Pre-Primary Education of Roma Children in Serbia: Barriers and Possibilities

  • Sunčica Macura-Milovanović
Keywords: Roma children, Pre-primary education, Comprehensive community-based programmes, Serbia

Abstract

In Serbia, as in the other countries of the Western Balkans and South-Eastern Europe, the most disadvantaged communities belong to the Roma minority. The present paper demonstrates the conditions of Roma preschool  children in Serbia: primarily their early education, but also habitation and health in Roma settlements. The data highlight the under-representation
of Roma children in pre-primary education, although their growing up in extremely deprived settlements would suggest a need for their earliest possible inclusion in pre-primary services. The paper analyses the following barriers to the access of Roma children to the system of pre-primary education: the poverty of Roma families; discrimination and prejudice towards Roma; the lack of intercultural provision; insufficient inter-sectorial cooperation; the underdeveloped network of preschool institutions; and the absence of kindergartens in Roma settlements. In addition, possible ways to increase the coverage of Roma children in pre-primary education are discussed. As a transitory solution, the paper proposes comprehensive 
community-based programmes that could contribute to the education, care, health and overall development of young Roma children before their inclusion in desegregated programmes in preschool institutions. 

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Baucal, A., & Stojanović, J. (2010). Indicators of equal access for quality education for Roma, Belgrade: Fund for Open Society Serbia.

Bennett, J. (2012). Roma Early Childhood Inclusion. The RECI Overview Report. Open Society Foundations, Roma Education Fund and UNICEF. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.
opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/Roma-Early-Childhood-Inclusion-Report-20120813.pdf

Chambers, B., Cheung, A., Slavin, R., Smith, D., & Laurenzabo, M. (2010). Effective early childhood education programmes: A best-evidence synthesis. CfBT Education Trust. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.cfbt.com/

European Commission. (2009). Early Childhood and Care Education: Key lessons from research to policy makers. An independent report submitted to the European Commission by the NESSE networks of experts. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.nesse.fr/nesse/activities/reports/ecec-report-pdf

Eurydice Network. (2009). Tackling Social and Cultural Inequalities through Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe. Brussels: Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

Farran, D. C. (2000). Another decade of intervention for children who are low income or disa bled: What do we know now? In J. P. Shonkoff & S. J. Meisels (Eds.), Handbook of early childhood
intervention (Second edition; pp. 510-548). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Heckman, J. J. (2006). Skill formation and the economics of investing in disadvantaged children. Science, (5728), 1901-1902.

HighScope. (2004). Transcript of audio news briefing on the HighScope Perry Preschool study age 40 findings. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=253

Ivić, I., Pesikan, A., & Jankov, R. (2010). Report of Consultants on the DILS (Delivery of Improved Local Services) Projects in Education. Credit No.7510-YF. Belgrade: Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Serbia.

Leseman, P. P. M. (2009). The impact of high quality education and care on the development of young children: review of the literature. In Tackling Social and Cultural Inequalities through Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe (pp. 17-49). Brussels: Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

Lynch, R. G. (2005). Early childhood investments yields big payoff. Policy Perspectives. San Francisco, CA: WestED.

Living Standards Measurement Study Serbia 2002–2007 (2008). Belgrade: Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, The World Bank & Department for International Development.

Macura-Milovanović, S. (2006). Otroci iz Deponije. Pedagoški vidiki vključevanja romksih otrok v izobraževalni sistem-analiza akcijskega eksperimenta. Ljubljana: Faculty of Education.

Macura-Milovanović, S., Tatić-Janevski, S., Kovačević, M., & Arsić, M. (2010). Ogled izbliza: socijalnopedagoški aspekti rada sa romskom decom i roditlejima u naselju Deponija. [The
perspective of social pedagogical work with Roma children and parents in the Deponija settlement]. In S. Macura Milovanović (Ed.), Socijalna pedagogija u nastajanju – traženje odgovora na problem društveno isključenih grupa (pp. 191-209). Jagodina: Faculty of Education in Jagodina.

