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Focus on Roma and Egyptian children - UNICEF Montenegro / Ipsos - 2013 ...

Focus on Roma and Egyptian children - UNICEF Montenegro / Ipsos - 2013

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    Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro Document Transcript

    • STUDY ON THE OBSTACLES TOEDUCATION IN MONTENEGROFocus on Roma and Egyptian children1Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroStudy prepared by:Ipsos Strategic Marketing, Belgrade, SerbiaReport prepared by:• Ana Delić• Milica Erić• Milena Lazić• Predrag KurčubićExpert editing:• Caroline Milena Sykora June, 2013
    • Study prepared by:Ipsos Strategic Marketing, Belgrade, Serbia© United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)June 2013Permission to reproduce any part of this publication is required. Please contactUNICEF Montenegro (Vladike Danila 28, 20 000 Podgorica, Montenegro, Tel: +382 20224 277; Fax: +382 20 224 278; E-mail: podgorica@unicef.org).Permissions will be freely granted to educational or non-profit organizations.The statements in this publication are the views of the authors and do notnecessarily reflect the policies or the views of UNICEF.Photography:UNICEF Montenegro/Zoran Jovanović MaccakUNICEF Montenegro/Risto BožovićPhotography on the cover:UNICEF Montenegro/Zoran Jovanović MaccakProofreading:Peter StonelakeTranslation:Ipsos Strategic Marketing, Belgrade, SerbiaDesign & Prepress:Praxis Montenegro d.o.o.Print:DPC d.o.o.Circulation:200 copies2
    • CONTENTFOREWORD ....................................................................................................................................5ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS ..............................................................................................7INTRODUCTION ..............................................................................................................................8METHODOLOGY............................................................................................................................10DETERMINANT ANALYSIS FRAMEWORK ..................................................................................13SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................................15Enabling environment ............................................................................................................16Supply ......................................................................................................................................19Demand ....................................................................................................................................21Quality ......................................................................................................................................25DATA OVERVIEW OF PRIMARY EDUCATION COVERAGE........................................................27Data on Education of Children in Montenegro ....................................................................28Out-of-School Children in Montenegro ................................................................................301. Roma and Egyptian Children ..........................................................................................302. Refugees and DPs ..........................................................................................................323. Children with Disabilities ................................................................................................334. Children Affected by Poverty ..........................................................................................35ANALYSIS OF DETERMINANTS IN EDUCATION ........................................................................37DESK STUDY ..........................................................................................................................38Enabling Environment ......................................................................................................38Social Norms ................................................................................................................381. Stigma and Discrimination Against Children from Vulnerable Social Groups ....38Legislation and Policy on Education ............................................................................411. Legal and Regulatory Framework on Inclusive Education in Montenegro..........422. Strategic Framework in the International Community ........................................443. National Strategies and Goals ............................................................................454. Local Strategic Plans ..........................................................................................45Budget and Expenditures on Education in Montenegro ..............................................471. Investment for Improvement of the Quality of Education ....................................472. Expenditure on Teaching Staff and Utilities ........................................................473. Funding of Policies that Target Disadvantaged Children ....................................48Management and Coordination ....................................................................................491. Identifying and Addressing Issues of Early Dropping Out & Enforcement ..........492. Identifying Children at Risk of Dropping Out andTaking Preventive Measures ..............................................................................503Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • EMPIRICAL STUDY..................................................................................................................52Supply ................................................................................................................................52Availability of Essential Commodities and Inputs..........................................................521. Proximity of Schools to Family Homes and Transportation ................................52Access to Adequately Staffed Services ........................................................................551. Insufficiently Available Preschool Education ......................................................552. Importance of Using Secondary Language in Schools ......................................563. Limited Outreach and Child-Seeking Services by Education Systems ..............58Demand ..............................................................................................................................60Housing and Financial Access ......................................................................................601. Access to Adequate Housing Conditions, Water and Heat ................................612. Inability to Pay School Costs ..............................................................................653. Contributing to Family Income ............................................................................694. Household Responsibilities and Care for Other Family Members ......................71Cultural Practices and Beliefs ......................................................................................721. Free Time............................................................................................................722. Friends ................................................................................................................72Compromised Parental Support for Continuation of Education ....................................741. Knowledge about the Educational System ........................................................742. Attitude Towards Importance of Education..........................................................74Literacy of Parents ........................................................................................................82Early Marriage ..............................................................................................................831. Characteristics of Roma and Egyptian Households............................................832. Attitudes towards Marriage..................................................................................84Compromised Motivation for and Interest in Education among Young People ............87Continuity of Use ..........................................................................................................881. Children Outside of the System of Education ....................................................88Attendance at School....................................................................................................91Challenges with Birth Registration and Legal Identity Papers ......................................93Child Health and Developmental Difficulties as an Obstacle toEnrolment and Attendance............................................................................................93Quality ................................................................................................................................94Evaluation of the Reform of the Education System in Montenegro (2010-2012),Implementation of Inclusive Education..........................................................................96Experiences of children with disabilities........................................................................96CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ..............................................................................99ANNEXES ....................................................................................................................................115Annex 1: Common Basic Principles on Roma Inclusion ..................................................115Annex 2: Examples of Good Practice..................................................................................1174
    • 5Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroEnsuring the basic human rights of Roma andEgyptian children is a major challenge formany European countries. Committed to theEU integration process, MillenniumDevelopment Goals and the United NationsConvention on the Rights of the Child, theGovernment of Montenegro has pledged toensure the right of every child to access toquality education. Progress in education sectorreform has been highlighted in the recentprovisional closing of Chapter 26 on Educationand Culture within the EU negotiation process.However, efforts to better integrate Roma andEgyptian children into Montenegro’s educationsystem have been fraught with challenges.Rates of enrolment, attendance and primaryschool completion among these childrenremain low.The “Study on the Obstacles to Education inMontenegro” provides a wide-ranging analysisof the impediments that often keep Roma andEgyptian children out of school. We hope thestudy will enable more effective programming,monitoring and evaluation initiatives so thatmore of these children can get the help theyneed.No social problem is ever explained by asingle causal factor or determinant. This studyis unique as it uses a framework of analysisthat simultaneously reviews all of the keydeterminants that contribute to Roma andEgyptian exclusion and other co-relatedaspects of deprivation such as early marriageand inter-generational poverty. Thesedeterminants have been identified throughglobal and regional studies on similar forms ofsocial exclusion and disparity in the educationsector.Montenegro has progressed in the inclusiveeducation sphere in the last decade. Forexample, more and more Roma and Egyptianchildren are being enrolled in primary school.In 2011-12, the Ministry of Education andSports statistics reveal that 1,582 wereenrolled at the beginning of the school year,compared to 536 ten years prior.According to the Census, however, only abouthalf of Montenegro’s Roma and Egyptianchildren are in primary school at any giventime. Roma and Egyptian children who doattend school often perform poorly and drop-out rates soar after the age of 11. Less than athird complete primary school and only 7%complete secondary school, compared to 98%and 86% respectively for the mainstreampopulation.The study shows that there is no singleexplanation for high rates of dropping out, butrather multiple determinants that often interactwith each other. These include, amongstothers: stigma and discrimination, poverty,FOREWORD
    • 6housing and hygiene, cultural attitudes andtraditions of the community, low preschoolattendance rates, quality of education, andgaps in monitoring systems and slowimplementation of legislation designed toimprove their prospects. Sustainableimprovements in Roma and Egyptianeducation outcomes can only be delivered bysimultaneously addressing these multipleobstacles.Education has the power to break theintergenerational cycle of Roma and Egyptianpoverty and deprivation. Preschool educationis proven to contribute to better primary andsecondary school outcomes and acts as amechanism to reduce disparities in overalleducation performance during the life cycle ofthe child. Preschool participation improvesMontenegrin language skills and preparesRoma and Egyptian children to be moresuccessful in primary school and to betterintegrate into the broader Montenegrin society.Creating lasting change on a national scalerequires concerted effort by multiple parties:schools, local governments, Roma andEgyptian parents and their communities, andthe country’s educational, social welfare andhealth sectors. The “Study on the Obstacles toEducation in Montenegro” received the robustsupport of the Roma and Egyptian community,the Ministry of Education and Sport,MONSTAT, the Red Cross and the civil societysector. Working together is essential if we areto make Montenegro a place where all childrenare empowered to reach their full academicpotential and enjoy their human rights.Benjamin PerksUNICEF Representativeto Montenegro
    • 7Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Zoran Jovanović MaccakECE – Early Childhood EducationEU – European UnionIPA – Instrument for Pre-Accession AssistanceLPA – Local Plans of ActionMONSTAT – Statistical Office of MontenegroMoE – Ministry of EducationRAE – Roma, Ashkali and EgyptiansRE – Roma and EgyptiansSEN – Special Educational NeedsUN – United NationsWHO – World Health OrganisationACRONYMS ANDABBREVIATIONS
    • 8Primary education in Montenegro is compulsoryfor all children aged from six to fifteen years,regardless of gender, race, religion, socialbackground or any other personal characteristic.Although according to the latest Censusconducted in 2011, 95% of all children of school-going age were attending school, in the Romaand Egyptian population, the attendance rate inprimary schools was drastically lower (51% and54% respectively). Unofficial estimates put theprimary enrolment rate of Roma and Egyptianchildren at 25.2%, the completion rate of the firstcycle of compulsory education at 32%(compared to 98% for the general population)and the corresponding rate for the second cycleat 7% (compared to 86% of the generalpopulation).1 The government has ratified theUN Convention on the Rights of the Child, andMontenegro is committed to ensuring the right ofevery child to education.As a pre-accession country Montenegro aspiresto meet specific EU standards. The accessionprocess includes alignment of policies,legislation, and national action plans with EUstandards for social inclusion—includingeliminating obstacles to Roma and Egyptianchildrenin accessing education.Specifically,funding for Roma integration and equality hasbeen made available in the context of EUenlargement through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance. As a part of the IPAfunding scheme, the Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement continuously monitorsthe development of anti-discriminationlegislation, administrative actions,2 and thesocial and economic integration of Roma.3Moreover following the March 2011 EuropeanParliament Resolution on the EU Romastrategy, the European CommissionEmployment, Social Affairs and Inclusion putforward An EU Framework for National RomaIntegration Strategies up to 2020, which is apart of the commission’s wider Europe 2020growth strategy. The European Councilendorsed it in June 2011. Though theframework mostly pertains to the 27 EUmember countries, the commission hascommitted to reviewing and supporting theRoma integration strategies and action plans ofaccession countries4 including Montenegro.INTRODUCTION1 MontenegroAfter the Crisis: Towards a Smaller and More Efficient Government, Public Expenditure and InstitutionalReview, Main Report, World Bank, October 20112 UNICEF, European Social Observatory. [2011] Preventing Social Exclusion through the Europe 2020 Strategy: EarlyChildhood Development and the Inclusion of Roma Families. pp. 15.3 European Union. [2011] EU framework for national Roma strategies: Frequently asked questions.<http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=MEMO/11/216> Accessed 14.9.20114 European Commission. [2011] Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, theEuropean and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. An EU Framework for National Roma IntegrationStrategies up to 2020 pp. 11-12.
    • Montenegro has also committed to theMillennium Declaration, which includes anumber of measurable and time-definedtargets that relate to human development. TheMillennium Development Goals include atarget of 100% coverage of boys and girls inprimary education by the year 2015, withspecial emphasis on the inclusion of childrenfrom marginalized groups, and the preventionof early drop-out from the education system.Despite certain progress in terms of integrationof Roma and Egyptian children into theeducational system during the past decade inMontenegro, their enrolment rates, attendanceand completion of primary education are stillnot close to the level stipulated by theMillennium Development Goals. Governments,such as the one in Montenegro, that wish toaddress Roma and Egyptian exclusion facenumerous obstacles.However in Montenegrothere remains limited reliable andcomprehensive empirical evidence about thecauses of Roma and Egyptian children’s failureto register and their dropping out of school.The main aim of this study is to provide acomprehensive analysis of Roma andEgyptian children and the obstacles to theirinclusion in quality compulsory education. Thestudy will analyze existing legislation andpolicies in the area of education, educationbudget and expenditure, coordinationmechanisms between relevant institutions,availability of essential commodities forlearning, infrastructure, cultural norms andbeliefs, and quality of education and existingservices. In addition, the specific objectives ofthe study are to:• Provide an in-depth insight into theproblems faced by Roma and Egyptianchildren and their families relating toinclusion in compulsory education;• Obtain basic data relevant to designingprogrammes, monitoring and evaluatingthe status of the Roma and Egyptianchildren in the education system and itsprogress in the coming years;• Supplement general surveys on Roma andEgyptian population in Montenegro.The report aims to review all of the majordeterminants or causal factors that anygovernment would face in addressing theexclusion of vulnerable groups. For thispurpose, a set of 10 major determinants andfactors has been compiled from global andregional studies on exclusion and thisdeterminant analysis is the framework ofanalysis used in the study. This determinantframework is introduced in detail below.The report consists of a section onmethodology, a description of the determinantanalysis framework, and an executivesummary. After these introductory sectionscomes the desk analysis, and a section thatelaborates on the results of the empiricalstudy—whose components are explained inthe description of the methodology. A sectionwith conclusions and recommendations, andan annex with examples of good practicescome after the empirical study.9Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • 10The aim of the research is to enable betterunderstanding of the multiple factors whichmay contribute to Roma and Egyptianinclusion in primary education. This requiresthe “measurement” of the phenomena and theprovision of factors that can explain theprocesses behind non-enrolment or droppingout, both a quantitative and qualitative analysiswere conducted. Besides that, the researchwas preceded by a desk analysis to provideinsight into the existing strategies, researchand programmes in education. The desk studyalso includes data from official institutionsconcerning coverage of children in education;examples of positive practices from othercountries; and other relevant data. Anassessment of the main quantitative indicatorsof education coverageis presented in the deskanalysis. In a sense, the desk analysisconsolidates what we already know aboutRoma and Egyptian exclusion in Montenegroand primarily relates to polices and strategiesthat the education system is undertaking toinclude Roma and Egyptian children. Howeverthere is an absence of data on how broadersocial, cultural, traditional and economicfactors may also contribute to exclusion. Aprinciple aim of this study is to strengthenknowledge on these broader issues.Therefore, a quantitative study was also used toassess a number of other indicators potentiallyassociated with non-enrolment and dropping outof primary school, such as: socio-economicstatus, legal status of families with children whoare not included in the primary educationsystem; the values and attitudes of parents; andso forth. Specifically, the quantitative studyaimed to identify the risk factors leading to non-enrolment or dropping out of primary school. Inorder to make the assessment of these factorspossible two groups of households werecompared in the survey. The two groups have asimilar socio-economic status, but they differaccording to one characteristic which is crucialfor this research—households with children whoare enrolled in and regularly attend primaryschool; and households with children who arenot enrolled in primary school, or who havedropped out of it.Considering that it usually is not possible tofully explain the mechanisms that affectphenomena through the results of quantitativestudies, qualitative data was also supplied.Qualitative studies provide deeper insight intoissues. The survey also includes findings fromfocus group discussions with parents ofchildren who failed to enrol in primary schoolor dropped out of it, and with parents of asimilar socio-cultural and economic statuswhose children are enrolled in primary schooland regularly attend it.Special attention was paid to the mechanismsby which the phenomenon of non-enrolment orMETHODOLOGY
    • dropping out of primary school arises. Thesemechanisms are analyzed through casestudies concerning children who were notenrolled in primary school or dropped out of it.For this purpose in-depth interviews wereconducted with people who were crucial fornon-enrolment or dropping out of primaryschool—the children, their parents orguardians, teachers or class masters, schoolpsychologists or educationalists, and peoplefrom the municipality in charge of primaryeducation. Care was taken not only to includein the case studies scenarios in which thevarious factors and processes that resulted innon-enrolment or dropping out of primaryschool, but also to present an example ofpositive practice.Because of the focus on a relatively small part ofthe population, the methodology of this researchdoes not offer the possibility of describing thepopulation of all households with children whowere not enrolled in primary school or droppedout of it. Regardless of the presence of variousregions, municipalities, types of settlement,households with different ethnicities anddifferent socio-economic and cultural contexts inthe sample, the sample still cannot claim to becompletely representative of all households, butcare was taken that the size and structure of thesample allow reliable conclusions.Within this study four smaller surveys wereconducted:1. Desk analysis – analysis of the existingdata, relevant studies and strategiesregarding the education of Roma andEgyptian children2. “Face-to-face” survey – interviews with thehousehold head or other household memberwho is the most familiar with thechild’s/children’s educationa. The sampling frame (or target population)theoretically includes all households inMontenegro in which children were notenrolled in primary school or dropped outof it, as well as households with a similarcultural background and socio-economicstatus in which the children regularlyattend primary schoolb. The sampling principle is the so-calledSnowballc. A total of 300 people were interviewed in300 households. Within the sample ofchildren of primary-school age, foursubsamples were created:i. Subsample of Roma and Egyptianhouseholds with children who were notenrolled in primary school or droppedout of it—a total of 100 householdsii. Subsample of households of majoritypopulation with children who were notenrolled in primary school or droppedout of it—a total of 50 householdsiii. Subsample of Roma and Egyptianhouseholds with a similar culturalbackground and socio-economicstatus as Roma and Egyptianhouseholds in which the child is notattending school, but where thechildren regularly attend primaryschool—a total of 100 householdsiv. Subsample of households from themajority population with a similarcultural background and socio-economic status as the householdsof the majority population in which achild is not attending primary school,but where the children regularlyattend primary school—a total of 50householdsd. The length of the questionnaire is circa 45minutese. The survey was conducted in August 20123. Discussion in focus groups with parentsof children of primary-school age—a total offour focus group discussions were realized:a. With parents of Roma and Egyptianchildren whose children were not enrolledin primary school or dropped out of itb. With parents from the majority populationwhose children were not enrolled inprimary school or dropped out of it11Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • c. With parents from the Roma and Egyptianpopulations with a similar culturalbackground and socio-economic status tothose parents whose children were notenrolled in primary school or dropped outof it, but whose children regularly attendprimary schoold. With parents from the majority populationwith a similar cultural background andsocio-economic status to those parentswhose children were not enrolled inprimary school or dropped out of it, butwhose children regularly attend primaryschoolFocus groups with the Roma and Egyptianswere realized in Podgorica on 3 September2012, while focus groups with parents from themajority population were realized the next dayin Bijelo Polje.4. Case studies – 6 key scenarios of non-enrolment or dropping out from primaryschool and one example of positive practicewere elaborated and explained on the basisof data obtained from in-depth interviewswith key people involved in the process ofthe childs education (4-5 in-depth interviewsaccording to one scenario).a. Podgorica (Konik settlement), Bijelo Poljeand Nikšić;b. In the period from 3-10 September 2012.A final word on methodology:During theprocess of identifying the parents from thecomparator group of the majority populationwhose children were not enrolled in primaryschool or dropped out of it and in conductingthe field work, it was realized that most of themwere parents of children with disabilities(CwD). Thus an additional section on majorissues faced by this group has been addedtowards the end of the study. Given the closelinkage between inclusion of Roma andEgyptian and CwD the situation of CwDappears throughout the study.12
    • 13Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroWithin the EU, studies concerned with mappingthe causes of low participation (includingdropping out), poor academic performance andlow educational attainment amongst Roma andEgyptians point out that these outcomescannot be understood as single events, butrather as a process initiated by a whole rangeof many risk factors. Aligned with this notion,this report is organized around a framework often interlinked determinants developed byUNICEF, which help to analyze and monitorobstacles vulnerable children face in accessingessential services. The ten determinants aregrouped into four broad categories including:the enabling environment, supply, demand, andquality. In this report these determinantsinfluence the provision and access toeducation. Governments throughout the EUoften have multi-pronged strategies tosimultaneously address all of the barriers touniversal education.Shown in the table below are some of thedeterminants that affect the education of Romaand Egyptians. As already mentioned, thisframework is the basis on which this report isorganized. Per the framework, the desk studysection of this report primarily focuses ondeterminants within the “EnablingEnvironment” category of the framework. Therest of the ten determinants,in the categoriesof “Supply”,“Demand” and “Quality” are mostlydescribed in the empirical study section of thisdocument.DETERMINANT ANALYSISFRAMEWORKDeterminants and factors of risk identified by regional and global studiesEnablingenvironmentSocial Norms• Stigma and discrimination, particularly directed at: Roma and Egyptiansor other minority ethnic groups, refugees and displaced persons, andchildren with physical or intellectual disabilitiesLegislation/Policy• The legal framework does not or only partially guarantees inclusive education• Not permeable enough system of education• Poorly designed social protection policiesBudget/Expenditure• Insufficient investment for an improvement in the quality of education• Policies targeting disadvantaged children are unfunded or insufficientlyfunded at both national and local levels• Expenditure on teaching staff represents more than 80% of the totalannual expenditure with insufficient funding allocated to qualityManagement/Coordination• Insufficient investment for an improvement in the quality of education• Policies targeting disadvantaged children are unfunded or insufficientlyfunded at both national and local levels• Expenditure on teaching staff represents more than 80% of the totalannual expenditure with insufficient funding allocated to qualityTable 1Determinants and factors of risk identified by regional and global studies
