Within the Study Visit of the Supporting Network for Early Childhood Roma – REYN of Ukraine, Republic of Serbia, which lasted from 04 to 08 December 2016, a series of activities were held which allowed for a variety of experiences from the work of institutions, organizations and individuals in the field of early development of Roma Children in order to increase the quality and accessibility of education and the implementation of measures of social and educational inclusion in Ukraine and the Republic of Serbia. This study visit is a collaboration between the “Step by Step” organization from Ukraine and the Association of Pedagogical Assistance Officers of Serbia, who, in addition to CIP – Center for Interactive Pedagogy from Belgrade and with the support of the Open Society Foundation, London and the Founded Society Foundation, Serbia REYNS – Support for early childhood Roma children in Serbia.
To this end, on December 5, 2016, the Round Table on “Exchange of experiences on the Social and Educational Inclusion of Roma in the Republic of Serbia and Ukraine – National Frames and Initiatives” was held, attended by representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Development, the Social Inclusion Group MPNTR RS, UNICEF Serbia, Center for Interactive Pedagogy, representatives of civil society organizations, significant individuals dealing with and acting in the field of education policies as well as other significant actors in the creation and implementation of social and educational inclusion at the national level.
After analyzing the national framework of the existing mechanisms and measures of support for Roma children in the educational process, it was necessary to lower the level of implementation and talk about the practices, problems and results of the local Roma support team. On the Round Table held in Kragujevac on 06 December 2016 at the Assembly of the City of Kragujevac, a representative team of representatives of local institutions and institutions was presented, and the Association of Serbian Pedagogical Assists as a Vocational Association and Civil Society Organizations gathered around a common idea of stronger incentives and support Implementation of local policies in the area of education and social inclusion. The guests from Ukraine presented their achievements and challenges in the work.
It could be concluded that similar challenges occur in Ukraine and that they are mostly related to the differences in the number of Roma women and men, the migration of families, the inability to create continuity in attendance, and the early “dropout” of children in the education system as well as the impact of early Marriages to abandon roma girls’ schooling. If inclusion was implemented somewhat differently in Ukraine, we had the opportunity to hear from representatives of educational institutions who talked about two separate models of inclusion as two different forms of teaching, while inclusion in Serbia developed as an approach to education.
It is also important to emphasize the common quality of work in the field of early childhood development and education related to the intersectoral approach, partnership and cooperation between the civil sector and the institutions (educational, health, educational institutions, preschool institutions and schools) both in the national and Local level. This is a model that has yielded good results and has opened up space for improving opportunities for early development of Roma children and therefore for increasing the availability and quality of services in the education system.
The content of the study visit is designed to provide an insight into all existing mechanisms and support packages for Roma children and to include all relevant actors in the educational process and implementation of social inclusion in different local environments.
The Association of Roma Braničevo district from Požarevac saw the role and significance of civil society organizations in the field of activities in order to improve the conditions and opportunities for early development of Roma children, comprehensive support during schooling and promotion of positive values on the importance of accessibility and quality of education for all children .
In the visit to the Prehistoric Institution “Đurđevdan” in Kragujevac talked about the organizational structure, ways of working and the additional possibilities that are used at the local level to support the implementation of the measure of social inclusion policy. Due to a good partnership and long-term co-operation, the preschool institution emphasized the importance of cooperation with the Toy Library as a local resource center for early development. The Toys Library as a program implementing the Roma-Romani educational-cultural community enables children from socially vulnerable groups to use didactic toys and materials that have a positive impact on early life development. This approach to development and education, with a focus on the importance of pre-school inclusion programs, has provided good results in terms of coverage, schoolchildren achievement and their socialization and integration into society.
During the visit to the Association of Pedagogical Assistance of Serbia, we spoke about the service of pedagogical assistance, the problems of legally unregulated status of pedagogical assistants, the visibility of the state, society and parents of the role of pedagogical as
And REYN Ukraine representatives attended primary school “Mika Mladenović” in Niš, which can boast of the excellent application of the pedagogical assistance service that in the school years backwards gives good access to the school Results. In accordance with the core values and goals of the international network, cooperation between and between Ukraine and Serbia is one of the ways in which the existing models in both states can be exchanged and promoted to promote and disseminate national networks within the International Network The Romani Early Years Network REYN) supported by the International Step by Step Association and the Open Society Foundations (London) Foundation, whose common goal is to contribute to a better and fairer position of Roma children in the education system by creating more favorable conditions for Their early development.