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The 7th National Encounter of Roma Students of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano brings together almost a hundred young people [editar]

In Madrid, on 7, 8 and 9 October, the meeting brought together students from different regions with whom the FSG works in its education programme: the Promociona

07/10/2022
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The 7th National Encounter of Roma Students of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano brings together almost a hundred young people

Fundación Secretariado Gitano (FSG) held the 7th edition of the National Encounter of Roma Students, bringing together 94 participants, mainly secondary school students but also those from post-compulsory levels, such as High School and vocational training. After two years of waiting, the face-to-face meeting was held again in Madrid.

59 Roma girls and 35 Roma boys from 43 different cities across Spain took part in the annual event organized by FSG as part of its educational programme Promociona. This programme, which has been running for more than 10 years, aims to help Roma students graduate from secondary education and pursue their studies. The Promociona programme has received important awards, including the 2016 National Education Award granted by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.

The educational situation of Roma students has improved in recent years. However, it is a fundamental right that is still not guaranteed for them. According to the most recent study of 2013, the gap that starts to open up before the end of compulsory secondary education, shows a flagrant situation of inequality in education: 6 out of 10 Roma students fail to graduate from secondary education.

The lack of expectations, educational segregation, the absence of Roma history and culture in textbooks, the invisibility of successful educational references and the digital gap, are some of the difficulties that are reducing and shortening the educational trajectories of Roma children.

Educational Encounters as a motivation to continue studying

These encounters provide a space for exchange, reflection and meetings between students who, in many cases, have to face barriers that other classmates do not have; they have to make a double effort to achieve good educational results. For most of them, this encounter is an educational opportunity to receive support and encouragement, and a chance to strengthen their personal growth.

For many of these young people it was the first time they had travelled without their families to an educational participation space. For many of them, it was an opportunity to enjoy Madrid together with other Roma young people, among whom they could find role models to follow and reinforce their enthusiasm to pursue their studies.

STEM skills as a working thread

The STEM competences and the visibility of Roma role-models in this field was the core theme around which the contents and all the programme were designed. This framework guides the reflection on the challenges, successes and priorities of the educational situation of Roma students, framed in the guarantee of rights and social justice.

On the one hand, Roma students themselves worked on the difficulties they face and on which tools should be used to narrow the digital gap they find in their educational pathways. On the other hand, they were able to see all those successful educational role-models that are making important contributions in the field of science and STEM skills. Robotics, virtual reality and 3D printing were the subjects of specific workshops to bring Roma students closer to technologies and to their possibilities in the real world.

Participation in the educational life of the school was another of the issues addressed. The channels and spaces for participation that the school and the educational context offer should also be led by Roma students and their families.

 

This encounter has facilitated access to educational networks that welcome and connect more and more young Roma people who are firmly committed to education, even in an educational context that, although striving to be increasingly inclusive, continues to be harder for some students compared to others. Most of the Roma students taking part in the project, will graduate from compulsory secondary education and will continue their post-compulsory education. This will also lead to a better educational scenario for future generations.

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