    • 14Determinants and factors of risk identified by regional and global studiesEnablingenvironmentAvailability of EssentialCommodities andInputs• Rural areas and underdeveloped parts of towns—transportation andlarge distances between home and school• Shortage of infrastructure for early learning, particularly in rural areas• Schools do not have sufficient didactic materials and secondarylanguage books to teach minority language childrenAccess to adequatelystaffed services• Insufficiently available preschool education• Shortage of qualified teachers and assistants• Lack of support for children who repeat a grade—lack of ‘catch-up’programmes• Limited outreach and child-seeking services by education systems• Teachers are not trained in inclusive teaching practicesDemandFinancial Access• Family poverty causing the inability to pay school costs• Schools do not provide free transportation to and from school• Poorly designed ‘social cash transfers’ for families living in extremepoverty• Opportunity-cost of child labour for contributing to family income is high• Care for other family members and household responsibilitiesCultural Practices andBeliefs• Dysfunctional family dynamics• Compromised parental support for continuation of education• Early marriage• Insufficient family communication about school• Compromised motivation and interest among young people foreducationContinuity of Use• Frequent absence from school, skipping classes or suspension• Mobility of parents - frequent changing of place of residence• Challenges with birth registration and legal identity papersQualityQuality Education• Low-quality preschool education• Poor quality in-school support for children with special education needs(SEN)• Curricula are not responsive or flexible enough to respond to the needsof diverse learners• Inclusive education practices are not sustained due to poor-qualitysupportContinuation of the table 1Determinants and factors of risk identified by regional and global studies
    • 15Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroSUMMARYPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • This study endeavours to shed light on, andanalyze the barriers Roma and Egyptianchildren and children with disabilities face inMontenegro in accessing quality education. Itis hoped this paper will help national and localdecision makers to continue policy reforms,launch new inclusive education initiatives, andserve as a touchstone for effectiveimplementation.The report is organized around tendeterminants, or factors, affecting outcomes ineducation that any government seeking topromote inclusion may need to address. Adesk analysis presents some official statisticsand looks at relevant legislation, policies,budget framework, coordination andmanagement. The empirical study conductedthrough surveys and focus groups presentsdata on a number of other determinants in thecategories of education supply, demand, andquality. Lastly and most importantly are theconclusions and recommendations section,and an annex with examples of goodpractices.ENABLING ENVIRONMENTDeterminants within the Enabling Environment,at the system and society level, can support ordeter equal access to quality education. Thefour determinants of the “EnablingEnvironment” category covered in this sectionare: Social Norms, Legislation/Policy,Budget/Expenditure, and ManagementCoordination.A tenth of the citizens of Montenegro are ofprimary school age and 95% of them areattending primary education. The attendancerate is much lower among the Roma and16Egyptian population since only half of theprimary-school-age children from thispopulation attend school. Additionally, morethan 10% of children from the Roma andEgyptian population, which have the highestpercentage of primary school age children, arestill not registered in the Birth Registry. Also,34% of stateless children and 16% of childrenwho are in the process of acquiring citizenshipdo not attend school. Other vulnerable groupsof children who are at high risk of dropping outare children with disabilities and poor children.The proportion of children who are below thepoverty line is 10%.5Numerous empirical studies conducted indifferent European countries on absenteeismindicate that this is a complex,multidimensional problem caused by severalrisk factors. Throughout Europe stigma anddiscrimination towards the Roma andEgyptian population and children withdisabilities is often cited as one of the mainobstacles to their education. Non-enrolmentand dropping out are contributed to bysegregation of Roma and Egyptian children:segregation between schools, segregationwithin school and sometimes even in specialschools. Often Roma and Egyptian childrenare caught in a vicious circle—schools donot support the language they use at homeand their skills in the main language ofeducation are poor, which can seriouslyimpair their development and chances for aquality education. Often a prejudicialperception is created that Roma andEgyptian children are thought of asintellectually inferior with schools andteachers delivering a lower quality educationto these students due to reducedexpectations of their academic abilities.Roma and Egyptian children are furthermore5 Report ‘Child Poverty in Montenegro’, UNICEF, November 2011.(http://www.unicef.org/montenegro/media_19760.html)
    • often victims of abuse, physical and verbalinsults within school environments with littledone to curb such abuse. All of these factorsact as barriers to educational enrolment,retention and success in school.Evidence from a series of nationallyrepresentative surveys on social distance anddiscrimination indicate that discriminatoryattitudes and sentiments towards members ofthe Roma and Egyptian population exist inMontenegro, as they do in most countries.Observing discrimination in access toeducation, according to these surveys, Romaand Egyptian and people with disabilitiesrepresent the most vulnerable groups, with53% and 40% of citizens stating that Romaand Egyptian and people with disabilitiesrespectively do not experience the sametreatment as the majority population withregards to access to education. Similarly, innationally representative Knowledge,Attitudes and Practices surveys, stigmaagainst children with disabilities inMontenegro has been identified as one of themain obstacles to their full inclusion intoeducation in society.The Government of Montenegro hasintroduced a number of laws, nationalstrategies and local strategic plans in orderto create an inclusive system of education thatis equally responsive to all children. The twomain directions of the strategies are: (i)developing mechanisms for continuouseducation of children and parents from theRoma and Egyptian population and controllingthe quality of knowledge that these childrengain and (ii) continuous education of childrenand parents from the Roma and Egyptianpopulation, but also teachers and other schoolpersonnel, about the importance andcharacteristics of inclusive education. Romaand Egyptian national strategies and actionplans also exist at national and local levels toaid social integration, including integration ineducation. Often however, resources and/orthe capacity to implement legislation, policiesand actions plans are lacking. Moreover acomprehensive policy on inclusive educationhas yet to be developed.Low achievement of Roma and Egyptianchildren at primary school may be affected byattendance in preschool institutions, which,among other things, is extremely important forovercoming cultural and linguistic barriers. Lowparticipation in these institutions reduces thechances of Roma and Egyptian children tomaster the official language before they startprimary school.According to the law in Montenegro twoinstitutions are in charge of the process ofenrolment in primary school and regulatingnon-enrolment and non-attendance of primaryschool: the state authority in charge of keepingvital records of citizens and the educationalinstitution.Systems to identify Roma and Egyptianchildren at risk and children withdisabilities need strengthening; precise dataand key information on them remaininsufficient to develop effective educationinitiatives, and measure their impact. Inparticular there are no efficient informationsystems that would help identify Roma andEgyptian children who have problems inlearning the official language. Connected tothis, coordination among relevant sectors inorder to address the multi-pronged challengesthat Roma and Egyptian children face inaccessing education is mostly absent.17Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • • Monitoring prejudice and discriminationagainst Roma and Egyptian children andtheir families• Developing campaigns to fosterknowledge of the Roma and Egyptianculture and positive attitudes towardschildren in Roma and Egyptian childrenand their families.• Actively pursue the implementation ofanti-discrimination legislation and policyand carry out standard diversity trainingamong relevant stakeholders.• Develop or strengthen effectivecomplaint mechanisms, the capacities ofhuman rights liaisons and mechanismsfor redress.• Raise political will by making decisionmakers aware of the benefits of inclusiveeducation for all, including its economicbenefits. Develop clearly articulatedobjectives, goals and deadlines, andconduct regular evaluations andmonitoring of initiatives under actionsplans. Implement some central oversightof local implementation.• Mechanisms for complaints and redressof discrimination and human rightsviolations should be strengthened,developed and paired with campaigns toraise awareness of laws and how to usethese mechanisms. Capacity building ofthose responsible for enforcing laws andpolicies should also be conducted.• Strengthen data-collection mechanismson vulnerable children who are at risk ofdropping out or who are out-of-schoolchildren (children with disabilities, Romaand Egyptian children, IDP/DP children).Make database accessible to all relevantstate institutions in order to provide abetter flow of information and strengthencooperation between crucialstakeholders.• Legislation should be amended so thatchildren with disabilities can be morereadily identified and counted.Additionally amended laws, which as of2010 encompass more comprehensivelythe needs of Roma and Egyptianchildren and children with disabilities,should be fully implemented.• Change the structure of expendituresand increase the proportion of financingdirected towards quality-enhancingmeasures including: early childhooddevelopment, higher education andlifelong learning.• Financing the expansion of freepreschool should be stressed,considering its importance in reducingthe educational and life-chances gapsbetween Roma and Egyptian and themajority population.• Among other measures, inter-sectoralwork should be strengthened to ensurethat Roma and Egyptian children andchildren with disabilities are receivingcoordinated holistic support.• Design clear procedures andenforcement mechanisms that wouldenable effective implementation of theprovisions of the Law on PrimaryEducation relating to enrolment anddropping out of school and sanctions tofollow if a child is not enrolled or dropsout.• Increase the number of Roma mediatorsto help enforce children’s attendance atschool and decrease the risk of droppingout.18Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • SUPPLYIn order to deliver quality education to allchildren certain essentials need to be supplied.Determinants within the “Supply” category ofthe Determinant Analysis Framework have adecisive impact on Roma and Egyptianeducation, and include everything fromsupplying safe facilities to hold classes in, tostaffing these facilities with highly trainedteachers. Making sure that vulnerable childrenhave the same chances to access educationand to do well as other less vulnerable childrenrequires that specific additional elements aresupplied: these can range from freetransportation for those in remote areas toensuring the availability of quiet study spaces.Problems that Roma and Egyptian childrenoften face in accessing schools is proximity.Roma and Egyptian often live in housing thatis distant from schools. A large majority ofRoma and Egyptian families cannot afford topay for safe transport to and from school, andaccording to parents’ statements free transportis often not available.Roma and Egyptian children and children withdisabilities often have education needs abovethose of majority-population children. Staffingschools with highly trained professionals,including ones who can accommodatebilingual students and supplying communitieswith quality preschools are especiallyimportant to ensure access and positiveeducation outcomes for disadvantagedchildren. Preschool attendance in particular iswidely accepted as being important for schoolsuccess and a mechanism which reducesdisparities in education. For Roma andEgyptian children preschool institutions,particularly those with a mixed ethniccomposition, greatly facilitate later studies, inpart because it helps to increase Montenegrinlanguage skills and makes those childrenmore ready to go to school. There is acorrelation between low preschool participationand primary school attendance. Most of thechildren encompassed by the study who donot attend primary school have never attendedkindergarten, while kindergarten participationwas much higher among pupils currentlyattending primary school, regardless ofethnicity. Access to preschools for Roma andEgyptian children is affected by a number ofbarriers including: availability of preschools,socio-economic situations and inability to payfees; lack of awareness of the importance ofearly education; proximity of preschools toRoma and Egyptian households; lack ofdocumentation and administrative difficulties inenrolment.Additional measures to reduce drop-out ratesand ensure regular attendance requirescoordination across sectors includingeducation, child protection and socialwelfare and the health sector. Theseadditional sectors need to be staffed withpersonnel sensitive to the needs andsituations of Roma and Egyptian children andchildren with disabilities, and who will activelyseek out families whose children are not inschool. When children stop attending schoolhalf of them do not officially drop out. Thisinformation cannot be interpreted as anindicator of potential return to school, since84% of the parents explicitly stated that theirchild would not be back to school the followingschool year. In the highest percentage ofcases dropping out of school is not followedby any reaction from official institutions suchas schools, municipalities and Centres forSocial Work. When there was assistance,Roma and Egyptian were assisted morefrequently by Roma and Egyptian NGOs, orthe Red Cross.19Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • 20• Free and safe transport for childrenliving in remote areas could be provided.• In particularly remote areas, untiladequate transportation measures canbe put in place and especially in thewinter, temporary school and preschoolsolutions could be considered, such as:multi-grade or satellite primary schools;home preschools that combine raisingthe awareness of the importance ofpreschool and literacy of parents, withquality preschool activities for theirchildren.• A priority for Montenegro could be theexpansion of free universal andmandatory preschool education forchildren ages 5-6 years old. Theexisting plans for preparatory classesfor this age group should considermaking sure that Roma and Egyptianchildren are mixed with majority schoolchildren to boost their Montenegrinlanguage skills.• Enrolment in preschool could be madeeasier especially for parents who maybe illiterate and who may be missingdocumentation. Both preschoolenrolment fees and the enrolmentpriority of favouring families with twoemployed parents, should be waived.• Preschool and primary school staff andteachers could be trained in bilingualeducation to accommodate childrenwhose mother tongue is not Montengrin.Extra Montenegrin language classes inprimary school should be provided andstaffed.• Strengthening the system and role ofRoma mediators to work with Roma andEgyptian children whose mother tongueis not the language of instruction.• Measures to strengthen the capacity ofsocial welfare centres and other relevantactors, including schools, to follow upwith students who drop out, or who arenot attending regularly, could bedeveloped.• Better monitoring and database systemsneed to be established, as do betterrelationships with other relevant sectorinstitutions in order to effectively trackabsences, repeating of grades, anddropping out. Information sharing on theactions and methods employed byNGOs working in this area can behelpful.• Employing measures to help informRoma and Egyptian parents of theimportance of preschool and theirchoices. Research has shown thatparents of Roma and Egyptian childrenare not sufficiently informed about theirpreschool choices. Their children do nothave to attend the local kindergarten forthe Roma and Egyptian population,they can enrol their children inethnically mixed kindergartens locatedelsewhere.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • DEMANDWhat Roma and Egyptian families and familieswith children with disabilities are able andwilling to provide to facilitate their children’seducation are determinants within the“Demand” category of the DeterminantAnalysis. Their demand for education isdetermined by the financial situation offamilies, as well as for instance the value theyplace on it—they may not have enoughinformation to assess correctly the return oninvesting in their child’s education. Otherfactors also play a role and are explored in thestudy.Children from the majority population do notenrol in school primarily due to what theirparents perceive as health reasons or someform of disability. Roma and Egyptianchildren remain outside of the system, boththrough non-enrolment and dropping out,mainly due to what their parents perceive associo-economic reasons, with some part oftradition also playing a role.The poor socio-economic status of thehouseholds covered by this survey is reflectedin low income, lack of basic livelihood, but alsopoor housing conditions, which is the biggestvisible difference between Roma and Egyptianhouseholds and households of families fromthe majority population in the survey. The livingquarters of Roma and Egyptian are generallysmaller and cramped, so that children share aroom with a number of other people. Theyrarely have a suitable space for study. Almostevery household in the survey, regardless ofethnicity, has some sort of structural problem:leaking roof, polluted air, noise, and a lack oflight. All these negative aspects are even morepronounced with Roma and Egyptians,particularly for Roma and Egyptian householdsin which the children are not included in theeducational system. Besides this, in as manyas one-third of the households it is very coldduring the winter and, in comparison with themajority population, Roma and Egyptians havemore problems obtaining fuel for heating. Oneof the biggest disadvantages is a lack ofrunning water and bathrooms in Roma andEgyptian households. This factor preventsRoma and Egyptian children from practicingroutine hygiene, required for schoolattendance.Children covered by this study mainly live inmulti-member households with poor socio-economic status. In all studied groups monthlyincome is very low, and in 70% of cases it isno higher that €30 per household member permonth. Nevertheless, households from themajority population are in a somewhat betterposition. Low income results fromexceptionally high unemployment of parents,which, interestingly enough, is somewhathigher in Roma and Egyptian householdswhere children regularly attend school than inhouseholds where children do not attendschool. This might be due to employed parentsneeding children to attend to tasks at homewhile they work, including possibly taking careof younger siblings, since they most likelycannot pay for childcare.As a result of low income these householdshave problems providing food and conditionsfor education. The majority of parents canafford only the cheapest food, and some areable to provide just two meals a day (one-fifthof the households). In as many as 13% of thehouseholds it often happens that childrencomplain of being hungry, and in 18% of themit happens occasionally. Roma and Egyptianswhose children are not included in theeducational system often claim that they donot have enough money for childrens clothesand textbooks, so their children do not havethem. However, this information must beinterpreted with some reserve due to reportedcases of resale of the textbooks and schoolequipment which were received free ofcharge.21Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • When it comes to the time which the childspends at home, half of the children, regardlessof household type, help the older householdmembers to do the household chores during thattime. Helping with household work is morecharacteristic for Roma and Egyptianhouseholds with children who are not enrolled inschool. According to the majority of parents,although the children take care of the household,they do not perform paid work. Children fromboth populations have frequent socialrelationships with their peers. Nevertheless, it isobvious that a relatively high percentage ofRoma and Egyptian children have friends whodo not attend primary school, which isparticularly characteristic for Roma and Egyptianchildren who also do not attend school. Childrenwho attend primary school socialize to a higherextent with children who also attend school.Between parents of children who go to schooland those who do not, regardless of ethnicity,there is a difference in the level of importanceattributed to finishing school (at leastprimary), as well as the perceived usefulness ofschool knowledge as compared with non-formally acquired knowledge. The importanceattributed to education by parents whose childrenwere attending school was higher than thatattributed by parents whose children were notattending. Discussion with Roma and Egyptianmothers showed that mothers whose childrenwere attending school, although they live inexceptionally disadvantaged conditions, sawschool as a way to a better life. On the otherhand, mothers whose children were not enrolledin school or dropped out of school attributed theirabsence from education to their underprivilegedsituation, although they feel that school isimportant. For them school is not a ticket to abetter life, because they believe “there is no workfor Roma”. They also ascribed a higher level ofimportance to non-formal education. Theresponses about a lack of employment point to alarger context that should be taken intoconsideration when trying to understand Romaand Egyptian parents’ valuation of education.Reasons for ambivalent attitudes towardeducation among disadvantaged families oftenstem from poverty and the parents’ own loweducational attainment, as well as rationalassessments of employment opportunitiesbeyond schooling—which, in the case of Romaand Egyptians, are quite dismal.Indeed the quantitative study confirmed that asignificantly higher percentage of parents ofchildren who do not go to school think that thechild will not be able to find a job afterwards.Many of these parents are assessingdiscrimination against them in the labourmarket, and their diminished chances foremployment with or without an education.Parents whose children go to school are morelikely to say that they know someonesuccessful, who found work due to theireducation. Successful examples of individualsfrom within the Roma and Egyptiancommunity, as well as the elimination ofdiscrimination, are important to raise thevaluation of education among them.Readiness of parents to help their childrenfinish their education is a very importantfactor for children’s successful education. It isnoticeable that parents of children who go toschool are more ready to help their child finishprimary school, while parents of children whodo not attend school are more inclined to feelthere is no way to help their child. The capacityof parents to be able to help their children gainan education in part relies on the parents’ owneducational attainment. In comparison with themajority population, Roma and Egyptianparents are more often without a formaleducation (more than a half of mothers). In themajority population a higher percentage offathers have secondary education. The majorityof parents from the majority population areliterate, and less than a half of Roma andEgyptians can read and write. The percentageis even lower among Roma and Egyptianparents whose children do not attend school.Without the ability to read or write it becomes22
    • impossible to help with their schoolwork, forinstance. Add to this the hopelessness inrelation to employment opportunities even withan education, and the result is that many Romaand Egyptian parents are not fully motivated orable to help their children with their education.This survey has confirmed previous findings thatone of the reasons for Roma and Egyptian girlsdropping out of school is early marriage andthe desire to protect their virginity. Roma andEgyptian parents are more inclined to seeadolescence as an ideal age for marriage, and allmothers expressed a fear that the girls would fallin love in school. Indeed data shows that thenumber of Roma and Egyptian children enrolledin school drops after reaching age 11, andespecially among Roma and Egyptian girls.However there were Roma and Egyptian motherswho hoped their daughters would not get marriedearly, and would finish school. This points a viewof marriage that is not entirely homogeneousamongst Roma and Egyptian, and that with theright interventions could possibly tip towardssupporting girls finishing their education.Other obstacles that contribute to Roma andEgyptian exclusion from the education is a lackof documents, fear that the child will bediscriminated against on ethnic grounds or thechild exceeding the age for starting school.Special attention should be paid to poorknowledge of language as an obstacle to theeducation of Roma and Egyptians. It is mainlyparents that take decisions about non-enrolmentor dropping out amongst Roma and Egyptians;while in the majority population this decision isusually per a doctors recommendation. The lackof documentation is particularly problematicamongst Roma and Egyptian, and in particularamong IDPs. When it comes to households fromthe majority population, almost all parents andchildren have the necessary documents, whichis not the case with Roma and Egyptians. Ahigher percentage of Roma and Egyptianchildren who do not attend school do not havepersonal documents, in comparison withchildren who are enrolled in school.Significant predictors of dropping out are theregularity of attendance and frequency ofrepeating a grade. Significantly higherpercentages of children who have dropped outfrom the system, regardless of ethnicity, wereabsent from classes for more than one month.Regarding repeating classes, not only didRoma and Egyptian children outside thesystem repeat grades more frequently, but sodid Roma and Egyptians attending school.The health of children in and out of school isalso discussed, giving clues to the extent towhich it affects regularity at school and to theinclusiveness of schools.23Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• Permanent housing solutions need to beimplemented for those families still livingin camps. Study spaces for childrenwhose housing situations are notconducive to studying should be provided.• All future steps aimed at disaggregationof existing camps and integration ofRoma and Egyptians should bepreceded by intensive activities aimed atpreparation of a successful transition ofchildren into integrated schools andneighbourhoods.• Adequate water supply and heating alsoshould be provided for those familieswho do not have access to theseessentials.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • 24• Providing shared bathrooms in Romaand Egyptian settlements; provision offree personal hygiene products.• Developing financial aid assistanceschemes to encourage schoolparticipation, and to eliminate financialhardship as a barrier. Conditional cashtransfers (CCTs) that are not punitivecould be a solution, if accompanied byproper supply-side measures (such asraising schools’ capacity toaccommodate children with SEN) andmonitoring.• Strengthen the ability of social welfare,child protection and health servicesamong other relevant actors to identifyand aid Roma and Egyptian familiesfalling though the gaps, and not bereceiving financial assistance, health orother services they are eligible for.• Continue the distribution of freetextbooks and school supplies; considersubsidies for school supplies.• Measures to raise the level ofemployment amongst the Roma andEgyptian population should bedeveloped. Well-conceived andaccessible adult education classes,connected to employment, whichtransfer skills needed in the currentlabour market, are an example.• Work with local employers in connectionwith employment programmes for Romaand Egyptians, to start eliminatingprejudice amongst the majoritypopulation, to help increaseemployment chances for Roma andEgyptians.• Schools should actively seek out theparticipation of Roma and Egyptianparents, establish relationships withthem and help inform them of thebenefits of education. Developworkshops, after-school programmesand other measures to both helpchildren with their school work and raisethe capacity amongst Roma andEgyptian parents to help their children.• Adult literacy classes can be an optionin communities where literacy amongRoma and Egyptian parents is low.Second-chance schooling and adultlearning classes attached toemployment opportunities, asmentioned above, can help foster anappreciation for education.• The education curriculum and the skillstaught in schools need to be betteraligned with the demands of the labourmarket. Connected to this, campaignson the importance and benefits ofeducation could be organized, includingdisseminating examples of Roma andEgyptians who acquired education andimproved their situations.• Antidiscrimination campaigns should belaunched to eliminate prejudice andfoster better understanding between theRoma and Egyptian and majoritypopulations.• Enhance cooperation with the media,and develop and conduct trainingprogrammes for journalists focusing oncreating and fostering positive images ofRoma and Egyptians.• Efforts to effectively enforce the legalage of marriage should be made,accompanied by active communityengagement, awareness raising andsupport to Roma and Egyptiancommunities in the area of women’s andgirls’ rights. This can also includeworkshops on family planning and sexeducation classes.• Second-chance schooling should bemade available for young mothers.• Schools should be sensitized to theissues around early marriage, and Romaand Egyptian sensitivities about thevirginity of their daughters.
