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SKOPJE, 6 March 2014:  “All Roma children in school and learning” is the goal of a new programme supported by UNICEF, the Bureau for Education Development and NGO Macedonian Civic Organization to further improve inclusion of Roma children in primary education. 

The programme was launched at a kick off meeting with teachers and directors of primary schools, education advisors and inspectors to discuss the main components of the initiative. 

Recognising recent gains in Roma children primary school attendance – up from 61 per cent in 2005 to 86 per cent in 2011 - the programme will focus on further improving attendance, providing support to keep child in school and improve learning achievements in mathematics and literacy.

“Inclusion is not just about enrolment statistics, it is also about keeping children in school and learning,” said Ms. Rajae Msefer Berrada, UNICEF Deputy Representative.

According to UNICEF studies Roma children have considerably lower learning achievements compared to other students. 

“Some Roma children need specific support to compensate for the lack of family support. If the issue is not addressed in the first grades it will accumulate and make it difficult to improve at upper grades,” said Ms. Nora Sabani, UNICEF Education Specialist. 

The “Inclusion of Roma children in education” programme is part of UNICEF support to reforms in the education sector to improve access to quality education and student learning, especially for the most marginalized children. 

With funding from a regional Austrian Development Agency project, seven primary schools with a high number of Roma students will be supported to establish strategies for working with the most marginalized children.  

While focusing on Roma children, the programme will also help schools address the requirements of other children with special education needs, including children with disabilities.

Teachers and school personnel will receive training to better deliver differentiated teaching, “out of class” support and engage parents and the community.

NGO Macedonian Civic Organization will conduct baseline study on current school practices and data on student learning outcomes. 

The seven schools participating in the programme include  “11 Oktomvri”, Kumanovo, “Djordji Sugare”, Bitola, “Dobre Jovanovski”, Prilep, “Dimitar Vlahov”, Stip, “Edinstvo”, Gostivar, “Naim Fraseri”, Tetovo and “Brakja Ramiz i Hamid”, Suto Orizari.

For more information, please contact: Suzie Pappas Capovska, UNICEF Skopje (02) 3231-150 (ext: 127), 072 236 725 or or Irina Ivanovska (02) 3231-150 (ext: 107), 072 236 722 or




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