07 SES 13 B, Symposium in Roma Studies
Low school achievement and frequent dropout of Hungarian Roma students from primary education is mostly an effect of inadequate curriculum content and teaching methodology. Between 2004 and 2011, the UNESCO affiliated Research Centre for Multimedia in Education at ELTE University co-ordinated a series of learning experiments partnered with teaching staff and parents to develop developmental programs using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to enhance learning motivation and performance through the integration of mundane knowledge of students and recontextualised expert knowledge inherent in the national curriculum. Experiments involved primary schools in small villages with Roma student majority. Verbal and visual communication skills were developed through pair and group work during interdisciplinary activities based on music, arts and crafts traditionally present in Roma communities. Hungary is one between 12 European countries which has taken part in the Decade of Roma Inclusion, 2005-2015. However Hungarian policies developed an Action Plan to suppress marginalization of Roma, researchers doesn’t found a relevant effect in real life situations (Curcic, Miskovic, Plaut & Ceobanu, 2014). The need of desegregation has been supported by national and international institutions too but operationalisations of principles don’t show the expected results. Based on Rostas and Kotska (2014) conclusions the substantial changes needs an inclusive reform within our educational system. In Hungary, about 20 % of Roma attend segregated schools, most of which are small village institutions with multigrade arrangement. Multigrade schools are small, mostly primary schools with have undivided classes (usually for grades 1-2 and 3-4) with one teacher catering for the education of (at least) two age groups simultaneously (Brüggemann, 2012) These schools are characterised by poor infrastructure (a result of low local tax income), high fluctuation of teaching staff and “white flight”: the avoidance of Hungarian parents to enrol (or, if already enrolled, to withdraw) their children from schools with a high percentage of Roma students (Greenberg, 2010, Feinschmidt et al.). Our results prove that lack of motivation and perspective as well as factors resulting in low learning attainment may be overcome through culturally grounded, ICTs supported teaching and learning. Through staff development and curriculum enrichment, the two projects also contributed to integration: they supported the continuation of studies of students on secondary level institutions of their choice – a prerequisite for better chances on the labour market or in higher education.
Brüggemann, C. (2012) Roma Education in Comparative Perspective. Analysis of the UNDP/World Bank/EC Regional Roma Survey 2011. Roma Inclusion Working Papers. Bratislava: United Nations Development Programme. Curcic, Miskovic, Plaut & Ceobanu, 2014 Greenberg, J. (2010) Report on Roma education today: from slavery to segregation and beyond, Columbia Law Review, 110 (4), 919-1001. Feinschmidt, M., Messing, V. & Neményi, M. (2010). Ethnic differences in education in Hungary: community study. EDUMIGROM Community Studies. Budapest: Central European University. Kárpáti, A. (2004) Travellers in Cyberspace: ICTs in Hungarian Romani (Gypsy) Schools, in A. Kárpáti. (Ed) Promoting Equity through ICTs in Education. Paris: OECD, 141–156. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/32/23/31558662.pdf Retrieved: 1 October 2014. Kárpáti Andrea, Molnár, É. & Munkácsy, K. (2014): Pedagogising knowledge in Multigrade Roma schools – potentials and tensions of innovation. European Educational Research Journal, Special issue, Nistor, N., Curcic, S., & Brüggemann, C. (Eds.), “Education and Social Inclusion against Poverty: Policy, Praxis and Research on European Roma Minority”, 13 (3), 325-337. Kertesi, G., & Kézdi, G. (2005) Segregation in the Primary School System in Hungary. Causes and Consequences. Budapest: Roma Education Fund
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