    • QUALITYAll children should have equal access toeducation, and that education should be ofthe highest quality. Quality education forRoma and Egyptian children and childrenwith disabilities relies heavily on howinclusive the environment, curriculum andteaching methods are, as well as whether ornot a culture of tolerance and diversity isfostered. School infrastructure also determinesquality– if a school is unsafe, ill-equipped, andnot accommodating of disabilities it cannot beassessed as meeting adequate standards ofquality. The research presented in thisdocument was limited to questions asked ofparents and children, and the data is confinedto information on satisfaction with teachingstaff and relationships among students.Compared with other parents, the parents ofchildren who dropped out of school expressa higher dissatisfaction with the attitude ofteachers, other pupils and parents towardstheir child. The children themselves gavesimilar accounts. The dissatisfaction wasmore noticeable among Roma and Egyptiansnot attending school, and indicate that Romaand Egyptians who attend school are betteraccepted by peers and their parents.Besides dissatisfaction with socialrelationships, a higher percentage of thechildren not going to school expresseddissatisfaction with education in general.They more frequently expressed that theydisliked going to school.In order to contextualize the survey results, ashort overview of the Evaluation of the Reformof the Education System in Montenegro (2010-2012) was presented in the section that relatesto the quality of inclusive education.Recognizing that the legislation in the area ofinclusive education is being comprehensivelyharmonized with relevant European and25Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• Programmes should be developed tohelp Roma and Egyptian women havemore control over their reproduction; andto raise their awareness, confidence,independence and empowerment inregards to marriage, family and theirfutures.• The capacity for social services andschools to conduct outreach, to enrolchildren in school and to help themacquire documentation should be raised.Municipalities and relevant servicesshould also improve their databases onRoma and Egyptian families andchildren, to help coordinate effortsbetween social welfare and localgovernments. This should includeinformation on IDPs and non-Montenegrin citizens.• More in-depth investigation into themechanisms by which Roma andEgyptian are not registered at birth, andissues of citizenship and Roma andEgyptian IDPs should be addressedand resolved in every camp andcommunity.• Strengthened healthcare of Roma andEgyptian children should be developedincluding: outreach by actors in thehealth and child protection sectors incooperation with schools; workshops onchild health to raise awareness amongRoma and Egyptian parents ofpreventable diseases and healthcareoptions; increasing the number of Romaand Egyptian children with assignedpaediatricians sensitized to their specificneeds.
    • international standards, the Evaluationemphasizes that implementation, along withthe cooperation between sectors at thenational and local levels, remains a challenge.Also, the Evaluation calls for additional efforts26to promote continuous training and educationof teaching staff in schools to implementinclusive principles in practice and adapt theteaching methods to the individual needs ofchildren.• Conducting assessments of the qualityof inclusive education with a focus onRoma and Egyptian children.• Child-centred and bilingual teachingmethods and child-friendly conceptsshould be employed at the school level,and teachers and staff should betrained in them.• Revisions to the curriculum should beconsidered in order to increase itsrelevance to diverse populations.• Cooperation with associations of peoplewith disabilities should be establishedby preschools and primary schools.• Based on assessment by an expertteam, schools should prepare individualeducational programmes for childrenand monitor their progress. Closemonitoring of children with SEN shouldbe conducted by relevant school staffand in concert with social servicesoutside the school setting. Parentalinvolvement should be actively soughtout as well.• School inclusive education teamsshould be strengthened to help developinclusive education measures, promoteunderstanding, tolerance and a cultureof diversity in schools.• Extracurricular activities that mix Romaand Egyptians and children from themajority population, workshops, studygroups and similar can be organized toaid academic achievement and buildunderstanding and trust among childrenand parents.• Roma mediators should be expandedand strengthened, increasing theirnumbers and capacity to effectivelywork with more children and theirfamilies.• The system of Roma teachingassistants should be expanded andstrengthened, increasing their numbersand capacity to effectively work withmore children and their families. Theirrole and standards of work should beclearly defined through relevant bylaws, as well as educational andtraining programmes aimed atprofessional development designed.6• Both pre-service and in-servicediversity and conflict-resolution trainingof teachers, school staff and socialservice providers should be madestandard.6 The opinion of the Ombudsperson’s Office to the Ministry of Education with regards to Implementation of InclusiveEducation in Primary Schools, November 2011:http://www.ombudsman.co.me/djeca/preporuke/15112011_MINISTARSTVO_PROSVJETE_I_SPORTA.docRecommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • DATA OVERVIEW OF PRIMARYEDUCATION COVERAGE27Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • The following chapter provides an overview ofdata regarding coverage and dropping out ofchildren from primary education. To gain insightinto both the current situation in the system ofeducation in Montenegro, and into the positionof Roma and Egyptian children within thesystem, two important types of data arehighlighted. The first is data from the officialresources (the Statistical Office of Montenegro-MONSTAT) on the number of Roma andEgyptian citizens on the territory ofMontenegro, as well as the number of Romaand Egyptian children of primary-school age.The second is data on the coverage anddropping out of children from primaryeducation, with a focus on data about theparticipation and performance of Roma andEgyptian children.DATA ON EDUCATION OFCHILDREN IN MONTENEGROOne of the most relevant sources of data oncompulsory education coverage inMontenegro is the publication Children inMontenegro, published by UNICEFMontenegro in cooperation with the StatisticalOffice of Montenegro – MONSTAT. Thispublication is based on the results of the 2011Census of the population, households andapartments. It updates and expandsinformation on the situation of children inMontenegro, and is meant to be used indeveloping national activities to accomplishbetter results for all children.According to the 2011 Census data, one out often citizens of Montenegro is of primary schoolage, and 95% of the children of this age areattending primary education (Table 4).7As can be observed, 5% of children inMontenegro were not attending compulsoryeducation in 2011.In the publication Children in Montenegro,separate from the 2011 Census data, results ofthe 2003 Census on school attendance arepublished for the first time. presented below isdata on primary school attendance for thechildren in Montenegro in 2003 and 2011, atstate level and in individual municipalities(Table 5). Red colour is used for municipalitydata with a negative trend or increaseddropping out.28Children of primary school agein the Republic of MontenegroSchool attendance - Primary educationN % N %72 637 11.7 68 835 957 School attendance is defined as regular attendance of any accredited educational institution or programme, public orprivate, for organized learning at any level of education. Information on school attendance relates in particular to thepopulation of official school age (children of primary education age – 6-14 years)Table 2Census: total number of children of primary school age in Montenegro and primary educationcoverage
    • 29Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroIt is important to stress that certain caution isnecessary when comparing 2003 and 2011Census data, given that the reform of thesystem of education was implemented in theperiod between the two censuses, whichincluded a gradual transfer from eight-year tonine-year primary school. So at the time ofgathering the 2003 Census data, primary schoollasted 8 years and primary-school-age childrenwere children aged 7-14 years old. In the 2011Census, primary school lasted nine years, andchildren started school at the age of six.As can be noted, in 2011 the percentage ofprimary school age children who attendedschool increased from 94% to 95% relative tothe previous census. Primary schoolattendance rates in Montenegro are highest inŽabljak, Cetinje, Danilovgrad, Kotor, Ulcinj andMojkovac (97%). In four municipalities –Žabljak, Tivat, Berane and Pljevlja – the schoolattendance rate is at the same level as in2003. In Podgorica and Berane, the schoolattendance rate among children aged 6-17 islowest (93%).An increase in the school attendance rate isrecorded in the majority of municipalities, whilea decrease of 1% was registered in Budva,Nikšić and Podgorica. When comparing 2003and 2011 Census data, it should be taken intoaccount that, according to the currently usedmethodology, displaced persons from Kosovowere not included in the population ofMontenegro in 2003. Many of them aremembers of the Roma and Egyptianpopulation, with a school attendance ratesignificantly lower than in other groups.Inclusion of this part of the population amongthe inhabitants of Montenegro, according tothe 2011 Census, resulted in a decreasedschool attendance rate when compared withthe 2003 Census data in the municipalities ofPodgorica, Budva and Nikšić, that have thelargest share of these population members.MunicipalitySchool attendance –Primary education2003. 2011.Žabljak 97% 97%Cetinje 95% 97%Danilovgrad 93% 97%Kotor 96% 97%Ulcinj 92% 97%Mojkovac 96% 97%Pljevlja 96% 96%Kolašin 94% 96%Plužine 95% 96%Herceg Novi 95% 96%Budva 97% 96%Nikšić 97% 96%Bar 93% 95%Tivat 95% 95%BijeloPolje 92% 95%Šavnik 92% 94%Andrijevica 90% 94%Plav 88% 94%Rožaje 85% 94%Podgorica 94% 93%Berane 93% 93%Total 93% 95%Table 3Compulsory education coverage bymunicipalities in the Republic of Montenegro:2003 and 2011
    • OUT-OF-SCHOOL CHILDRENIN MONTENEGROEven though the primary focus of this study ison Roma and Egyptian children, and barriersand bottlenecks to their effective inclusion inmainstream education, in this section we willuse the opportunity to present an overview ofavailable evidence on ‘out-of-school’ childrenin Montenegro as a whole, particularly childrenwith disabilities and poor children who do notattend.Identifying and accurately estimating numberof children who are out of school is particularlydifficult given that majority of them belong tohard-to-reach marginalized, hidden andvulnerable groups of population such asRoma and Egyptian children, refugees andDPs, children with disabilities and poorchildren.The following overview of ‘out-of school’children in Montenegro will, where available,rely on official data at the same timerecognizing that there might be some issuesrelating to underreporting of certain populationgroups associated with it due to themethodology of data collection, thecharacteristics of the given groups, etc.Bearing this in mind, analysis of data relatingto children from the 2011 Census has indeedfor the first time shed some light on who theout-of-school children in the country are.1. Roma and Egyptian ChildrenAccording to this data, coverage of Roma andEgyptian children with compulsory educationbarely exceeds half of the primary-school-agechildren (Figure 1). In the population ofEgyptian children, primary-school attendanceis somewhat higher than in the population of30Figure 1Primary school attendance of Roma and Egyptian children in 201155%446% 449%995%554% 551%Montenegro Egyptian RomaNot attending Attending
    • Roma children, but the mentioned values arestill significantly below the national level.It is important to note that adequate estimationof relevant parameters of inclusion of Romaand Egyptian children in primary education isnot entirely possible, since alternative datashows that more than 10% of children from theRoma and Egyptian population, which has thehighest percentage of primary-school-agechildren, are still not registered in the BirthRegistry.8 There is also no official or reliableenough data on the exact number of childrenof primary-school age. Furthermore, due to thehigh drop-out rate among Roma and Egyptianpupils, the attendance rate is a lot lower thanthe enrolment rate, but again it is impossiblefor it to be calculated due to scant data.Presented below is the available data on thenumber of Roma and Egyptian childrenincluded in compulsory education in the pastdecade.Montenegro has achieved significant results inincreasing the number of Roma and Egyptianchildren enrolled in primary schools each year.However the degree of their educationalinclusion is still not at a satisfactory level, sinceaccording to a Roma and Egyptian populationdatabase, there are 2,680 primary-school-agechildren in the Roma and Egyptian population ,while according to unofficial data, this numberis significantly higher. Also, high drop-out ratesremain one of the most pressing problems forthe education of Roma and Egyptian childrenin Montenegro. According to the World Bank,only 32% of Roma and Egyptian childrencomplete primary education compared to 98%of all children in Montenegro.931Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 2Number of children from the Roma and Egyptian population enrolled in primary schools at the beginningof the school year553688261100611169 11195 11236 11263 112921133711424115822001-2 2002-3 2003-4 2004-5 2005-6 2006-7 2007-8 2008-9 2009-10 2010-11 2012-128 Report by the coalition NGO Roma Circle on the implementation of the policy of protection of the RAE population inMontenegro at state and local levels in 2008.9 Montenegro After the Crisis: Towards a Smaller and More Efficient Government, Public Expenditure and InstitutionalReview, Main Report,World Bank, October 2011.Source: Strategy for development of Primary Education 2012-2017, Ministry of Education
    • 2. Refugees and DPsRefugees and displaced persons belong tosome of the most vulnerable groups in society.This segment of the population is oftencharacterized by unresolved legal status andcitizenship, which prevents their employment,exacerbates poverty, lowers accessibility tobasic social and health services, and education.Census data from 2011 on education brokendown by citizenship status of children showsthat 34% of stateless children do not attendschool. Of the total number of children who arein the process of acquiring citizenship, 16% donot attend school and 15% of children who arecitizens of a foreign country do not attendschool. The lowest percentage of children thatdo not attend school is among children withMontenegrin citizenship (4%).In the context of this Study, it is important tonote that the majority of the refugees and DPpopulation in Montenegro consists of Romaand Egyptians who fled to Montenegro afterthe outbreak of conflict in Kosovo in 1999.Census data shows that over one-third ofRoma and around 45% of Egyptian children inMontenegro are either stateless or are in theprocess of acquiring citizenship.32Figure 3Children aged 6-17 by school attendance and citizenship in%, 2011 Census44%115% 116%334%996%885% 884%666%Montenegro Foreign countries In process of acquiringMontenegrin citizenshipStatelessDo not attend school Attend school
    • discrepancies and underreporting inestimates of child disability prevalence are:stigmatization and social exclusion ofchildren with disabilities and their families,vague and contradicting definitions ofdisability, limited functioning of systems ofearly detection and diagnosis of childdisability, and a lack of knowledge ondisability in general.Montenegro has no reliable data on disabilityprevalence among children, and estimatesrange from the very lowest figure in theCensus (1.1% or 1,543 children) to asuspected disability prevalence rate in theMICS3 (12% of the child population). TheWorld Health Organization uses a globalaverage estimate of 5.1% .See the tablebelow:33Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroAll things considered, educational deprivation,when assessed by measuring the failure toattend primary school (children from 6 to 15years old), is very much a characteristic of theRoma and Egyptian population, particularly ofdisplaced Roma and Egyptians. Althoughprimary education is mandatory, the school-attendance rate is very low among the Romaand Egyptian population.3. Children with disabilitiesThe problem of data unavailability becomeseven more serious when it comes to childrenwith disabilities and this is a problem facedby almost all countries in transition—particularly those with very low rates ofchildhood disability recorded in thecensus. Factors contributing to significantFigure 4Roma and Egyptian Children by Citizenship Status, in %449%330%113%225%111%112%226% 332%11% 11%Roma EgyptiansNo dataStatelessIn the process ofobtaining citizenshipA foreign countryMontenegrin
    • 34Table 4Data on disability among children in MontenegroChild Disability Rate in the 2011 Census* 1 543 or 1.1%MICS Montenegro 2005—suspected disability rate (2-9 years of age) 12.5%Child disability benefit recipients (2011) 1 599Special Education Needs (SEN) Children with Commissions’ referral (6-14 years,2011/2012)1 109Children: 0-14 based upon 5.1% WHO national average estimate 6 500Children: 6-14 (school-going age) 5.1% WHO national average estimate 4 056Children aged 0-14 with some type of diagnosis from healthcare services (Institute forPublic Health, 2009)Total: 2 1620-5: 9846-14: 1 178Additionally, legislation in the area of educationrecognizes children with disabilities as a sub-group of Children with Special EducationNeeds (SEN). The Article 4 of the Law onEducation of Children with Special EducationNeeds defines children with SEN as:1) children with disabilities (children withphysical, intellectual, sensory and combineddisabilities); and 2) children with difficulties anddisadvantages (children with behaviouraldisorders, serious long-lasting illnesses,learning difficulties and other difficultiescaused by emotional, social, language andcultural obstacles). What is usually used as aproxy indicator for children with disabilities inthe educational system is the number ofchildren who were assessed by theCommissions for Orientation of Children withSEN in Education. The figure below showssignificant progress made in terms of thenumber of children with disabilities assessedby the commissions since 2009. However,because of the difficulties in assessingoverall childhood disability prevalence itremains unclear how many of thesechildren are still out of school.
