roma children learns in segregated classes;

* Many children with disabilities do not go to school – their chance of completing compulsory education is less likely than their peers;

* Four in ten 15-year-old students barely write, read and count – pointing to unacceptable gaps in quality;

* One in five adolescents and young people do not go to school, receive no vocational or other training and thus cannot find employment.

Making sure all children go to school is essential for their chances to thrive.

Such statistics do not appear overnight. They expand with every child who doesn’t go to kindergarten, with every class skipped. For many children, school is too far away, their families struggle with poverty or need them to stay home to look after their siblings. Some children feel discriminated against or excluded by teachers or classmates. Many parents don’t feel comfortable interacting with teachers, others think education is not important.

Children most at risk of dropping out of school come from rural areas, poor families, Roma communities or live with a disability.

The drop-out rate is three times higher in rural areas than in urban ones.

Roma children are six times less likely than other children to complete secondary education.

The causes are diverse:

  • insufficient funds, standards, tools or methodologies;
  • lack of training among teachers and school managers;
  • parents who don’t understand the benefits of education;
  • inadequate or poor parents-teacher communication and partnership;
  • weak involvement of parents and caregivers in school life;
  • discrimination against Roma people, children with disabilities and girls;
  • violence against children such as violent discipline being generally tolerated.

The sooner children drop out, the harder it is for them as young people to find work, to make ends meet and later send their own children to school. This perpetuates poverty from generation to generation.

Smiley visiting a vulnerable family
UNICEF in Romania/ Anamaria Dinulescu

All of us dreaming about having a beautiful country must know that we can only obtain it if all children go to school and learn, to achieve their full potential!

Smiley, National Ambassador for UNICEF in Romania.

The solution

To address the above challenges UNICEF in Romania has developed a solution making the best use of existing local resources, and creating stronger links between families, schools and communities.

Our programme aims to ensure that all children start school at the right age, stay in school and learn to their maximum potential, to be prepared for life and employment. To achieve this, we developed a school-family-community partnership for child participation and support. We have been implementing this program since 2014, in 51 schools in the county of Bacau.

QIE is designed for all students and schools, but it focuses on the most vulnerable children and most disadvantaged schools.

Our intervention focuses on:

* training school managers and teachers to better support each child;

* providing better teaching methods and skills;

* partnering with families and supporting them to improve their parenting skills;

* strengthening children’s self-esteem and raising their educational aspirations;

* improving parents-teacher communication;

* enhancing community support for education.

Philippe Cori, Deputy Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, and Valentin Vieru, Mayor of Moinesti, after signing a partnership agreement for a community center
UNICEF/Gabriel Vockel
Philippe Cori, Deputy Regional Director, Europe and Central Asia, and Valentin Vieru, Mayor of Moinesti, after signing a partnership agreement for a community center

Best results come when the school and mayoralty work together with the family, in the interest of children.

Results

According to an independent mid-term review of the programme, QIE has achieved impressive results. It has already:

  • prevented 83% of at-risk children from dropping out;
  • improved school participation for 67% of children at risk of dropout;
  • improved school performance for 53% of children;
  • made functional a model of support for vulnerable families integrating education and local governance.

Going to school makes ending poverty possible. Quality Inclusive Education needs to be scaled nationally to the benefit of all children in Romania.

The cost of implementing the Quality Inclusive Education Package is 84 euros per student per year during the first school year and of 32 euros thereafter. As a UNICEF study has shown, not investing in education results in far higher costs, both in terms of loss of human potential as well as in terms of investments of public finance. Investing in quality education for all children is a smart investment.

 

Resources

The Quality Inclusive Education Package in more details

Take a moment to read about our efforts in making The Quality Inclusive Education Package available to all children of Romania. We update these resources regularly, to reflect our work to date and the progress made.

The Quality Inclusive Education Package in more details available here.  

News from our work in communities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C81IESiE1tY – UNICEF   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Zf_SP6GSJo

How the life of this community changed for the better with a bit of help - http://unicef.ro/serviciicomunitarepentrucopii/en/new/can-you-be-friends-with-800-children-or-what-is-the-job-of-the-school-councilor-40