Back

A project co-funded by the EU is to foster the inclusion in education of Roma children in Barcelona through dialogue between families and schools

A project co-funded by the EU is to foster the inclusion in education of Roma children in Barcelona through dialogue between families and schools

It is a collaboration between GRITIM-UPF, the Pere Closa Foundation and the Rromane Siklǒvne cultural association, with the support of Barcelona City Council. It aims to create a model of good practices and transfer the knowledge acquired to other places and groups.

19.04.2017

Vakeripen (‘conversation’, in Romany language). Roma inclusion in education: fostering constructive attitudes and good practices in the Barcelona area” is the title of a project that combines qualitative research and social work. Its main goal is to improve both practical aspects and knowledge about building sustainable working models against exclusion, school failure and dropping out among the Roma people.

The project, which was launched in January 2017 and will last for eighteen months, is a collaboration between the Interdisciplinary Research Group on Immigration (GRITIM-UPF), the Pere Closa private foundation, and the Rromane Siklǒvne (Roma students) cultural association in the Bon Pastor district, and has the support of Barcelona City Council. It is part of a competitive call within the European Union’s “Rights, Equality and Citizenship” programme and is endowed with close to 250,000 euros, of which the community institution is funding 80%, the remaining 20% ​​being provided by the University.

Vakeripen” will arrange forums for teacher training, dialogue and exchange between Roma families and representatives of the Roma community, schools and the local authorities in the Barcelona area, guided by the principle of reciprocity. According to the research, which confirms the key role of teacher training and parental involvement in the children’s performance at school, the project is designed to establish lasting and constructive channels of communication between Roma families and schools.

Workshops involving all stakeholders

For a year, from March 2017 to March 2018, the project will include a series of workshops in four districts of the metropolitan area: Bon Pastor, la Mina, Hostafrancs (Barcelona) and San Roc (Badalona), which will involve school personnel and Roma families (primary school children and their parents), as well as other educational promoters of these districts.

The collaborators with GRITIM-UPF, the Pere Closa Foundation and Rromane Siklǒvne, who will act as moderators and observers during these meetings, will also foster the creation of an initial contact between the university and the Roma students to convey its accessibility and proximity. 

In addition, through these activities, spokespersons will be recruited from the Roma communities who will represent them before Barcelona City Council in dialogue and information sessions about the concerns of these communities and resources provided by the Council on equality and non-discrimination issues.

Specific goals and the creation of a model of good practices by GRITIM-UPF

The project’s three specific goals are as follows: firstly, to raise awareness among school teachers to fight against negative stereotypes about Roma families, as well as to improve the efforts by schools to prevent dropping out and failure at school among Roma children and young people; secondly, to prevent dropping out and failure and to promote a positive attitude towards education by raising the awareness of Roma families (mothers and fathers); and thirdly, to create a platform for regular dialogue between the Roma communities and local authorities in Barcelona, to respond better to the concerns of this group.

Once the project is completed, and by creating a model of good practices regarding Roma integration in education by the GRITIM-UPF researchers, it is expected to be able to transfer the knowledge acquired to other regions or countries, and also to be able to apply it to other affected groups.

The GRITIM-UPF members involved in the project are Zenia Hellgren (as project manager and principal researcher); Ricard Zapata-Barrero (as a principal investigator and director of the research group); Lorenzo Gabrielli (as a researcher), and Evren Yalaz (coordinator).