    • 35Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro4. Children affected by povertyThe most recent study on child poverty estimatedthat there are approximately 14 500 children inMontenegro who live in poverty (10% of the totalchild population). UNICEF’s Report ‘Child Povertyin Montenegro’ shows that children areparticularly vulnerable and they are more affectedby poverty than adults. Child poverty weakensequality and contributes to worse outcomes inhealth, nutrition, education and generalwellbeing.10 It strongly contributes to themarginalization and social exclusion of children.The children most vulnerable to poverty andinequity are the under-fives, those who live inthe north of the country and in rural areas,those who live in single-parent households,and households with three or more children.The Report also identifies Roma and Egyptianchildren and children of DPs and IDPs asparticularly vulnerable.Evidence shows that child poverty has a strongcorrelation with access to education. TheReport confirmed that children living in poorhouseholds have no adequate space forstudying and their parents struggle to providethem with very basic textbooks, school suppliesand transport costs to school and back. Also,poor households in Montenegro are on average12 km away from the nearest primary school,20 km away from the nearest high school and19 km away from the nearest kindergarten.The MICS3 conducted in 2005 shows asignificant gap in school attendance betweenchildren coming from the richest 20% of thepopulation and children coming from thepoorest 20%.Figure 5Number of SEN children with commissions’ decisions/referrals247654960110992476549601102009 2010 2011 2012- December10 Report ‘Child Poverty in Montenegro’, UNICEF, November 2011.(http://www.unicef.org/montenegro/media_19760.html)
    • 36Figure 6Primary school net attendance ratio by wealth index quintiles, Montenegro 2005991,50%997,80%998,60%999,30% 999,40%Poorest Second Middle Fourth Richest
    • ANALYSIS OFDETERMINANTSIN EDUCATION37Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • 38The desk study elaborates on determinants ofequity in education, and those which fall withinthe “Enabling Environment” category of theDeterminant Analysis Framework. Specificbarriers and bottlenecks under eachdeterminant are covered.ENABLING ENVIRONMENTThis part of the desk study analyzes relevantlegislation, policies, strategies, investment andexpenditure, and other factors that canpromote Roma and Egyptian education; andwhich are all a part of the “EnablingEnvironment” category within the DeterminantAnalysis Framework. The determinants in thiscategory can, at the system and society level,support equal access to quality education. Inother words, these determinants can set theground work for the fulfilment of education forall, including Roma and Egyptian children.They can also serve to hinder equal education.For example if national policies and legislationrun counter to equal education it would beharder for inclusive education initiatives to becreated at the community level, or for Romaand Egyptian children to claim their right toeducation. The four determinants of the“Enabling Environment” category covered inthis section are: Social Norms;Legislation/Policy; Budget/Expenditure; andManagement Coordination. The specificbarriers and bottlenecks under eachdeterminant, concerning equal access toquality education for Roma and Egyptianchildren in Montenegro, are analyzed.Social NormsSocial norms and attitudes, includingdiscrimination, can determine whether or notthere is national attainment of equal educationthat is inclusive of diverse children. Childrenthat belong to certain populations are morelikely to be deprived of education even thoughit is a fundamental human right. Some of thecommon factors relating to stigma andprejudice that endanger children’s right toeducation are discussed below. Children whoare the most exposed to stigma anddiscrimination usually belong to one of thefollowing groups: children with physical orintellectual disabilities; minority groups such asRoma or Egyptians; refugees or displacedpersons, as well as poor children.1. Stigma and discrimination against childrenfrom vulnerable social groupsSocial exclusion of Roma and Egyptianchildren severely endangers their access toeducation, making these children invisible tothe system and leading to high rates of non-enrolment in school. Studies conducted inSouth-East European countries point to theDESK STUDY
    • presence of very extensive differencesregarding the rate of school attendancebetween Roma and Egyptian and children fromthe majority population, particularly in Albania,Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro11,caused by a high social exclusion rate.Throughout South-East Europe, governmentsacknowledge that non-enrolment and droppingout are contributed to by segregation of Romaand Egyptian children, which is closely linked tostigma and discrimination. Segregation is a riskfactor for the education of Roma and Egyptianchildren which is manifested in three forms inthe system of education:1) segregationbetween schools (formal or actual): the majorityof Roma and Egyptian pupils attend schoolswhere Roma and Egyptian children make upthe majority and that are mainly located in thevicinity of Roma and Egyptian settlements; 2)segregation within school (formal or actual): incase of heterogeneous schools, Roma andEgyptian pupils are often secluded from otherpupils by being gathered in special classes;and 3) segregation – special schools: Romaand Egyptian children are occasionally sent tospecial schools.In Montenegro, segregation in education islinked to residential segregation. The Romaand Egyptian population in most cases lives inisolated settlements, often in refugee camps,where access to education is fairly limited.Among the localities where segregation ineducation has been observed are themunicipalities of Berane and Podgorica.The Government of Montenegro hasrecognized this in its Strategy for Developmentof Primary Education 2012-2017. One of themeasures aimed at ensuring universal accessto quality education foresees the introductionof programmes for prevention of segregationof Roma and Egyptian children in schools.Living separately from the majority population,the Roma and Egyptian populations are oftenexcluded from the main areas of society inMontenegro. Social exclusion and pooreconomic conditions together contribute to thepoor living conditions of RE in Montenegro andpotentially erode their distinctive ethnic andcultural identity and tradition. The actual situationin the RE population in Montenegro (particularlyinternally displaced RE) is very often distant fromthe way the majority of the population live.As a minority group, Roma and Egyptian parentsand children in Montenegro may perceive aproblem of achieving educational parity with themajority group of the society. Minority groupsmay perceive the education system to befavouring the values of the majority group. Theymay regard such education as subversive oftheir own culture (religion, language, etc.)In its report on Montenegro from 201212, theEuropean Commission against Racism andIntolerance (ECRI) recognizes that Roma andEgyptian children are subjected to discriminationin access to education and in the schoolenvironment, adding that there are negativeattitudes and widespread prejudice towards theRoma and Egyptian population, especiallyRoma and Egyptian IDPs from Kosovo.Nationally representative public opinion surveysmeasuring social distance based on ethnicity inMontenegro were conducted in 2004 and2007.13 At that time, the survey results have39Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro11 Breaking the Cycle of Exclusion: ROMA CHILDREN IN SOUTH EAST EUROPE, UNICEF, 2007http://www.unicef.rs/files/publikacije/Raskinuti%20lanac%20iskljucenosti-Romska%20deca%20u%20jugoistocnoj%20Evropi.pdf12 ECRI Report on Montenegro, Feburary 2012, pp. 15, 2013 Ethnic distance in Montenegro, Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), 2004 and 2007(http://www.cedem.me/sr/programi/istraivanja-javnog-mnjenja/ostala-istraivanja/viewdownload/38-ostala-istraivanja/203-etnika-distanca-u-crnoj-gori-maj-2007.html)
    • shown distance toward the Roma and Egyptiancommunity: more than 50% of citizens ofMontenegro did not want to have members ofthe Roma and Egyptian community as theirneighbours and 70% of citizens opposed havingtheir child go to a class where a member of theRoma and Egyptian community is a teacher.The distance becomes even more pronouncedwhen it comes to personal relationships andsocial communication—for 55% of citizens it isnot acceptable to be friends with members ofthe Roma and Egyptian community. Asexpected, distance towards the Roma andEgyptian community is emphasized most whenforming a family relationship with the Roma isconcerned: 77% of citizens would find itunacceptable to become a distant relative witha member of the Roma and Egyptiancommunity through a marriage with a relativeand more than 80% could not imagine beingmarried to a Roma or Egyptian or their childmarrying a Roma or Egyptian.Findings of the survey conducted in 2011 onDiscrimination of Minorities and MarginalisedSocial Groups14, which examineddiscrimination in access to education,employment, health protection, and justice,show that on average members of the Romaand Egyptian community are the mostmarginalized and discriminated against inMontenegro. Observing discrimination inaccess to education, according to this survey,Roma or Egyptian and people with disabilitiesrepresent the most vulnerable groups, with53% and 40% of citizens stating that Roma orEgyptians and people with disabilitiesrespectively do not have the same treatmentas the majority population with regards toaccess to education.The conclusions of some qualitative reportsare similar. Focus groups conducted for theReport on Child Poverty in Montenegro15 showthat for poor Roma and Egyptian childrenunpleasant situations in school are common,but parents associate them more with ethnicdistance than with poverty. Another worryingfinding of the focus groups is that Roma andEgyptian children do not receive assistanceand protection from teachers when they reportbullying by their peers.When it comes to children with disabilities inMontenegro, stigma has been identified as oneof the main obstacles to their full educationalinclusion and inclusion in the life of localcommunities in general. As a response, in2010 the Government of Montenegro andUNICEF jointly launched the “It’s About Ability”campaign with the aim of combating stigmaand creating positive images of children withdisabilities in public.Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP)surveys have been conducted periodically inorder to assess the impacts of the campaign.The results since 2010 show significantimprovements in the attitudes of the generalpublic towards children with disabilities.4014 Survey on Discrimination of Minorities and Marginalised Societal Groups, CEDEM, June 2011(http://www.cedem.me/sr/programi/istraivanja-javnog-mnjenja/ostala-istraivanja/viewdownload/38-ostala-istraivanja/208-istraivanje-diskriminacije-manjinskih-naroda-i-marginalizovanih-drutevnih-grupa-jun-2011.html)15 Report ‘Child Poverty in Montenegro’, UNICEF, November 2011(http://www.unicef.org/montenegro/media_19760.html)
    • 41Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroMatched with the reform of the educationsystem and the system of social and childprotection, the campaign is yielding someimpressive results. However, additional effortsare needed to accommodate the needs ofchildren with disabilities and integrate theminto regular schools. In December 2012, therewere 1,109 children with disabilities assessedby the Commissions for the Orientation ofChildren with SEN into Education. According toWHO estimates as many as two-thirds ofchildren with disabilities of primary-school ageare still out of schools.Legislation and Policy on EducationLegislation and policies affect the form andquality of services; they are the basis on whichdifferent sectors, including the educationsector, develop and organize their systemsand programmes. They set the tone, stipulateand describe goals, basic principles and theobligations of the authorities. Ultimately, theydetermine in part whether quality education willbe available to all equally. The legal foundationof education in Montenegro is reviewed in thisnext section, with a special focus on inclusiveeducation. Also covered is an overview ofrelevant policy documents that refer to theissue of inclusion and dropping out of primaryschool, both in the international communityand in Montenegro.In order to create an inclusive system ofeducation that is equally responsive to allchildren, the Government of Montenegro isacting in two directions primarily: (1) developingmechanisms for continuous education ofchildren and parents from the Roma andEgyptian population and controlling the qualityof knowledge that these children gain; and (2)continuous education of teachers and otherschool personnel about the importance andcharacteristics of inclusive education.Figure 7Impact of the ‘It’s About Ability’ campaign446%664%777% 774%336% 339%667%990%% of citizens convinced thatchildren with disabilities arebetter off in specialinstitutions than with theirfamilies% of citizens who find itunacceptable that a childwith a disability is going tothe same class as their child% of citizens who find itunacceptable that a childwith a disability is the bestfriend of their child% of citizens who think thatchildren with disabilities areequally valuable members ofsocietyAugust 2010 December 2012
    • 1. Legal and Regulatory Framework onInclusive Education in MontenegroThe Constitution of Montenegro, adopted in2007, guarantees to all its citizens the right toeducation under equal conditions, whileprimary education is stipulated as free-of-charge and compulsory. For members ofminority peoples and minority ethnic groups,the Constitution stipulates the right toeducation in their mother tongue and alphabetin state institutions, as well as a curriculumthat includes their history and culture.The General Law on Education (enacted in2002, most recent amendments in 2011) is theprincipal act governing the basics of thesystem of education. For the citizens ofMontenegro, this Law stipulates equality inexercising their right to education, regardlessof their nationality, race, sex, language,religion, social origin or any other personalcharacteristic.The Law on Primary Education (enacted2002, most recent amendments in 2010) setsas its goal the provision of primary educationfor all citizens and upbringing for mutualtolerance, respecting diversities, cooperationwith others and respecting human rights andfundamental freedoms. Primary education iscompulsory for all children aged 6 to 15, it lasts9 years, and children who are to start schoolare those who turn six in that calendar year.The Rulebook on the Form and Manner ofKeeping Pedagogical Records and Contentof Public Documents in School from 2004stipulates the form and manner of keepingpedagogical records and content of public andother documents managed by schools, orissued to pupils in primary schools (and otherschools).The Law on Preschool Education (enacted in2002, most recent amendments in 2010) hasthe basic goals of preschool education including:creating the conditions for life, development andeducation, developing social skills, learning torespect diversity and group participation,stimulating language development, developingcreative usage of speech for reading, writing,and preparation for education.Given that preschool education is notcompulsory in Montenegro, it is of interest togive a brief overview of the Rulebook on theDetailed Manner, Procedure and Criteria forthe Enrolment of Children in a PreschoolInstitution. According to this rulebook,enrolment of children in preschool institutionsis performed on the basis of a public callannounced by the institution. The request forenrolment of a child, together with thenecessary documents, is submitted on astipulated form. In institutions where morechildren want to be enrolled than it is possibleto accommodate, admission is based on thecriteria of employed parents (one or both),single parent and families with two or morechildren of preschool age.42Adequate preparation for primaryschool that takes place withinpreschool education can be animportant preventive measureagainst dropping out, and it istherefore important to provide ashort overview of laws regulatingpreschool education.
    • The Law on Education of Children withSpecial Educational Needs (enacted in 2004,amended in 2010) after adopted amendments,regulates not only the education of childrenwith physical, mental or sensory disorders,behavioural disorders, severe chronicdiseases, emotional disorders, children withcombined problems and long-term sickchildren, but also children that have difficultiesdue to different social, language and culturalbackgrounds. This points to intensifiedawareness of the problems of Roma andEgyptian children and making efforts to solvethese problems.The Law on Social and Child Protection(enacted in 2005) stipulates the rights andways of performing activities in the domain ofsocial and child protection to provideprotection to families, individuals, children atrisk, persons in need, and the sociallyexcluded. When realizing these rights, citizensare equal, regardless of nationality, race, sex,language, religion, social background or otherpersonal characteristics.The Law on Prohibition of Discriminationfrom 2010 forbids every form of discriminationon any basis16, including discrimination in thesphere of education and professional training.Considered as discrimination in the sphere ofeducation and professional training are thehindering or denying of enrolment in aneducational institution at all levels ofeducation, exclusion from this institution,hindering or denying the possibility ofattending classes and participating in otheractivities, categorization, abuse or otherwiseunjustified discrimination or unequal treatmentof children/pupils.The Law on Minority Rights and Freedoms(enacted in 2006, amended in 2007 and 2010)in accordance with the Constitution ofMontenegro, provides minority nations andother minority ethnic communities withprotection of human rights and freedomsguaranteed to all citizens, as well as protectionof specific minority rights and freedoms,including the right to education in their ownlanguage. Teachers who have workingknowledge of a given minority languageperform educational work in regular schools inthat language.43Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroEnrolment of children withoutparental care and children whoseparents are entitled to family materialallowance by the regulations onsocial protection of children from themost vulnerable groups of thepopulation is performed withoutapplying these criteria.Other laws in Montenegro relevantto the position of Roma andEgyptian children in the system ofeducation are the Law on Socialand Child Protection, as well aslaws and regulations in the domainof the protection of human rights.16 Discrimination is defined as every unjustified, legal or physical, direct or indirect discrimination or unequal treatment, ornon-treatment of a person or group of persons in respect to other persons, as well as exclusion, restriction or preferenceof any person in relation to other individuals, based on race, colour, nationality, social or ethnic origin, connection with anyminority people and minority ethnic community, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, sex, gender identity,sexual or other orientation, health, disability, age, material condition, marital or family status, membership of a group orassumed membership of a group, political party or other organization, or other personal characteristics.
    • 2. Strategic Framework in the InternationalCommunityKey international documents in the domain ofeducation on which the national strategy isfounded are: Europe 2020: Strategy for Smart,Sustainable and Inclusive Growth; theMillennium Development Goals; and A WorldFit for Children.The European Union, within its basic strategicframework Europe 2020: Strategy for Smart,Sustainable and Inclusive Growth17, has seteducation as one of the major topics, as a wayto fight inequality and poverty. In the domain ofeducation the high incidence of early droppingout is pointed out, defined by the EuropeanCommission as a failure to completecompulsory school or secondary school, or thefailure to obtain qualifications or a schooldiploma.18 One of the strategic goals to beachieved by the year 2020 is reducing theearly drop-out rate to below 10%, whichwould improve the quality of education andreduce the risk of unemployment, poverty andsocial exclusion.The European Commission emphasizes thatthe reasons for leaving the educationalsystem are highly individualized, but thatdropping out from school is also a socialphenomenon and, as such, can bedetermined by an abundance of factors andtheir interaction. The predominant causes ofdropping out of the system differ according tocountry and region, and it is not possible todefine a unique ‘profile’ of a child that quitsschool, or make a detailed list of factorsresulting in dropping out. As important factors,EC indicates a poor, socially or educationallynon-stimulating background setting andbelonging to minority groups, such as theRoma ethnic community.The Millennium Development Goals of theUnited Nations19 envisage by the year 2015,among other things, 100% inclusion of boysand girls in primary education, as well as areduction of the rate of illiteracy among itscitizens older than 10 years to 1%. In thedomain of primary education, particularemphasis is put on inclusion of all childrenfrom marginalized groups, especially Roma,Ashkali and Egyptian and children withdevelopmental problems, overcoming theproblem of their early school leaving, as wellas improving the quality of their education.20The international document A World Fit forChildren21, closely associated with theMillennium Development Goals, sets theobjective that each child has to have access toquality primary education, which is compulsoryand free of charge.Some of the envisaged activities aimed atrealizing these goals are the development andimplementation of special strategies that makeeducation available to all children, promotionof innovative programmes that stimulate theschool and community to actively search forchildren who have dropped out from schooland help them complete school, with theparticipation of the government, community,family and NGOs as partners in the process ofeducation, enabling more extensiveaccessibility of primary education to childrenfrom vulnerable groups.4417 Adopted at the EU Summit on June 17, 201018 EC, Reducing Early School Leaving, http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/earlywp_en.pdf accessed onJuly 15, 2012, European Commission: [SEC(2010)] "Reducing Early School Leaving”. The accompanying document tothe Proposal for a Council Recommendation on Policies to Reduce Early School Leaving, Brussels, 201029 Adopted at the Millennium Summitin New York in September 2000.20 The mid-term report on the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals in Montenegro has been outlined in thesection “Analysis of the Current Situation”.21 Adopted in 2002 at the Special Session of the UN General Assembly devoted to children.
