Activity 1 - Research in Education

Activity 1 - Research for identifying European good practices and development of relevant information materials

Expected result: An analysis of European good practices in terms of implementing pro-active measures to prevent and combat discrimination

Expected value: At least 10 examples of good practices from 5 U.E. experienced countries

Realized value: Non-discrimination in the educational system - examples of good practices at European level. Report by Isabelle Chopin, Barbara Cohen, Romanita Iordache (experts of Council of Europe)

Summary
• Areas in which practices / promising have been identified
• Data collection
• Mentoring and and after school programmes/homework groups
• Citizenship education including eradication of bullying
• Training teachers and educational personnel at every level on equality and non-discrimination
• Provision of kindergarten and impact on later school experiences
• Work with Roma/other minority parents on supporting their children’s education
• Programmes of interventions and positive action to secure greater integration and educational opportunities of Roma children
• Inclusive education: national legislation and established practices for the educational inclusion and non-discrimination of children with physical and/or mental disabilities
• Conclusion - lessons relevant in the Romanian context

Presentation:
The present study is a part of the project “Strengthening anti -discriminatory measures at national level through large participation of professionals and civil society” carried out by the Romanian National Council for Combating Discrimination (NCCD), together with the Council of Europe, Directorate General II – Democracy, Democratic Citizenship and Participation, as a part of the programme “Children and Youth at Risk and Local and Regional Initiatives to Reduce National Inequalities and to Promote Social Inclusion” within the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014.
While the overall programme objective is preventing and combating discrimination at all levels in Romania, this project’s purpose is to contribute to the development of Romania’s national strategy to prevent and combat discrimination for the period 2014-2020.

The more specific objective of the present study is to identify and describe European good practices relating to non-discrimination and equality of opportunity within the field of education, which might be relevant for the legal and institutional context in Romania.

The underlying understanding of the study is that discrimination is learned and therefore can be unlearned. While discrimina on occurs in many diff erent areas, because of its poten al impact across the whole of society, the fi eld of educa on should be an eff ec ve entry point for tackling discrimina on and eff ec vely building a more inclusive, more equal society.

The basic concept of the study lies in the principle that discrimination is learned and therefore can be unlearned. While discrimination occurs in many different areas, because of its potential impact across the whole of society, the field of education should be an effective entry point for tackling discrimination and effectively building a more inclusive, more equal society.

Education was prioritised as the focus for our research because in which in spite of the ratification by Romania of all relevant international and European human rights standards, and in spite of progressive language in the Romanian legislation and a declared commitment by the NCCD and the courts to respond to discrimination in education (particularly on grounds of ethnicity, including Roma origin, and on grounds of disability), Romania has not yet met the challenge of ensuring substantive equality and guaranteeing the full enjoyment of the right to education in all its aspects and for all children. Segregation is prohibited in an Order and a Notification of the Ministry of Education, but not in the framework anti -discrimination or education legislation. Accessibility, allthough mentioned in the legislation on the rights of persons with disabilities, remains unachieved as positive obligation of the authorities. Discriminatory atitudes in relation to Roma children and children with disabilities remain pervasive as shown by the complaints filled both with the NCCD and with the courts and by the regular atitudes’ and perceptions’ surveys conducted by the NCCD.

There were studied different models of pro-actively preventing and combating discrimination in education in other countries across Europe in order to identify successful practices which triggered encouraging results and might provide some food for thought for Romania in the context of the new strategy and of future legal and policy initiatives on education.