Teachers from VSTLI - Omurtag Trained in Working with Roma Pupils

The entire teaching staff of the Vocational School of Transport and Light Industry - Omurtag took part in a training seminar on working in multicultural environment and techniques for preventing school dropout of Roma children. The training was held from 25 to 27 November in the town of Lyaskovetz and was organized by the Centre "Amalipe" as part of the project "Together at school and in our free time" of the Vocational School under Operational Programme "Human Resource Development".

By means of combination of lectures and interactive games, the participants got familiar with facts from Romani history and culture, discussed which Roma groups are available upon the territory of Omurtag municipality, the group specific attitudes to education in different towns and villages in the region. Particular interest was shown as to the methods and means applied to retain Roma children in schools as part of the activity plan of the project "Decreasing the Dropout Rate of Roma Students" implemented by Amalipe center in 96 schools across the country. At the end of training, the participants drew up a plan for each student at risk of dropping out from their school, and for involvement of Roma parents in school life.

In Vocational School of  Transport and Light Industry - Omurtag over 200 students are taught, nearly one third of them are Roma young people from Omurtag, Belomortsi, Kamburovo and other towns in the region. Dropping out is a serious issue, especially among Roma girls. To prevent dropout, VSTLI has undertaken comprehensive measures, including provision of free transport, the introduction of the optional culture classes "Ethnic Folklore – Roma Folklore," Inclusion of the Roma students in the Youth Parliament, work with each individual at risk of dropping out. CIDT Amalipe is a partner of the school in this effort.