    • 3. National Strategies and GoalsNational strategies for the development ofeducation, as well as the implementededucation policy and standards, are based onthe documents of the United Nations and theEuropean Union.In the national strategies and goals ofMontenegro, the issue of overcomingproblems in education that Roma and Egyptianchildren face, as well as the concrete issues ofincreasing inclusion and preventing thedropping out of these children fromcompulsory education are present. As themost relevant documents that fundamentalpolicies and measures in the domain ofcompulsory education are based on, we wouldlike to single out the following strategies andstrategic documents:• The Book of Changes (2001)• Strategy for the Development of PrimaryEducation with Action Plan (2011)• Action Plan for the Implementation of the“Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015 inMontenegro (2005)• Strategy for the Improvement of thePosition of the Roma, Ashkali andEgyptian Population in Montenegro (2007)– for the period 2008-2012• Strategy for the Improvement of thePosition of Roma and Egyptians inMontenegro (2012) – for the period 2012-2016As for coverage of children by compulsoryeducation, these strategies and strategicdocuments set very similar goals andprinciples. The basic guiding principle is theprovision of education to all equally, regardlessof sex, social or cultural origin, religion,nationality, physical and mental constitution orany other characteristic. Quality and availableprimary education for all children inMontenegro is the key priority of thementioned strategic documents and it is afoundation of the planned measures and45Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegroactivities at both the country and local levels.Foreseen measures and activities, amongother things, include those aimed at theestablishment of a reliable database of Romaand Egyptian children for enhanced monitoringof their enrolment in school and prevention ofdropping out and increased coverage bypreschool education, as well as expansion ofservices available for Roma and Egyptianchildren and their parents. Even though thegovernment has shown a high level ofcommitment in fulfilling its strategic intents,implementation of these measures andactivities still remains a challenge.Past attempts to support children from theRoma and Egyptian population who come frompoor families related primarily to additionalfinancing aimed at meeting the needs of thesechildren and providing support, such asdistributing free textbooks, school supplies,clothes and footwear. These measures arestipulated in the Strategy for the Improvementof the Position of the Roma, Ashkali andEgyptian Population in Montenegro (2008-2012) and the new Strategy for Developmentof Primary Education with Action Plan (2012-2017), as well as within several Local ActionPlans for Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children(Nikšić, Bar, Herceg Novi).4. Local Strategic PlansStrategic action plans at the local level provideinsight into the focus of municipalities withinMontenegro in terms of the Roma andEgyptian population and their position in thesystem of education. Many municipalities inMontenegro have local action plans forchildren, within which regulated activities areaimed at improving the realization of the rightsof children in all spheres of life, increasinginterest and the awareness of society aboutthe situation these children are in and theirneeds, as well as strengthening the capacity oflocal communities in the segments engaged inupgrading children’s position.
    • Local action plans (LPAs) for children wereadopted in 2012 by the municipalities of BijeloPolje, Bar, Cetinje, Kotor and Rožaje, andadoption of the LPA for Children in theMunicipality of Ulcinj is expected in the firstquarter of 2013. These LPAs define themeasures and priority activities to be realizedby the year 2016. The municipalities ofBerane, Niksic and Tivat adopted their localaction plans in 2007 and these documents arestill in force. Among other areas, Local ActionPlans stipulate measures and activities aimedat improving the position of children from theRoma and Egyptian population in the domainof education, but also protection andpromotion of the position of Roma andEgyptian children in general, as well as theirintegration into the local community.Apart from action plans for children, theMunicipalities of Tivat, Herceg Novi and Nikšićalso have action plans for the inclusion of theRoma, Ashkali and Egyptian population as aparticularly vulnerable group of citizens, andthese plans are still in force. They define the46As one of the key goals of localstrategies for children, singled outis the provision of all children withaccess to quality education and anincrease in primary educationcoverage, with special focus onchildren from vulnerable andmarginalized groups, such as Romaand Egyptian children, children withdisabilities and children fromsocially exposed families.In order to increase inclusion of children from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptianpopulation in the system of compulsory education and prevent early schoolleaving, local strategies for inclusion of the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian populationstipulate numerous measures and activities aimed at the parents of Roma, Ashkaliand Egyptian children, school personnel, characteristics of the curriculum andways and forms of conveying it to children, but also the material and financialaspects of education. Accordingly, these strategies stipulate action in the directionof raising parents’ awareness of the importance of education for normal socialdevelopment and a better life for children, increasing the degree of inclusivenessof schools and rooting out prejudice towards the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptianpopulation, educating children and parents about the necessity of inclusion ofchildren in the regular system of education, promoting cooperation betweenschools and parents, increasing the number of assistants from the Roma andEgyptian population etc. The documents also stipulate providing necessarymaterial resources and conditions, such as transportation and food for children,school supplies and textbooks.
    • 47Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroBudget and Expenditures on Education inMontenegroThe financing of, and expenditure oneducation is also a determinant in enablingchildren from vulnerable populations access toquality education. Montenegro faces difficultchoices in the twin challenges of improving thequality of education and curtailing fiscalexpenditures in this sector. The future keychallenge for the Montenegrin educationsector consists of balancing fiscalsustainability considerations with increasingthe quality of outcomes. Presented below arethe information and main recommendations ofthe World Bank regarding budget andexpenditures on education.221. Investment for Improvement of the Quality ofEducationOver the past 5 years, Montenegro hasinvested considerable resources in primaryeducation to improve the quality of learning.23Between 2006 and 2010, total educationexpenditure increased by 50%, from €89.4 to€134.8 million. The largest nominal increases(year-on-year) occurring in 2007 (+30%) and2008 (+24%). Altogether, the increase in theeducation budget between 2006 and 2009exceeded the increase in average living costs(+15%), reflecting sizable real increases.Consolidation of education sector expendituresstarted in 2009 and continued into 2010, withboth years showing a nominal tightening inspending.In order to improve the quality and efficiency ofeducation, Montenegro will face very difficultchoices to ensure that there are sufficientresources. The reform agenda will have toinclude the closing of small schools, increasingpupil-teacher ratios, making savings on energyefficiency, and/or reducing the costs ofadministration.There is some scope for increasing class sizesoverall, even though Montenegro’s currentaverages are close to international meanvalues. Class sizes vary considerably acrosscountries. In Montenegro, the average classsize in primary education is 22.0.Teachers are a critical factor in improving thequality of education. It is important to ensurethat both the number of teachers is appropriateand there are opportunities for professionaldevelopment. By international standards, theproportion of the Montenegrin educationbudget for salary expenditures is high—whichmeans, inversely, that the level of expenditureon non-salary items is very low.2. Expenditure on Teaching Staff and UtilitiesAs a share of the education budget,Montenegro spends 17% on primaryeducation, as compared to the OECD averageof 20% and the EU19 average of 19%.24The most important driver of the largeincreases in primary and secondary educationspending in 2007 and 2008 has been the risein teachers’ salaries and, to a lesser extent, inspending on utilities. However, despite theincrease, Montenegro’s spending on quality-enhancing, non-salary items has remainedlow. In 2009, the proportion of the recurrenteducation budget used for gross salary costswas 93% in primary education and 92% insecondary education. In 2007, 11% of22 Montenegro After the Crisis: Towards a Smaller and More Efficient Government. Public Expenditure and InstitutionalReview, Main Report, October, 2011.23 The education reform was supported by the Education Reform Project and an associated US$5 million World Bank loan.24 Per-student primary education expenditure as a percentage of per capita GDP; see OECD (2010a).
    • recurrent spending in both primary andsecondary education (including vocationaleducation and training) was on non-salarycosts. In 2008, the figure was 9% (again forboth primary and secondary education);however, almost half of these non-salaryexpenditures were for utilities, rather thanquality-promoting items like textbooks or otherlearning materials. In 2010, the proportion ofnon-salary expenditure is expected to be evenlower, at 6%.3. Funding of Policies that TargetDisadvantaged ChildrenOverall enrolment rates in primary andsecondary education are comparable to otherEuropean and OECD countries. Almost allchildren are, according to official statistics,enrolled in primary education at theappropriate age, which places Montenegrofavourably amongst higher-income countries.25The situation of the Roma and Egyptianminorities, however, is quite different. Datafrom the Employers Survey26 shows that a lackof education is a major obstacle for labourmarket integration of Roma and Egyptians.To be able to make noticeable progress ingetting the remaining pupils into school willdepend on ensuring that those Roma andEgyptian children already enrolled attendschool regularly and with a view to graduating.It is important to note that Montenegro suffersfrom a mismatch between acquired skills andknowledge and the needs of the labourmarket, not only in case of the Roma andEgyptian population, but in case of majoritypopulation as well. For example, theEmployment Agency of Montenegro (2010)found that the lack of trained labour in themarket represented the single most importantreason that employers had given for not beingable to fill positions, and 61% of employeeswho received training in the previous yearwere trained in basic skills and knowledge(basic computer literacy and other courses,and knowledge of English language. Littleattention is paid to upgrading labour marketskills.Montenegro will need to move beyond isolatedreforms for different sub-sectors and develop acomprehensive lifelong learning system,including an expansion of provisions at thepreschool and adult education level. Firststeps in this direction have been undertakenby the development of a QualificationFramework for Life-Long Learning, which willallow for more flexible learning paths and willmake the recognition of degrees and priorlearning easier.In addition to cost considerations, Montenegrowill need to change the structure of itseducation expenditures and significantlyincrease the proportion directed towardsquality-enhancing measures. Early childhooddevelopment as well as higher education andlifelong learning will play an important role forMontenegro’s future competitiveness andfurther reform efforts will need to focus onthese sub-sectors.4825 Montenegro After the Crisis: Towards a Smaller and More Efficient Government. Public Expenditure and InstitutionalReview, Main Report, October, 2011.26 Employment Agency for Montenegro, 2010
    • 49Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroManagement and CoordinationIf measures and systems are not in place tomonitor, manage and coordinate efforts aroundeducation, then it becomes difficult toimplement initiatives that may promoteeducation among Roma and Egyptians.Weaknesses and strengths in managementand coordination determine educationoutcomes for vulnerable children. This finalsection of the desk study describes the systemdevised for regulating non-enrolment and non-attendance of primary school. Additionallydescribed are measures designed to preventleaving the educational system early.1. Identifying and Addressing Issues of EarlyDropping Out & EnforcementReviewing the laws currently in force inMontenegro, we find that two institutions are incharge of the process of enrolment in primaryschool and regulating non-enrolment and non-attendance of primary school: the stateauthority in charge of keeping vital records ofcitizens, and the educational institution.According to the aforementioned Law onPrimary Education, children who should beenrolled in school are those who will turn six inthat calendar year (Article 31 regulating theconditions of school enrolment). A child canstart school before the age of 6, but also at alater age if the child is not ready for school atthe age of 6. In both cases, the parents are theones who suggest this, but the decision ismade by the authorized committee.The Law on Primary Education includesprecise information about enrolment in primaryschool and about sanctions to follow if a childis not enrolled in school. According to Article35, the state authority in charge of keepingvital records of citizens is obliged to deliver tothe school a list of children of school ageresiding in settlements in the school catchmentarea by the end of February every year. Theschool is required to file a complaint to thecompetent inspection against parents of achild who is not enrolled in school, or does notmeet the primaryschool obligation (Article 36).The school must file this complaint within 15days after the enrolment deadline, or the daythe child stopped fulfilling the primaryeducation obligation. If the child is not enrolledin school, or does not attend classes, theparent is liable to a fine of a half to ten timesthe minimum wage in Montenegro (Article 81).If a parent fails to enrol the child in schooleven after the sentence, or if the child does notattend school again, the sentence can berepeated.However, these legal provisions are rarely implemented in practice andenforcement mechanisms are insufficiently defined. Many of the children, who areout of school, have never been officially signed out of school and their parents arerarely contacted by the competent institutions or fined for not fulfilling theirparental obligation. The Strategy for Development of Primary Education 2012-2017recognizes that this is one of the problems that needs to be addressed throughstrengthening the coordination between the competent institutions. Primarily, bydesigning clear procedures and responsibilities so as to ensure that information onpossible dropping-out could be received in a timely manner and schools, centresfor social welfare and other competent institutions can react in line with the Law.
    • 502. Identifying Children at Risk of Dropping Outand Taking Preventive MeasuresInsufficient knowledge of the official languageis a significant barrier to the successfuleducation of Roma and Egyptian children andat the same time a cause of segregation.27 It isoften the case that children who donot speakthe official language to a sufficient extent maybe categorized as children with minordevelopmental and intellectual problems,therefore may be directed to specialinstitutions. Those who are enrolled in primaryschool and do not speak Montenegrinlanguage well, are faced with extensivebarriers trying to master the curriculum.To date there have been no efficientinformation systems developed in order to helpidentify Roma and Egyptian children who haveproblems in learning the official language,although all children go through preschoolassessment and screening. However, thereare some measures foreseen to alleviate theproblems of the language barrier for Roma andEgyptian children.One of the ways to overcome this problem is to introduce teaching personnel fromthe Roma and Egyptian population who will help these children freely engage instudying. Introduction of Roma mediators is a measure for promotingcommunication between the community and the school, and a significant form ofeffort invested in preventing dropping out by Roma and Egyptian children fromcompulsory education.28 Empirical data indicates that an insufficient number ofteaching staff from the Roma and Egyptian population is one of the reasons for thedropping out by Roma and Egyptian children from compulsory education.29The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommendedand stimulated the programme of employing Roma assistants from the Roma orEgyptian population. The Ministry of Education and Sports, through the project“Reform of the System of Social and Child Protection: Improvement of SocialInclusion” (from January 2011 to halfway through 2013), plans to increase thenumber of Roma and Egyptian children in the system of education by employing alarger number of Roma assistants in primary schools.In order to overcome the problem with the language barrier, classes of Romalanguage and culture in schools are planned, with a high percentage of Roma andEgyptian pupils involved at the state level. Additionally, in order to overcome theproblem of segregation of Roma and Egyptian pupils, the instruments for testingchildren when starting school are being standardized, taking into account thespecific socio-cultural context in which these children grow up. At the local level,measures are focused on the education of parents and children through therealization of different projects.27 From integrative to inclusive education: keeping up with the needs, http://www.disabilityinfo.me/1/studija_obrazovanje.pdf28 Monitoring report on the Decade of Roma inclusion 2005 -2015 for Montenegro, Decade Watch 2007 Update,http://www.romadecade.org/files/downloads/DecadeWatch/DecadeWatch%202007%20Update%20-%20Final%20%2830-07-08%29.pdf29 Mid-term report about the Millennium Developmental Goals in Montenegro, 2010http://www.undp.org.me/home/mdg/2010/MDG%20report%202010%20MNE.pdf
    • 51Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Zoran Jovanović Maccak
    • 52The following empirical study presents findingsfrom the conducted survey, focus groups andin-depth interviews.The information gleanedfrom the surveys shed light on thedeterminants that contribute to inequalities ineducation, and which fall within the “Supply”,“Demand,” and “Quality” categories of theDeterminant Analysis Framework. Specificbarriers and bottlenecks under eachdeterminant, in each category, are covered.SUPPLYIn order to promote equality in educationcertain essentials need to be supplied toensure that all children, including the mostvulnerable and marginalized, have equalaccess to quality education. They includeeverything from the provision of facilities inwhich to hold classes, to the provision of well-trained teachers. These types of elements arethe determinants within the “Supply” categoryof the Determinant Analysis Framework, andthey have a decisive impact on Roma andEgyptian education. Some of thesedeterminants are analyzed in detail belowwithin the context of examining the livingconditions of children who drop out, versus theliving conditions of peers who stay in school.Additionally highlighted is an analysis of theavailability of schools and preschools, and howtheir availability affects attendance.Availability of Essential Commodities andInputsChildren included in this survey generallylive in inadequate housing conditions,especially children from the Roma andEgyptian population who do not attendschool. In many cases households live faraway from schools, and children need dailyescorting back and forth, which in most ofthe cases represents an obstacle to theirregular attendance at schools and ultimatelyto their education.1. Proximity of Schools to Family Homes andTransportationOne of the obstacles that Roma andEgyptian children and other children who areoutside the system of education are facedwith is the large distance from theirhousehold to school. Parents from bothpopulations complained about this problem,but quantitative data indicates that Romaand Egyptians are in a somewhat worseposition, as they usually live in secludedsettlements. A higher percentage of Romaand Egyptian households are distant fromschools, that is, in comparison with themajority population a higher percentage ofRoma and Egyptian households live at adistance of 20 or more minutes’ walk fromschool.EMPIRICAL STUDY
    • This obstacle is overcome by the long walk toschool or paid transport, but due to weatherconditions or a lack of money in some casesthis obstacle remains insurmountable.Members of the majority population whosechildren are not included in the school systemmentioned, in a significantly higherpercentage, that it is extremely difficult to getto primary school by walking. Roughly one-fifth (22%) of parents report that the road toschool is not safe, due to reasons such astransport, that is, fast driving, the absence ofsidewalks, pedestrian crossings, bad roads,as well as wild animals (particularly in winter).Children mainly go to school with their peers(friends or siblings), while one in ten childrengo to school accompanied by an adulthousehold member.53Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroJovana is 8 years old, and she did not startschool in time because the house in whichshe lived with her parents was at a distanceof 60km from Nikšić and the closest primaryschool. At the moment she lives with hergrandparents in their house in Nikšić, whereshe moved in order to be able to attendschool. Usually her grandfather takes her toschool. She rarely sees her parents,because they still live in the village of Ubli,in which Jovana was also born. Jovanasstay with her grandparents is just atemporary solution. Her parents hope thather father will manage to find a job, so thatthe whole family will be able to move closerto the city.Before Jovana moved in with hergrandparents and was enrolled in school inNikšić, her parents tried to enrol her in thevillage school 7 km from their house.Namely, the idea was to organize teachingfor Jovana and another girl living in thesame village in their place of residence.Nevertheless, this did not happen, soJovana did not have the opportunity to startschool in her place of residence.According to her mother, Jovana is a veryshy and withdrawn child. The mothercannot easily accept being separated fromJovana, and she is quite uncertainregarding Jovanas adaptation to theschool environment.Jovanas teacher is familiar with her familysituation and she is very careful in hercommunication with her. She has alreadyarranged with the school educationalist tosee Jovana from time to time. The teacheralso notices that Jovana is a very quiet andwithdrawn child, but very intelligent, andquick-witted. Jovana goes to a mixed class,with children from the Roma and Egyptianpopulation who are also as withdrawn andquiet as Jovana, so the teacher cannot giveall her attention only to her, and she doesnot want to treat her differently from otherpupils because it would harm hersocialization. The school year has justbegun, so the teacher cannot say anythingwith certainty, but she hopes that Jovanawill quickly fit in with her peers and makefriends with them.According to the teacher, Jovana shouldnot be sent back to Ubli again even if theschool were opened in the village, becauseshe will be used to a large number ofchildren, and if she went to school with justone more child, she would feeluncomfortable.JOVANA – A GIRL WHO LIVES FAR AWAY FROM SCHOOL
