Joint position of civil society organizations following discussion table with CSOs on the functioning of learning centers / supplementary classes
In view of the large number of children of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities faced daily with numerous challenges in achieving due results in school, and their high dropout numbers, representatives of civil society organizations from all over Kosovo came together on 15 March 2017 in Prishtina, on invitation by the Project “Kosovo Integration Initiative 2020 – KOSINT 2020” and the Project “Kosovo Education and Employment Network – KEEN”, to discuss about the functioning of learning centers or supplementary classes, which provide additional instruction and other activities for students with low performance at school from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities as well as other communities in need.
The discussion table was jointly organized by KOSINT 2020 and KEEN, and participants included the implementing partners of both these projects, member organizations of their respective networks, as well as representatives from other organizations that work on issues concerning the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities.
During discussions at the table the main causes for the current situation were laid forth, such as deep poverty, the very low awareness of parents about the role and importance of education, the high level of unemployment of parents etc. Attendants at the discussion table brought their years of experience with learning centers / supplementary classes, emphasizing achievements as well as lingering challenges, the core obstacle being some form of institutional support to guarantee sustainability of such a system of additional assistance for the children. While highlighting the necessity of overcoming these challenges, participants spoke about the difficulties encountered in their daily work, and offered recommendations about the modalities that would ensure the rightful functioning and proper workflow in learning centers / supplementary classes.
Following an intense session of open and direct discussions, participants jointly asserted that the main cause for the current gridlock in many aspects of functioning of learning centers / supplementary classes is the lack of consensus among CSOs regarding the establishment of a unified approach towards such functioning. This assertion constitutes a positive starting point towards determining institutional support for this issue.
The participating organizations at the discussion table agreed to cooperate constructively towards establishing modalities to guarantee effective and sustainable functioning of learning centers / supplementary classes. Specifically, the representatives of these CSOs agreed to work together in drafting a bylaw, in the form of an Administrative Instruction, which would legally stipulate the following elements regarding the learning centers / supplementary classes, as well as related aspects thereof:
- The designation
- The program content
- The criteria for the recruitment of staff, the description of their duties and qualifications
- The funding and staff compensation
- Procedures for the modus operandi
- Performance assessment.
The following organizations pledge to work together on the above commitments in order to prepare within three months (no later than 15 June 2017) a joint document and submit it as a proposal to the Government of the Republic of Kosovo:
- Kosova Education Center (KEC)
- Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians (VoRAE)
- Terre des Hommes (Tdh)
- Kosovo Open Society Foundations (KFOS)
- Balkan Sunflowers Kosova (BSFK)
- Roma & Ashkalia Documentation Center (RADC)
- Syri i Vizionit
- The Ideas Partnership (TIP)
- Advancing Together
- Health for All
- Nevo Koncepti
- Vision 02
- Iniciativa 6
- Bethany Christian Services (BChS)
- People in Need (PIN)
- Caritas Kosova
- Durmish Aslano
- Students Helping Life Kosova (SHL Kosova)
- Kosovo Agency for Advocacy and Development (KAAD)
- Network of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women’s Organizations of Kosovo (RROGRAEK)