Macura Milovanović, S., Batarelo Kokić, I., Džemidžić Kristiansen, S., Gera, I., Ikonomi, E., Kafedžić, L., Milić, T., Rexhaj, X., Spasovski, O., & Closs, A. (2013). Dearth of early education experience: a significant barrier to educational and social inclusion in the Western Balkans. International Journal of Inclusive Education. doi:10.1080/13603116.2012.756948

McClelland, M. M., Acock, A. C., & Morrison, F. J. (2006). The impact of kindergarten learningrelated skills on academic trajectories at the end of elementary school. Early Childhood Research
Quarterly, 21, 471-490.

Mitrović, A. (1992). Romska staništa u Srbiji. [Roma settlements in Serbia]. Belgrade: Godišnjak instituta za socijalnu politiku.

OECD. (2006). Starting Strong II: Early Childhood Education and Care. Paris: OECD.

Open Society Foundations. (2007). Equal Access to Quality Education For Roma, Serbia: Vol. 1: Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Serbia. Monitoring report. Open Society Institute, EU Monitoring and advocacy Programme. Education Support Programme. Roma Participation Programme.

Pantić, N., Closs, A., & Ivošević. V. (2010). Teachers for the future. Teacher development for inclusive education in the Western Balkans. Torino: European Training Foundation.

Pešikan, A. & Ivić, I. (2009). Obrazovanjem protiv siromaštva: Analiza uticaja uvođenja pripremnog predškolskog programa u Srbiji, Vlada Republike Srbije, Tim potpredsednika Vlade za implementaciju SSS i Ministrastvo prosvete RS.

Rosenthal, M. K. (1999). Out-of-home child care research: A cultural perspective. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 23(2), 477-518

Save the Children. (2001). Denied a future? Summary. London: Save the children.

Serbia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey MICS 4 2010. (2011). Preliminary Findings. Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia and UNICEF. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.unicef.rs/novosti/istrazivanje-visestrukih-pokazatelja-stanja-i-polozaja-dece-i-zena-u-srbiji-ukazuje-na-napredak.html

Serbia Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey MICS 3 2005 – Monitoring the situation of children and women. (2006). Statistical Office of the Republic of Serbia, Strategic Marketing and UNICEF.
Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.childinfo.org/files/MICS3_Serbia_FinalReport_2005-06_Eng.pdf

Sylva, K., Melhuish, E., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I., & Taggart, B. (2004). The Effective Provision of Preschool Education (EPPE) Project: Findings from Preschool to end of Key Stage 1. London: Institute of Education.

Strategy for the improvement of the status of Roma in the Republic of Serbia (2009). Belgrade: The Ministry of Human and Minority Rights.

The Law on Preschool education (2010). National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia. Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia, No 18/2010.

UNICEF. (2007). The state of children in Serbia 2006. Poor and excluded children. Belgrade: UNICEF. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.unicef.org/serbia/State_of_Children_in_
Serbia_2006_1-56(1).pdf

UNICEF. (2011). Women Motherhood Early Childhood Development. Exploring the question of how poor Roma women’s status and situation influences children’s survival, growth and development. Retrieved January 31 2013 from http://www.unicef.org/serbia/Women_Motherhood-07-21-2011-final-WEB(3).pdf

Živković, V. (2012). Roma parents’ perception of barriers to inclusion of Roma children in pre-primary education. [Percepcija roditelja romske nacionalnosti o preprekama uključivanju dece u sistem predškolskog obrazovanja i vaspitanja]. MA thesis. Faculty of Education in Jagodina, University of Kragujevac.
Published
2013-06-30
How to Cite
Macura-Milovanović, S. (2013). Pre-Primary Education of Roma Children in Serbia: Barriers and Possibilities. Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal, 3(2), 9-28. https://doi.org/10.26529/cepsj.237