    • Another example of a lack of transportation as abarrier to education for Roma and Egyptianchildren comes from an area where there is anongoing attempt to desegregate. In Konik, thestudy found that a segment of children wereplaced in schools from other settlements toavoid segregation and Roma-and-Egyptian-onlyschools. However, to reach the mixed schools itis necessary to pay for transportation, whichRoma and Egyptian parents cannot afford.Simultaneously, Roma and Egyptian parentsclaim that starting from the beginning of the newschool year (2012/13), the free transportationthat had been available has beendiscontinued.However, the information has beenreceived from the Ministry of Education thattransportation continues to be provided forRoma and Egyptian children in Podgorica.The Ministry of Education provides transportationfor Roma and Egyptian children to city schoolsonly in Podgorica. In the remaining 20municipalities, transportation is either not providedor it is provided on an occasional basis by localauthorities.Recognizing that the distance of Romaand Egyptian settlements from the nearesteducational institutions is an important obstacle tothe inclusion of Roma and Egyptian children inmainstream education, some municipalities havemanaged to organize transportation of Roma andEgyptian children to schools on a regular basis(most notably the Municipality of Tivat). However,many municipalities are struggling to provide thenecessary budget for transportation, which ishighly dependent on donor support. This problemhas been particularly emphasized by theMunicipalities of Pljevlja, Berane and Bar.3054The Arifi family has 6 members, the parentsand their four children. The children arebetween 5 and 10 years old, and three ofthem are of school age. The family lives ina shack in the settlement of Konik in poorconditions, without access to running water.The mother takes care of the children,while the father earns money by collectingraw materials, so their monthly income isvery small and rather unreliable. Additionalproblems for the family include the healthcondition of the youngest daughter. Shehad an operation a year ago in Belgrade,which was an additional burden on thefamily budget. However, the financialproblem has been overcome with the helpof NGOs and humanitarian organizations,and the girl is recovering successfully. Thisfamily is special because the parents, evendespite all the bad conditions, are verymotivated and dedicated to the educationof their children. This is evidenced by thechildren themselves who speakMontenegrin well, read and write, gladly goto school and are doing well there. Theparents provide textbooks and neatclothes, so that all three children can go toprimary school in Podgorica. It is a mixedschool situated far from the settlement,thus requiring transportation. This schoolyear, this was actually the barrier thattemporarily interrupted the formaleducation of the Arifi children. Namely, freetransportation was available till this schoolyear, but since this practice was stopped,and the parents cannot afford to pay travelexpenses, the children are not attendingclasses for the time being.THE ARIFI FAMILY– CHILDREN WHO DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL THIS YEARDUE TO NO TRANSPORTATION TO SCHOOL30 Analysis of the inclusion of RAE children in the educational system of Montenegro within the Project ‘Basic Right toEducation’, Save the Children and NGO Enfants Berane, December 2012http://www.scribd.com/doc/121765890/Analiza-uklju%C4%8Divanja-djece-RAE-porijekla-u-obrazovni-sistem
    • Access to Adequately Staffed ServicesChildren who are not currently included in theprimary education system in most cases havenever attended preschool, which indicates thatthe preschool programme is an importantelement of education. Preschool attendanceand then elementary school attendance arerelated to knowledge of the official language,which is on the other hand determinedprimarily by using the language in households.Thus in almost all Roma and Egyptian familiesin which children are not in school,communication takes place in the Romany orAlbanian languages. On the other hand, thereare no bilingual classes for Roma andEgyptian children, nor do they have enoughhelp in school enrolment. Parents of childrenwho do not attend school, regardless of theirnationality, were not contacted by an institutionwhen it was time for school, nor when theirchildren dropped out of school.1. Insufficiently Available Preschool EducationPreschool institution attendance is, at firstsight, one of the visible differences betweenchildren who attend school and those who donot. A very high percentage of children whoare currently out of the system of formaleducation have never attended akindergarten (84% of Roma and Egyptianand 96% of children from the majoritypopulation), unlike 47% of Roma andEgyptian children and 38% of children fromthe majority population who do attend schoolnow, and who were never included in thepreschool programme.55Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 8Preschool attendance by groups of children44%116%338%447%996%884%662%553%non-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolnon-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE children enrolledin schoolYes No
    • These significant differences indicate that thepreschool institution is one of the relevant linksin the system of education. Mothers of Romaand Egyptian children who participated in thefocus groups also stressed that kindergarten isvery important for their children, primarily forlearning the language. The majority of Romaand Egyptians speak Albanian or Romany athome, so language is one of the barriers theirchildren face in the course of their education.Children who attend a kindergarten of a mixedstructure (children of different ethnicities) learnthe language a lot more easily and master itbefore they start school. Such kindergartensalso provide children with better conditions interms of activities, infrastructure and mealsthan kindergartens located in Roma andEgyptian settlements, intended for Roma andEgyptian children only. Furthermore, parentshave to meet certain requirements that enablechildren to attend “regular” preschoolinstitutions, primarily in terms of hygiene; theirchildren have to be bathed and tidy. Hygieneis, according to mothers who participated inthe discussion, the main reason why parentsdo not enrol their children in thesekindergartens, although they are entitled tochoose the preschool facility child is going toattend. However, it seems that there is aproblem of a lack of information, since onesection of the Roma and Egyptian mothersfrom Podgorica keep saying that their childrencan only be enrolled in the kindergarten in thesettlement, and yet that the conditions thereare not adequate.Inadequate conditions and a shortage ofmoney are also confirmed as being the mostcommon reasons for non-attendance ofkindergarten in the quantitative study, wherealmost half of the children who did not attend56kindergarten (45%), according to their parents,did so due to their poor financial situation.Other mentioned reasons are distance from thepreschool facility, the child’s poor health, etc.Children are usually enrolled in kindergarten atthe age of 4 or 5 (27% at the age of 4, 35% atthe age of 5), and the total age range is 2 to 6years of age. Consequently, children attendedthis institution mainly for one (40%) or twoyears (27%).2. Importance of Using Secondary Languagein SchoolsAn important characteristic of the household isthe language which is mainly spoken in thehousehold, since Roma and Egyptian childrenwho have the chance to learn the Montenegrinlanguage at home find it somewhat easier toovercome the language barrier which they facewhen they enrol in primary school. In themajority of Roma and Egyptian households thelanguage spoken in the household is Romany,which is particularly characteristic of Romaand Egyptian households in which the childrendo not attend primary school. Namely, Romanyis spoken in 83% of such households,Albanian in 16%, while the official Montenegrinlanguage is spoken in just 1% of thehouseholds.When it comes to Roma andEgyptian households in whichchildren attend primary school,Romany is spoken somewhat lessfrequently (66%), whileMontenegrin is spoken inapproximately one in sixhouseholds (16%).
    • 57Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 9Language used in the household1100%00% 00%116% 118%666%990%110%00%11%116%883%Montenegrin -Serbian -Bosnian Albanian Romanynon-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolFigure 10Language used in the household: Roma and Egyptian population116% 118%666%11%116%883%Montenegrin -Serbian -Bosnian Albanian RomanyRE children enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in school
    • The results from focus group discussionsshowed that Roma and Egyptian parentsperceive knowledge of the Montenegrinlanguage as an important condition for schoolattendance. Namely, the importance of thelanguage spoken at home was accentuated bythe mothers of children not enrolled at school,as well as the mothers of children enrolled atschool. On the basis of parents’ emphasizingof the importance of the language spoken athome, it can be concluded that there are nobilingual classes available in schools inMontenegro.“Children have problem with language. Wespeak Albanian and Romany at home, sochildren sometimes get mixed up.”“We did our best to speak Montenegrinwhenever we could, so that the child can learnit more easily, to prevent problems in school.”These results suggest that the presence anduse of minority languages in schools is of highimportance. In order to prevent problems forchildren with an insufficient knowledge of theMontenegrin language, schools should engagein more frequent use of books and didacticmaterials in the Romany language.3. Limited Outreach and Child-SeekingServices by Education SystemsParents of children who are currently out ofschool were usually not assisted by anyrelevant institution in the enrolment process.However, it is obvious that the Roma andEgyptian population is being worked with onthis matter, since a quarter of parents whosechildren dropped out of school later on, wereassisted with enrolment by some institution ororganization. According to parents, these aremainly Roma NGOs, schools or the RedCross, while other official institutions were notinvolved.After dropping out of school, there is noreaction by official institutions such as theschool, municipality, or Social Welfare Centrein the majority of cases. As many as 93% ofRoma and Egyptian parents and 83% ofother parents whose children dropped outof school claim not to have been contactedby anyone after their children dropped outof school. This finding is confirmed by casestudies, since the interviewed parents were notcontacted by anyone when their childrendropped out of school. However, we cannotsay that there is no reaction ever, at leastwhen the reaction of the school is concerned.The section below gives a description of theactions of institutions in the event of thetermination of primary education in Podgorica(Roma and Egyptian settlement of Konik).58When children drop out of school,in half of the cases (48%) they arenot officially withdrawn fromschool, which was confirmed byparents whose children “juststopped going to school and it wasthe end of their formal education”.However, this data cannot beobserved as an indicator of apotential return to school, since84% of parents (86% of Roma andEgyptian, 80% of majoritypopulation) stated explicitly thattheir children would not return toschool the next school year.
    • 59Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroThe “Božidar Vuković Podgoričanin”primary school is located in the settlementVrela Ribnička, about 4km from downtownPodgorica. Educational work is conductedin 59 classes, or 49 classes in the mainbuilding and 10 classes in the facilitylocated in the camp “Konik 2”. According torespondents in this research, the schooldirector and school educationalist, classesare organized in the same way in bothfacilities, they have the same personnel,but the building located in the camp has nosewerage and it is in a very bad condition.During the past few months, it wasconnected to the water supply and itsaccess area was rebuilt.The school in the main building isattended by an equal number of Romaand Egyptian and children from themajority population, but the majority ofRoma and Egyptian children attend lowergrades due to the high drop-out rate. It isvery important that children are notsegregated at the school located in themain building, but this problem does existin the branch school in the camp “Konik2”. This school is attended only by Romaand Egyptian children who live in thecamp.At school, in both of its buildings, theofficial language of Montenegro is used.There is only one Roma assistant in themain school, while in the branch schooleach grade has one Roma assistant.Assistants are engaged by the Ministry ofEducation and Science and thePedagogical Centre.Branch school in the settlement of KonikTeaching staff working with these classes arefaced with certain problems when workingwith children. In their words, when Roma andEgyptian children start school, they are notcapable of accepting the tasks andresponsibilities stipulated by the schoolsystem, so they often violate school disciplineand skip classes. On the other hand, in themajority of cases, teaching staff are notsupported by parents, who do not considereducation important enough (they rarely go tothe school to ask about their children’sgrades), thus are not trying to explain to theirchildren how important it is to do their schoolassignments. Significant problems are alsofrequent absences (“I have 15 children in myclass today, and tomorrow again 15, butcompletely different children.”) which makes itvery difficult for children to master the schoolcurriculum. According to teachers, childrenhave no problem with learning, but theyquickly forget what they have learned, whichis a result of insufficient usage of thatknowledge outside of school and insufficientexercise at home (“We give children a test atthe end of the first semester, and then againat the beginning of the second, and theiraccomplishment drops by 30%. We have tostart each of the grades 1-4 by repeating thealphabet.”)After completing four grades in the branchschool, children continue with theireducation in the main school building.Teachers estimate which children are readyto switch to another school and which areto repeat grade four.FUNCTIONING OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KONIK
    • 60Stipulated procedures in case ofenrolment, non-enrolment and droppingout of schoolAccording to respondents, the duty of thecompetent municipal authority is to makerecords of children old enough to beenrolled in elementary school, and deliverthis list to the school. Lists of school-agechildren are made by the place of abode,taking into consideration the parents’ wish,and they are completed by the Red Crossand NGOs that keep records of the inflowand outflow of children. Lists are deliveredto the school, and then the school sendspersonal invitations to parents saying thattheir children should start school. If thechild is not enrolled in the first grade, ordrops out, the parent is invited for aninterview, so that everything is done tokeep the child in the educational system. Ifparents do not come to the school, theschool should inform the judicial authoritiesabout that. However, the school does notsend a notice to the relevant institution andso no adequate sanctions can be applied.FUNCTIONING OF THE PRIMARY SCHOOL IN KONIKDEMANDIn order for the provision of quality educationto be successfully implemented and equallyavailable amongst the most disadvantagedand marginalized populations, families need tobe able to provide the necessary conditions forchildren to be able to attend, to be in stablesituations, and have capacities that fosterschool attendance. These types of elementsare determinants with the “Demand” categoryof the Determinant Analysis Framework. Thesefactors, which have a decisive impact onRoma and Egyptian education, are analyzed inthe section below.Housing and Financial AccessThe families involved in this survey generallylive in inadequate housing conditions.Residential buildings are often in poor condition,ill-equipped, and without sufficient space orseparate rooms for children. A significantproblem in the Roma and Egyptianpopulation,especially for families whose children do notattend school, is the lack of bathrooms withrunning water. This lack inhibits adequatehygiene necessary for school attendance.In addition, these families live in poor financialsituations, especially the Roma and Egyptianfamilies whose children do not attend school.Monthly incomes per household member are verylow, and the unemployment rate is high amongparents. These conditions affect the lives ofchildren and their education: a significant numberof families claim they are not able to providechildren with three meals a day (approximately20% of families covered by this research);themajority cannot provide children with new clothes;and Roma and Egyptians whose children are notin school have a particular problem with thepurchase of textbooks and transport to school.Another problem for Roma and Egyptians is thatthey are often not able to provide their childrenwith clean clothes. However, despite the poorfinancial situation, child labour is not common, butagain slightly more present among children whodrop out. On the other hand, children quitecommonly help with housework, especially theRoma and Egyptian children who are not inschool and children from the majority populationwho are involved in the education system.
    • 1. Access to Adequate Housing Conditions,Water and HeatThe poor financial situation and inadequateliving conditions are two factors that inhibitchildren’s wellbeing including their education.However, inadequate housing conditions are afactor which makes a difference in the life ofthe Roma and Egyptian and majoritypopulation of poor socio-economic status, andis the first topic that Roma and Egyptian peoplespontaneously mention during the interview orfocus group discussions.This is in part areflection on the fact that the Roma andEgyptian communities, displaced during theconflict in Kosovo do not have more permanentand adequate living accommodations.31Although both of these groups, the Roma andEgyptian and majority population of poor socio-economic status, do not have adequate incomeand are short of food, clothes, footwear andother important items, the majority populationthat participated in the discussions are mainlysatisfied with their housing conditions. In contrastto them, the Roma and Egyptians, particularlythose from Konik often do not have a roof overtheir heads: “We live in tents, without electricity61Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro31 ECRI Report on Montenegro (fourth monitoring cycle). (2012) ECRI SecretariatDirectorate General II – Democracy,Council of Europe. Strasbourg. pp 7-8, 16<http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meetdocs/2009_2014/documents/dsee/dv/0327_07/0327_07en.pdf>Figure 11Average household area per household member112%554%220%114%117%113%443%227%226%446%116%112%66%117%229%448%More than 15m2 10.1-15 m2 6.1-10 m2 Up to 6 m2non-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolor water, and we have no place to take a bath.”or they are accommodated in dilapidated shacksin which they do not have even the basicconditions for living. It is worth mentioning thatthe situation in Konik worsened prior to therealization of the survey, when a fire left some150 families or 800 people homeless. Thesepeople were temporarily accommodated in tentswhich were erected in the settlement.The quantitative study has confirmed the findingsof focus group discussions about severe housingconditions. Although in the majority of cases(83%) the Roma and Egyptians are the ownersof the units they live in, the conditions are worsein comparison with the rest of the population. Ifwe consider the floor area of a house/flat, that isthe average area per household member, it isapparent that Roma and Egyptians often live insmaller homes, which is particularly the caseamong Roma and Egyptians whose children arenot included in the education system (Figure 10).Logically, the same holds true for the number ofseparate rooms per household member in thehousing unit: a significantly greater number ofhousehold members per room are recorded inRoma and Egyptian households in which thechildren are outside the school system.
    • Although the vast majority of children covered bythis study, regardless of ethnicity, do not havetheir own room (over 90%), but share it withother children (50%) or with both other childrenand adult household members (40%), the Romaand Egyptian children stand out by virtue of thefact that, on average, they share the room with anumber of other people. Just a quarter of thechildren have a separate room in the householdor a place where they can study and dohomework without being bothered, which is evenless often the case with Roma and Egyptianchildren who do not attend school (Figure 11). The majority of the households covered by thissurvey face some functioning problems: almost62a half of the households face the problem of aleaking roof, heavy air pollution, one-third ofthem have the problem of excessive noise, anddaylight is insufficient. All these negativeaspects are even more pronounced in the caseof Roma and Egyptians, while poor equipmentin the household is particularly characteristic ofthe Roma and Egyptian households in whichchildren are not included in the educationalsystem. A smaller percentage of thesehouseholds have a car, electrical appliances orsavings (Figure 12). In compliance with thementioned problems the result showing thattwo-thirds of the households from this survey(63%) evaluate their living conditions asunfavourable is quite expected.Figure 12Having a separate room where children can learn334%330% 228%112%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE children enrolledin schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in school
    • An acute problem that directly impactschildren’s wellbeing and schooling is theissue of a lack of running water, and itsprevention of adequate hygiene. Motherswho participated in focus groups stronglystressed the fact that their children “cannot goto regular school because teachers requestthem to be clean and tidy, and we do not havewater”.The majority of children from the interviewedhouseholds have well-developed habitsregarding personal hygiene (a total of 78% ofchildren from the interviewed householdsregularly take a shower, while 53% regularlywash hands before meals or after the use ofthe toilet). As described below, it is the lack ofwater that contributes to poor hygieneamongst some Roma and Egyptian children,and consequently their non-attendance atschool.63Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 13Household equipment779%881%773%444%224%111%996%1100%994%882%880%224%991%887%887%666%448%224%998%996%998%778%880%118%TVMobile phoneRefrigeratorBoilerWashing machinePCnon-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolIn Roma and Egyptian householdswhere children attend primaryschool more children take ashower every day than in thehouseholds where children do notattend school – 51% comparedwith 36% of Roma and Egyptianchildren who do not attend school,as well as children who regularlywash their hands – 60% vs. 39%.
    • 64Figure 14Habits regarding personal hygiene: Roma and Egyptian population660%339%551%336%RE children enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolRegularly take a shower Regularly wash handsFigure 15Access to a bathroom with running water882% 881% 886%449%118% 119% 114%551%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolYes NoIndeed the findings of this study confirm that the problem of water is an obstacle toeducation, since just a half of Roma and Egyptian families whose children do notattend school have access to running water, while more than 80% of Roma andEgyptians whose children attend school and the majority population included in thissurvey have a bathroom.
