14 teachers, school principals and mediators from all over the country participated in a training offered by Terre des hommes Foundation, which took place in mid-January. The training was organised as part of the MIȘTO AVILEAN project (“Welcome”, in Romani language) and funded by the European Union through the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020). The aim of the training was to prevent any inclusion-related problems that Roma children may encounter at school, in Romania and other countries.
The course was led by prestigious trainers such as Cristian Pădure (PhD in Romani lingvistics at Sorbona), Dezideriu Gergely (European Consultant and Human Rights expert), and Alina Dumitru (education specialist and training coordinator at Terre des hommes Romania).
Teachers from various domains (religion, mathemathics, Romanian language, English language etc.) improved their knowledge on contemporary Romani identity, national and international anti-discriminatory legal aspects and learned how to adjust their teaching metods, in order to be more inclusive for vulnerable children. Moreover, they were advised on how to combat stereotypes and misconceptions and to promote an intercultural education that includes parents as well. Teachers have participated in intearctive exercises and learned how to make make school more inclusive. For instance, one of them recalled that he owes his career success to a teacher who had an interest in the Romani language. Both trainers and participants discussed about real-life situations in which they were discriminated against or when they witnessed discrimination.
The course was attended by preschool, primary and elementary teachers from 14 schools, where a high percentage of Roma pupils are enrolled. In the upcoming period, they are expected to deliver the main aspects presented during the training to at least 10 colleagues, so that the information reaches more people and in this way, they support an inclusive and non-discriminatory education for Roma children. The teachers came from various counties such as: Argeș, Bacău, Bihor, Caraș Severin, Constanța, Dolj, Galați, Ialomița, Iași, Maramureș, Mureș, Sălaj, Satu Mare, Vrancea, and they were selected after a careful review of all 60 received applications, as a result of a national promotion campaign.