The government is trying out a cunning plan in an endeavour to get Roma families to put their children through school, by offering higher social allowances to them depending on school attendance and performance.
The plan, given a green light by the government today, could see the contributions they receive at present almost double and in the end motivate the children to good results and attendance. The plan covering the period up to 2015 replaces an earlier 10-year plan that was all but defunct.
Thanks to co-operation of the Roma plenipotentiary, NGOs, and various involved ministries, the plan tackles various key ways of assisting the Roma, with goals like having at least 50% of 3-6 yr-olds prepared to a certain level before starting school. Another aspect is to offer Roma parents the option of having their children learn the proper Romani language in school, where practicable.
The effort to achieve the goal of increasing attendance and producing better school results is being driven by various financial incentives for parents through allowances for meals, materials, secondary school bursaries and a special allowance to get 16-19 yr old unemployed to go back and finish school.
The plan will also deal with the issue of adult education, trying to encourage adults to raise their literacy and learn new skills, like how to use a PC.