    • If the water supply in Roma and Egyptiansettlements where the survey was conductedis analyzed, regardless of whether childrenfrom these households go to school or not, it isobvious that the situation is the worst in theNikšić settlement of Budo Tomović, where 57%of the interviewed households have access toa bathroom with running water and thePodgorica settlement of Konik, where thispercentage is 61% (Figure 15). However,when the households are additionally analyzedby school attendance and non-attendance ofchildren, same conclusion is arrived at againthat, even in the most vulnerable settlements,households with children attending school arein a better position. So 85% of families fromKonik with children who go to school haveaccess to water supply and only 33% of theirneighbours whose children do not attendclasses, have it.It is very important that parents whose childrendo not attend primary school see the absenceof their childrens personal hygiene habits,resulting from inadequate living conditions, as abig obstacle to education. In discussion withmothers within focus groups we found that theabsence of conditions to wash and dress thechild in clean clothes is one of the reasons whymothers do not send their child to school.“How can he go to school? He doesnt haveclean clothes or warm shoes. We dont havewater to bathe him. Because of that they willnot receive him at school.“During the winter heating also presents aproblem. According to parents, in as many asone-third of the households it is very often coldin winter, and in another quarter of thehouseholds it is occasionally cold. Incomparison with the majority population, ahigher percentage of Roma and Egyptianshave a problem with obtaining heating fuel.2. Inability to Pay School CostsSince in this survey the sample covershouseholds with a similar socio-economic status,the financial situation in the majority of them ismainly poor,without much variation. The monthlyincome per household member is small, and in70% of cases it is up to €30 per householdmember per month, which is €1 a day in the bestcase, but often even less, since in as many as16% of cases there was no income in thepreceding month (Figure 16). Families from themajority population whose children do not go toschool are in a somewhat better situation, sincetwo-fifths of these households have a monthlyincome of more than €50 per household member.65Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 16Access to the bathroom with running water in Roma and Egyptian settlements557%885% 883%661%443%115% 117%339%Podgorica - Konik Podgorica - VrelaRibničkaBijelo Polje Nikšić - BudoTomovićYes No
    • When the self-assessment of the financialsituation is analyzed the data shows that Romaand Egyptians are in a somewhat worsesituation in comparison with the majoritypopulation. When asked to evaluate theirfinancial situation, more than 80% of themanswer that it is bad, of whom almost 50% statethat it is very bad (Figure 17). On the otherhand, only 17% of household representativesevaluate their financial situation as good, ofwhom just 1% assess it as excellent. A higherpercentage of Roma and Egyptians whosechildren do not attend school expressdissatisfaction with their financial situation.66Figure 17Monthly income per HH member114% 114%220%224%228%221%114% 115%221%229%116%110%442%222%110%224%221%112%224%119%Up to €15 No income More than €50 €15.01-30 €30.01-50non-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolFigure 18Estimation of financial situation of the household882% 881%770%991%118% 119%330%99%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolBad Good
    • With such a small monthly income andunfavourable assessment of their ownfinancial situation, it is logical to expect thatthe unemployment rate among theinterviewed parents is exceptionally high.Unemployment is particularly characteristic ofparents from the majority population whosechildren are not enrolled in primary school(64%). Regarding the Roma and Egyptians, itis very important to note that theunemployment of parents is higher in thosehouseholds in which children go to school(59%) than in those households in whichchildren do not go to school (45%).Some of the findings obtained in the interviewswithin case studies showed that some Roma andEgyptian children whose parents must work,especially male children, often assume the role ofhousehold head. These children becomeresponsible for taking care of younger siblings, andthe family sees this as a reason to abandon schooland spend time at home.“She cant go to school any more, she has tolook after her sister who is sick, there is no oneelse to look after her when we are at work.”Regardless of their ethnicity, parents whoparticipated in focus group discussions areworried about their children’s nutrition and,consequentially, their health. Most of them saythey manage to provide only the cheapestproducts, and some donot even manage toprovide three meals a day. The interviewsillustrate these problems. Namely, in one-fifthof cases food is consumed only twice a day.This applies to both adults and children (Figure18). In as many as 13% of households it oftenhappens that children complain about beinghungry, in 18% of them it happens sometimes,and in another 17% households,only rarely.So, in almost half of households (48%) ithappens that children express their need forfood when it is impossible to be satisfied. Thisfinding is also illustrated by the fact that it wasrecorded in one in ten households that someof the household members went to bed hungryseveral times during the past month becausethey could not afford to buy food. In another32% of households, this happened once ortwice during the past month. In the situationwhen children’s basic needs are not met,realization of hierarchically higher goals, suchas the motive to study, is very uncertain.67Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 19Average number of meals per day: children00%118%882%22%116%882%00%116%884%44%227%669%One meal Two meals Three or more mealsnon-RE children enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in school
    • The financial situation of the household,logically, influences the possibility of providingbasic elements necessary for attending school,such as textbooks, clothes and snacks. Thatthis really is the case, could be heard fromparents who participated in focus groups, but itwas also confirmed by the quantitative study.“It costs €2-3 a day to buy notebooks, textbooksand snacks. My child says to me: “I don’t wantto go because I have no money.” “And wheream I going to find the money, son?’”So, in a half of households, due to the poorfinancial situation, it is not possible to providetextbooks for children (Figure 19), while inanother third of them textbooks were provided bysomeone else (organizations, ministries, etc.).Roma and Egyptian parents whose children arenot included in the system of formal educationare more likely to say that they have no financialresources for textbooks, therefore their childrenhave no textbooks (in 70% of households). Thisdata still needs to be observed in a somewhatbroader context. Namely, teachers who workwith Roma and Egyptian children, as well associal workers, tell us that the free textbooks andschool supplies that children get at the beginningof school year are often sold, and children areleft without them.In almost eight out of ten households (77%)parents say that they do not have enoughmoney to provide their children with adequateclothes for school, which is again morecommon among Roma and Egyptian whosechildren do not attend school (in 87% ofhouseholds). The situation is the same withwinter clothing: 78% of parents say that theycannot afford winter clothes, while amongRoma and Egyptian parents whose childrenare not attending formal education, this is thecase in nine out of ten households. However,half of the parents, even with all the difficulties,succeed in providing their children with cleanclothes, while one-third mainly succeed, butnot always (Figure 20). In general, Roma andEgyptian parents are less likely to provideclean clothes than majority-populationparents.68Figure 20Do parents manage to provide textbooks?226%334%440%114%442% 444%444%226%330%66%224%770%Yes No, but someone else providedtextbooks (NGO, ministries, etc.)No, children do not have textbooksnon-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in school
    • 3. Contributing to Family IncomeWithin discussions in focus groups it wasspontaneously mentioned that children helptheir parents (mainly fathers) in collectingsecondary raw materials or food leftoversfrom garbage bins. However, in thequantitative study the parents mainly did notreport about the paid work of their children.The reason for that can be found in the factthat the mentioned activities actually do notbelong to the category of paid work, althoughthey do constitute work. It is important to notethat a very small number of children from theinterviewed households perform paid work32(in total, 8% of children regardless of the typeof household in which they live). Namely, inthe households of the majority population,child labour is somewhat more characteristicof children who are not enrolled in school(14%) in comparison with children who are(2%). When Roma and Egyptian householdsare concerned, there is no difference amongchildren who attend school and those whodonot attend it (8% of Roma and Egyptianchildren performed paid work).69Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 21Clean clothes for school114%110%776%113%338%449%114% 114%772%331%441%228%Children mainly do not wear cleanclothes (or never)Children mainly wear cleanclothesChildren always wear cleanclothesnon-RE children enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in school32 Data refers to the period of one week prior to the survey.
    • 70Fatmir K. is Egyptian and lives in thePodgorica settlement Konik, in the building“The German House“ located in the vicinityof the refugee camp of Konik. Fatmir andhis family have a solid financial situation,they live in a flat with running water andelectricity. He has 3 sons and 2 daughters.Fatmir and his wife, as well as two of theirchildren – their son Ismet and daughterAzra were interviewed for the purpose ofthis study.All of Fatmir’s children went to akindergarten, and then they were enrolledat Božidar Vuković Podgoričanin primaryschool. According to Fatmir and his wife,going to kindergarten is very important forthe children, since they learn theMontenegrin language there and getprepared for school. Insufficient knowledgeof the official language can be a hugeproblem for children in primary school, so itis therefore very important that children goto a kindergarten. Also Fatmir and his wifetried, ever since children were little, tospeak also Montenegrin besides Albanian,so that children would start to understandand use the official language on time.Almost all children from this householdhave finished primary school or are still inthe process of finishing it. Fatmir’s eldestson is enrolled in the 3-year secondaryHospitality School. The boy is very muchaware of the importance of school for thefuture, as well as of the consequences thatnot completing school had on findingemployment. Ismet said that he wasattending a 3-year secondary school, butthat he was not fully satisfied with that, andwas thus planning to get additionally trainedas a hospitality technician, creating forhimself more opportunities for employment.The parents’ attitude towards schoolprobably played a very significant role inthis case. Fatmir and his wife think thatschool is very important, that it createsopportunities for finding a good job, so theyraised their children in that spirit. However,there is one girl in this family who droppedout of primary school. Fatmir’s daughterAzra attended primary school till grade 6,and then she dropped out. In the girl’swords, going to school was a pleasantexperience and she would like to continue.As the reason for dropping out, the girl saidthat she found mathematics very difficult,and that she could not master it. Theinterview with parents revealed anotherreason why Azra dropped out from school.Namely, the girl dropped out from schoolbecause her parents feared she mightmeet some boy and leave home to getmarried. There was no reaction from theresponsible institutions in this case either –no one came for a visit or called theparents, and no sanctions wereimplemented for leaving compulsoryeducation.FAMILY OF FATMIR K. IN WHICH ALMOST ALL CHILDREN GO TO SCHOOL,AND THE SON IS ABOUT TO COMPLETE SECONDARY SCHOOL
    • 4. Household Responsibilities and Care forOther Family MembersWhen it comes to doing household work, asmany as a half of all children, regardless ofhousehold type, help their older householdmembers. Nevertheless, frequent help in doinghousehold chores is more characteristic ofRoma and Egyptian households in whichchildren do not attend school.On the other hand, in the households of themajority population, a higher percentage ofchildren who go to school help with householdchores (68%) in comparison with children whodo not go to school (40%), which is the result ofpoor health of the majority of children from themajority population who remained outside of theeducation system—among children from the71Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 22Frequency of children doing household chores668%447%440%661%1non-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolIn Roma and Egyptian households ahigher percentage of children whodo not go to school help the adultswith household chores (61% vs. 47%of Roma and Egyptian children whoattend school), but the time spent indoing household work is similar forchildren who help their parents. When it comes to the type ofhousehold work that childrenperform at home, a higherpercentage of Roma and Egyptianchildren take care of youngerchildren, their brothers and sisters(50%), in comparison with childrenfrom the majority population (5% ofchildren who do not go to school and26% of children who attend school).majority population who help their parents withhousehold chores, those not attending schoolspend more time doing household chores thanchildren who have school obligations.The fact that Roma and Egyptian children morefrequently do household work can be brought intoconnection with frequency of parents engagementwith household activities. Namely, as many as onein three Roma and Egyptian parents do not do anyhousehold work (36%), which is the case in 17%of households from the majority population. If weobserve only Roma and Egyptian households,there are no significant differences between Romaand Egyptian parents whose children go to schooland those whose children do not go to school, inthe level of doing household work.
    • Also, a higher percentage of Roma and Egyptianchildren in comparison with children from themajority population help in washing laundry,ironing, washing the dishes, cleaning the homeor backyard (38% of Roma and Egyptianchildren compared to 23% of children from themajority population). Within Roma and Egyptianhouseholds, what distinguishes children whoattend school from those not attending school ishelping the adults with cooking: while 30% ofRoma and Egyptian children who do not go toschool cook meals, only 11% of Roma andEgyptian children who go to school do that.Cultural Practices and BeliefsThe attitudes and beliefs and capacities of apopulation can have an effect on the educationof their children. Roma and Egyptian childrengenerally grow up in positive environments, theyhave well developed social networks, they spendtime with their peers, and mostly grow up inharmonious families. However Roma andEgyptian parents’ perception of education and itsconnection to their children’s future, is dimmer.This outlook should be understood within a largercontext. The reasons for ambivalent attitudestoward education among disadvantaged familiescan be numerous and often stem from povertyand the parents’ own low educational attainment,as well as rational assessments of employmentopportunities beyond schooling. Indeed, Romaand Egyptian parents are often without formaleducation or employment. The link betweenparents’ education levels, unemployment, andchild outcomes, including those in educationhave been well established.The study found that parents whose childrenattend school are more likely to consider itimportant that their children finish school, andthat finishing will help them find a job. Theseparents were also more actively engaged intheir children’s education. Parents whosechildren are not participating in education moreoften stated that their children are not able tofinish primary school. Roma and Egyptianparents, compared to parents from the majoritypopulation,more often give priority to non-formaleducation, and have lower aspirations when itcomes to the desired level of education.Compared to Roma and Egyptian children whodrop out, Roma and Egyptian children attendingschool have a higher percentage of fathers whocompleted primary school. The data alsorevealed that those who do not go to school,more often stated that they do not like to attend.1. Free TimeChildren rarely spend time alone (only 3% ofchildren spend their free time alone,regardless of the household type). Roma andEgyptian children mainly spend their time withsiblings, both those who attend school andthose outside the system of education (73%).The situation is similar with children from themajority population who attend school: roughlytwo-thirds of these children spend their freetime with their brothers and sisters (66%).Children from the majority populationwho donot attend primary school,to a considerablygreater extent spend their free time with adulthousehold members (48%), and somewhatless frequently with brothers and sisters (36%).Children usually spend their free time playingand socializing (58%). Regarding the ways inwhich children spend their free time there aresome differences between Roma and Egyptianand children from the majority population: ahigher percentage of Roma and Egyptianchildren are taken for walks (24% against 10%of children from the majority population), whilea higher percentage of children from themajority population spend their free time infront of the TV (22% against 10% of Roma andEgyptian children).2. FriendsThe majority of children have friends withwhom they socialize and spend their free time(Figure 22).72
    • As can be seen, spending free time withfriends is somewhat more characteristic ofRoma and Egyptian children than of childrenfrom the majority population, as well as forchildren who attend primary school incomparison with those who do not attendschool. It should be noted again that a highpercentage of parents of children from themajority population say that their children havenever enrolled at primary school because ofhealth problems or disabilities, which can beone of the factors which affects a lower level ofsocial relationships with peers.It is important to note that children who areenrolled in primary school more frequentlysocialize with children who also go to school(Figure 23).73Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 23Children who have friends and spend free time with them992%884%774%554%RE children enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in schoolnon-RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolFigure 24If friends of the child are enrolled in school114%557%229%337%226%337%664%331%55%1100%00% 00%All friends enrolled in school Some friends enrolled in school None of their friends enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in school non-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in school non-RE children enrolled in school
    • Nevertheless, it can be noticed that there is arelatively high percentage of children whosefriends do not attend primary school, which isparticularly characteristic of Roma andEgyptian children who do not go to schooleither. As Figure 23 shows, attendance ofprimary school is associated with socializingwith children who also go to school. Forexample, as much as one-third of the Romaand Egyptians who do not go to school (29%)only have friends who do not go to school,while this is the case with only 5% of Romaand Egyptian children who attend school.Similarly, as many as two-thirds of Roma andEgyptian children (64%) who attend primaryschool socialize with children who also go toschool, while this is the case with only 14% ofRoma and Egyptian children who do not attendschool.Particularly interesting is the fact that childrenfrom the majority population who do not attendschool have the highest percentage of non-school-attending friends (37%). However, ithas to be pointed out that most of thesechildren are children with intellectual orphysical disabilities, who unfortunately havelittle or no opportunities to socialize with theirschool-going peers from the local community.Almost all children socialize with their friendsevery day, or at least several times a week.Roma and Egyptian children socialize withother children to a somewhat greater extent(80% of Roma and Egyptian children socializewith their friends every day, against 50% ofchildren from the majority population, while20% of Roma and Egyptian children socializewith their friends several times a week against45% of children from the majoritypopulation).Very similar results are obtainedwhen we observe how often the childs friendscome to the childs home – 48% of Roma andEgyptian children are visited at home byfriends every day against 19% of children fromthe majority population.Conversations with Roma and Egyptianparents shed light on such frequent socializingof their children with peers. Since the majorityof Roma and Egyptian children do not havefacilities at home to spend time with, such astoys, books, etc. the children, as they say, “runaround the settlement the whole day long withother children”.Compromised Parental Support forContinuation of Education1. Knowledge about the Educational SystemParents are mainly aware of the age whenchildren are supposed to start school. Thegreat majority of them (94%) claim to knowwhat age this is, but even with self-evaluation,it is obvious that Roma and Egyptians whosechildren do not go to school are less informedthan other parents (85% are aware).When interpreting concrete responses to thequestion about the right age for school, wehave to take into account the reform ofeducation that started being implemented inthe school year 2005/2006. Starting from thementioned school year, with the introduction ofone more grade, all children in Montenegro areincluded in the system of primary education inMontenegro at the age of six and not seven,as it used to be. Given that this change isrelatively new, particularly when comparedwith several decades of the practice of startingschool at the age of seven, we cannot interpretthe answer “7 years” as completely wrong,although it formally is wrong now. Half of theparents mention the age of 6 as the stipulatedage to start school, while the other half thinkthat it is the age of 7.2. Attitude Towards Importance of EducationOne of the basic conclusions reached duringfocus group discussions and in-depth interviewsis that parents’ attitude towards school greatlyinfluences their children’s level of education. As74
    • mentioned above, this is a link that is widelyaccepted. Correlations found in the study includeamong others, the level of importance attributedto finishing primary education by parentsconnected to the school attendance of theirchildren. A lower importance being attributed toeducation, and parental engagement in theirchildren’s education, can have many causes.The level of educational attainment, and theemployment status of parents can potentially75Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegroimpact their attitudes toward education. Withoutfinishing primary school parents also have aharder time providing support to children, forinstance in doing homework.It is worth mentioning that unemploymentamongst Montenegrin youth is upwards of45.5%33 and that the same figure is much higherfor Roma and Egyptian youth, which may be oneof the reasons for the low importance attributed to33 The annual unemployment rate based on the Labour Force Survey, 2010 (MONSTAT).Kastrid is 14 years old. He lives in Konik(Podgorica) in a dilapidated cardboardhouse with his parents and five siblings.They have been in the same dwelling eversince they moved from Kosovo. Apart fromcramped space, the problem is theirdomestic hygiene. In fact, they have noaccess to electricity and water, or toiletfacilities.Kastrid is the eldest child in the family. Heattended primary school until grade 6. Thenhe dropped out. He speaks Montenegrinrather poorly, but he translated thisinterview for his mother because shespeaks only Albanian. In his and hismother’s opinion, he did quite well atschool and he can read and write.However, he repeated sixth grade. Hecompleted the first four grades at BožidarVuković branch school in Konik, when heswitched to subject teaching at the mainschool. The main school is in the vicinity ofthe settlement and it takes about 15minutes there on foot, so transportation isnot a barrier. This transfer to the fifth gradewas not a barrier, either in the educationalor in the social aspect. He had no problemsstudying or in contact with his teachers andclass mates.The boy and his parents blame their poorfinancial situation for his dropping out anddeny their role in the process. Formaleducation was interrupted at the momentwhen his younger sister (the second eldest)was sent to hospital. The mother spent a lotof time with her, the father collected foodfromtrash containers, so Kastrid had to watchover his younger siblings. At the same time,while his mother was at home, he helped hisfather collect food and raw materials.In Kastrid’s case, similar to other children inthe settlement, the school called the parentsto come via the Roma mediator because hehad dropped out of school. The parents, justas the majority of their neighbours, did notrespond. The school did not react again. Andthe system stopped there. No otherinstitution was ever informed about this case.Environmental factors and poor financialsituation affect this case to a great extent.The girl is still being medically treated, thefamily lives a very hard life.KASTRID, A BOY WHO TAKES CARE OF HIS FAMILY AND HELPS HIS FATHERCOLLECT FOOD
    • education by Roma and Egyptian parents. Otherfactors to consider are that most Roma andEgyptian families suffer intergenerational poverty.They do not have examples to point to ofindividuals who have finished school and went onto find gainful employment. In such a context alack of significance being attributed to educationcan be understandable. During the study thesense of hopelessness amongst some Roma andEgyptian parents regarding education wasexpressed by Roma and Egyptian mothers whosechildren were not attending school: although theystated that “school is good for children”, theynamed their financial situation as the reason fornot attending classes. For this group of mothers,school is no guarantee that their children will livebetter since “there is no work for Roma” anyhow.The following information should be consideredwithin this context.The significance attributed to the completionof at least primary school by parents canaffect the participation of their children informal education. Survey results confirm thatthere is a difference between parents ofchildren who go to school and parents ofchildren who do not go to school, regardingtheir opinion on the importance of completingprimary school—regardless of whether theyare Roma and Egyptian or members of themajority population. In both cases, parents ofchildren who go to school are more likely tostress that it is important that their childrencomplete primary school – 97% of Roma andEgyptian parents and 100% of parents fromthe majority population, compared to 78% ofRoma and Egyptian parents and 72% ofparents from the majority population ofchildren who do not go to school.76Figure 25Parents’ evaluation of the extent to which it is important for children to finish school1100% 997%772% 778%33%228% 222%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolImportant Not important
    • The difference of attitude towards primaryschool education between parents of childrenwho attend school, and parents of childrenwho do not attend school,is more obviouswhen looking at just the responses to thestatement: it is very important that the childcompletes primary school. A little over a thirdof Roma and Egyptian parents (36%), andsomewhat less than 60% of the majority-population parents whose children do not go toschool, believe that it is very important thattheir children complete primary school. On theother hand, parents whose children go toschool are a lot more likely to think that it isvery important that their children completeprimary school – 82% of Roma and Egyptianand 92% of majority-population parents.Of the parents who think that it is importantthat their children complete primary school,39% believe it will make it easier to findemployment, 18% believe it will afford theirchildren a better future or easier life, 14%believe their children will be literate or learnsomething, and 10% simply believe school isimportant, or do not havea precise opinion asto why they think it is important. Parents whodo not think it is important that their childrencomplete primary school tend to connect itsimportance with other factors. For instanceexpressing that there is not much use for it(more than 50%), and in the case of girls’education, that women should stay at home.Parents from different populations havediffering views on the usefulness of knowledgeobtained during primary school, as well as onthe importance of formal education overinformal. An extremely low percentage ofparents deny any usefulness of formal schoolknowledge (4%). But the estimated amount ofuseful knowledge varies (Figure 25). Thatmany useful things are learnt during primaryschool is a belief shared by majority-populationparents whose children participate ineducation (84%). A significantly lowerpercentage of parents from the other threegroups share their attitude. There is also adifference within the Roma and Egyptianpopulation. Roma and Egyptian parents ofchildren who go to school seem to have amore positive attitude towards the usefulnessof primary education (68% of responses: “a lotis learnt”), than those whose children droppedout or were never enrolled in the system (44%of responses: “a lot is learnt”).77Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro00%116%884%00%332%668%112%224%556%66%550%444%No, almost nothing Yes, some things or not much Yes, a lot of thingsnon-RE children enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in schoolFigure 26Usefulness of formal school knowledge
    • A similar situation was observed whencomparing the importance of formal andinformal education. Roma and Egyptianparents are more likely to consider informaleducation more important: 43% of them believethat informal education is a lot more importantfor children, while only 18% of parents from themajority population agree with this statement.Again there are differences within the Romaand Egyptian population. Roma and Egyptianparents of children who are not encompassedby formal education are more likely to placemore importance on informal education.Parents who consider formal education moreimportant than informal education are morelikely to perceive the completion of primaryschool as a factor that facilitates employment.The linkage of education with greater chancesof employment is greater among parentswhose children are attending school. A third ofRoma and Egyptian parents with children inschool and 44% of parents from the majoritypopulation with children in school think thatcompleting secondary school will increaseemployability to a great extent. Another 40% ofRoma and Egyptian parents with children inschool and 14% of parents from the majoritypopulation with children in school, believe thatsecondary school completion will somewhatincrease chances of employment. Of Romaand Egyptian parents whose children do notattend school, only 27% believe that theirchildren would find a job upon completing theprocess of education. Parents from themajority population whose children do not goto school are a lot more pessimistic on thisissue. Upwards of 42% do not think that formaleducation would facilitate finding a job in anyway and only 12% think that if in fact they didcomplete their education they would find workafterwards. However the fact that the majorityof their children have some disability should betaken into consideration. Given the currentcircumstances, this diminishes this group ofchildren’s employability.It is interesting to notice that as many as 36% ofRoma and Egyptian parents whose children goto school believe that their children’s chances offinding a job upon completion of education arehigh. This result is not unexpected. If parents donot believe that their children will findemployment, they will not invest in theireducation—an attitude, which they possiblytransfer to their children. It is therefore veryimportant to build confidence among all parentsand children that completing the process of78Figure 27Estimated chances of finding employment after finishing school330%336%444%336%228%336%112%662%112%229%444%227%Medium Low Highnon-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in school
    • formal education increases chances of finding ajob. This should have positive effect onchildren’s motivation to start school and reachcertain level of education. Related to this thestudy results indicate that role models areimportant in forming attitudes toward education.Parents of children who go to school were morelikely to say that they know someonesuccessful, who owed their employment andbetter life, to having completed formal education(78% of the majority population, 55% of Romaand Egyptians). As mentioned at the beginningof this section, examples of successfulbusinesspeople from these communities, whocompleted some formal education, have apositive effect on parents’ attitude towardseducation, and indirectly on their children’seducation. However, only one-third of Romaand Egyptians whose children do not go toschool are aware of such positive examples.Parents explain their attitudes towardseducation in different ways. A strong barrier tobuilding trust in education as a vehicle towardfuture employment amongst Roma andEgyptian are the widespread stereotypes aboutthem. It is in fact difficult for Roma and Egyptianto find employment, since no one wants to givethem a job. Parents from the majority populationbelieve that due to their children’s illnesses ordisabilities, which are the most commonreasons for their dropping out, finding a job willnot be easy or will be impossible. The economiccrisis and unemployment in the labour marketalso compounds these perceptions. Howeverthose who expressed their belief that theirchildren will find a job, based their belief on theidea that it is easier to find work if you have aformal education.Parents of children who do not go to school aremore likely to believe that their children are notcapable of completing primary school, thanparents of children who do go to school. Thesurvey shows that 41% of Roma and Egyptiansand 58% of the majority population whosechildren currently do not go to school believethat their children cannot complete primaryschool. This may point to a need for moreinclusive school environments and additionaleducational support for these children. On theother hand a majority of parents of childrenwho go to school strongly believe that theirchildren will successfully complete their primaryeducation – 87% of Roma and Egyptian and96% of majority-population parents.79Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 28Estimated capabilities of finishing school442%559%887%996%559%441%113%44%non-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE childrenenrolled in schoolCapable Not capable
    • Asked in a different way, in terms of how likelythey think it is that their child will completeprimary school, 44% of Roma and Egyptianparents whose children are not attending school,and 52% of non-Roma parents whose childrenare not attending school believe that thechances are very low, almost non-existent.Unlike them, parents of children who are goingto school were more optimistic, with 85% ofRoma and Egyptian and 98% of parents fromthe majority population believing that theirchildren will complete primary school.Indications are that the optimism of the majoritypopulation parents is stronger than the optimismof Roma and Egyptian parents, with 70% ofparents from the majority population being surethat their children will complete primary school,compared to 48% of Roma and Egyptianparents. The pessimism of majority-populationparents whose children are not attending schoolcan be attributed to the fact that their childrenhave disability. Roma and Egyptian parentswhose children do not go to school gave tworeasons for not believing their children wouldcomplete primary school: the first was that theirchildren are not interested in school, and thesecond was that the family financial situation isprohibitive. Again this may point to the need formeasures that would alleviate some of thefinancial burden associated with attendingschool, and which would make schools moreinclusive of and relevant to both Roma andEgyptian children and children with disabilities.The educational aspirations that parents whosechildren attend school have for their children arelogically higher than the aspirations of parentswhose children do not attend school.Furthermore, indications are that majority-population parents, regardless of whether theirchildren go to school or not, have higheraspirations than the parents of Roma andEgyptian children. While 14% and 43%respectively of Roma and Egyptian parentswhose children who do not attend school wouldbe satisfied with the completion of four grades,or nine grades of primary school, parents fromthe majority population whose children do not goto school aspire to somewhat higher levels ofeducation. Only 8% would be satisfied with fouror nine grades of primary school, while almost40% think that their children should completethree- or four-year secondary school. Another20% of these same parents aim for a universitylevel education for their children. Theconclusions are similar when comparing parentsof Roma and Egyptian and children from themajority population who attend school. Majority-80Figure 29Aspirations of parents (preferred level of education of their children)00%66%444%448%00%332%442%225%88% 88%440%118%114%443%229%99%4 grades of primary school Primary school High school Universitynon-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in school
    • population parents have higher expectations oftheir children regarding education. Upwards ofone-third of Roma and Egyptian parents whosechildren go to school would be satisfied if theirchildren completed primary school, as opposedto only 6% of majority-population parents. Asexpected, compared to Roma and Egyptianparents (25%) a higher percentage (48%) ofmajority-population parents whose children go toschool plan on their children completinguniversity studies.Furthermore, most parents from the majoritypopulation believe that it is much more importantfor a child to devote himself or herself to schooltasks, rather than to household chores or work.The rest of the parents from the majoritypopulation mainly agreed with this attitude, butto a lesser extent (it is somewhat better to bedevoted to school tasks). Amongst Roma andEgyptian parents 80% of those whose childrengo to school and 44% of those whose childrendo not go to school believe that it is much betterfor children to be devoted to schoolwork. Thisdifference may be a reflection in some cases offinancial hardship. For instance in householdswere both parents have to work, Roma andEgyptian children may have to help withhousework or take care of siblings.Parental engagement with a child’s education isa very important factor in improving academicachievement. Parents of children who go toschool are more engaged with their children’seducation and, in their words, do everything theycan to make sure their children completeprimary school (52% of Roma and Egyptiansand 78% of the majority population), comparedwith the parents of children who do not go toschool (33% of Roma and Egyptians, 34% ofthe majority population). Additionally, parentswith children going to school are more likely tosay that they try to provide adequate financialconditions (Figure 29). Parents of children who81Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 30Parents’ willingness to be engaged in order to help their children complete school00%00%22%66%66%778%77%77%44%115%115%552%112%224%22%00%22%334%112%115%114%66%77%333%OtherThere is no way to helpThey are trying, but they cannot do muchTo provide financial and other supportHelp in learning, doing homeworkEverything we canRE children not enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children enrolled in school
    • do not go to school are more likely to believethat their children cannot be helped in any way(15% of Roma and Egyptians and 24% of themajority population), and say that they try, butcannot contribute much to their children’sperformance at school (14% of Roma andEgyptians and 2% of the majority population).Low levels or in some case no educationalattainment affects the capacity of parents to helptheir children with their education, and obviouslyadequately financing of a child’s education isdirectly dependent on the financial situation ofthe family. Interventions that raise the capacityof uneducated parents, and which help with thecosts of education should be considered.Literacy of ParentsAs mentioned in the section above, the degreeof engagement parents have with a childregarding their education, in part, has to dowith the education level of the parents. And themore engagement there is, the more likely it isthat the child will stay in school and will dowell. A key determinant is the literacy ofparents, and this section deals with this factorin particular. In the group of Roma and82Egyptian households parents often have noformal education. Within Roma and Egyptianhouseholds the education of the father seemsstrongly correlated with a childs attendance atschool: fathers of children who are not enrolledin school also have not finished school.As many as a half of Roma andEgyptian fathers whose childrendo not attend school do not haveany formal education (52%), whileamong Roma and Egyptianswhose children attend school asignificantly lower percentage offathers are without formaleducation – approximately one inthree fathers (31%). Just 11% ofRoma and Egyptian fathers whosechildren do not go to school havefinished primary school (Figure30). Among Roma and Egyptianfathers whose children attendschool a significantly higherpercentage have finished primaryschool (27%).Figure 31Education of the father: Roma and Egyptian population331%227%552%111%No formal education Finished primary schoolRE children enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in school
    • In majority-population households the percentageof fathers with no formal education is negligible(just 2%). Furthermore a higher percentage offathers from majority-population households havesecondary education compared with fathers fromRoma and Egyptian households. Of fathers fromthe majority population, 34% have finished 3-yearvocational school, in contrast to just 1% of Romaand Egyptian fathers; additionally 15% of fathersfrom the majority population finished 4-yearvocational school, compared to 2% of Roma andEgyptian fathers.The education attainment of Roma andEgyptian mothers is worse than that of thefathers. More than a half of mothers fromRoma and Egyptian households have noformal education—63% of mothers whosechildren do not go to school and 55% ofmothers whose children go to school34). Just9% of Roma and Egyptian mothers havefinished primary school, versus 36% of mothersfrom the majority population. There are almostno mothers from Roma and Egyptianhouseholds who finished secondary school.No connection could be made between theliteracy of parents in majority households andschool attendance, but the picture is quitedifferent in Roma and Egyptian households. Inhouseholds of the majority population,regardless of a childs school attendance,almost everyparent interviewed could read andwrite in Cyrillic (98%), as well as in Latin (99%)script. Of majority-population fathers, 81% ofthem could read and write in Cyrillic and 83%could do the same in Latin script. In contrast,approximately every second parent from Romaand Egyptian households with childrenattending primary school could read and writein Cyrillic (46%). Of Roma and Egyptianparents whose children are not attendingschool, the percentage that can read and writein Cyrillic drops to 31%. Approximately half(51%) of Roma and Egyptian parents withchildren in school could read and write in Latin83Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegroscript, versus 42% of Roma and Egyptianparents with children not attending school.Early Marriage1. Characteristics of Roma and EgyptianHouseholdsThe children covered by this survey mainly livein households with several household members(5.7 on average). In Roma and Egyptianhouseholds the number of household membersis generally larger: 5.9 in households wherechildren go to school, and 6.2 in ones in whichthe children are not included in the system ofeducation. Majority-population households,whose children attend school have 4.9household members on average, while thenumber of household members averages 5.2 inones with children not attending school.Parents from the Roma and Egyptian populationare somewhat younger than parents from themajority population. For example Roma andEgyptian fathers are mainly aged between theages of 31 and 40, while fathers from themajority population are between 41 and 50years old. In Roma and Egyptian households32% of mothers are below 30 years of age,versus 17% in majority- population households.Among the majority population 46% get marriedat church or in a registry office; 16% of Romaand Egyptians marry this way.34 This difference is not statistically significantMarriage at an earlier age happensmore frequently amongst Romaand Egyptians. For example, 20%of mothers from Roma andEgyptian households got marriedat 15 years of age, versus 1% fromthe majority population; while 30%of Roma and Egyptian fathers gotmarried between the ages of 16and 18, compared to 5% of fathersfrom the majority population.
    • The entire sample showed that parents havetheir first child between the ages of 19 and 25(49%). In Roma and Egyptian households 28%of parents have their first child between 16 and18 years of age, this is the case in 8% ofmajority-population households. Among themajority population 44% of parents have theirfirst children at the age of 25+ years; this is thecase with 11% of Roma and Egyptianhouseholds. The age at which Roma andEgyptian parents have their first child does notdiffer significantly between households wherechildren do and do not go to school.2. Attitudes towards MarriageIn some Roma and Egyptian communitiesearly marriage is more prevalent, as arevirginity testing, teenage pregnancies andresulting higher drop-out rates among Romaand Egyptian girls in school.But studies inother SEE countries have also shown that anexacerbating factor can be “[…] prejudicesheld by [some] teachers relating to earlymarriages and teenage pregnancies [resultingin] lower expectations of Roma and Egyptiangirls [including] expecting that they will dropout of school early.”35 Moreover it is also“important to note that although earlymarriages are statistically higher in someRoma and Egyptian communities, [including inMontenegro] compared to […] nationalaverage[s], teenage pregnancies are to a largeextent a majority-society concern.”36 Betterprovision of sex education classes andworkshops within communities could benefit allpopulations. Nevertheless “strict demandsregarding virginity”37 among some Roma andEgyptians, can lead to pressure to marry earlyand this has been correlated to higher drop-outrates among Roma and Egyptian girls.39 Drop-out data shows that the number of Roma andEgyptian children enrolled in school drops afterreaching age 11, especially among Roma andEgyptian girls. All the interviewed Roma andEgyptian mothers (either in focus groups or incase studies), regardless of whether theirchildren go to school or not, mentionedspontaneously how they “fear that theirdaughters will fall in love and be tricked”.Themajority of them believe that the right age tostart a family is between 15 and 17 years ofage. In discussions some Roma and Egyptianmothers also indicated that what worries themis the potential for their daughters to lose theirvirginity before marriage. However, there werealso Roma and Egyptian mothers who hopedtheir daughters would not get married in theirteens, and would finish school. The differentfuture that these particular Roma and Egyptianmothers envisioned for their daughters is whythey enrolled them in school.8435 Ravnbøl, Camilla Ida. [2011] Women, Motherhood, Early Childhood Development: Exploring the question of how poorRoma women’s status and situation influences children’s survival, growth and development. UNICEF. pp. 59.36 Ravnbøl, Camilla Ida. [2011] Women, Motherhood, Early Childhood Development: Exploring the question of how poorRoma women’s status and situation influences children’s survival, growth and development. UNICEF. pp. 44.37 European Roma Rights Center (2006) Forced Arranged Marriage of Minors Among Traditional Romani Communities inEurope. ERRC, Budapest. pp.3-4.<www.errc.org/cms/upload/media/02/BA/m000002BA.pdf>
    • Quantitative study data confirms a differencebetween the Roma and Egyptian and themajority populations’ views on the appropriateage for marriage. Roma and Egyptian parentswere more likely to perceive adolescence as anideal age for marriage, whereas the majoritypopulation hardly at all mentioned any ageunder 18. What parents in Montenegro have incommon, regardless of ethnicity, is a belief thatgirls should get married at a younger age thanboys. It is also relevant to note that there areno significant differences on views on marriagein terms of whether or not the children of afamily are attending school. So 47% of Romaand Egyptians whose children do not go toschool and 46% of Roma and Egyptian whosechildren do go to school, believe that the idealage for girls to get married is under 18 years ofage (Figure 31). In the case of Roma andEgyptian boys though, it is somewhat different,36% of Roma and Egyptian parents whosechildren do not go to school and 27% of thosewhose children do go to school, believe that theteenage years are an appropriate time to getmarried (Figure 32). Among the majoritypopulation, less than 10% consider marriageunder the age of 18 ideal. Anothercharacteristic shared by parents regardless ofethnicity, is a belief that the ideal time formarriage is under 26 years of age. Only85Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroMersida is 15 years old, and her sisterElma is a year younger. They live in a five-member family with their single mother.They lost all their property to the fire inKonik. Their temporary accommodation isin a tent. They live from collectingsecondary raw materials. They are waitingfor a container home to live in.Mersida, in her mother’s words, completedfour grades in Konik. She started her fifthgrade in another school, Božidar Vuković,but she left a few days after starting andnever came back. Her mother explainedthat one boy stripped naked in front ofMersida in school one day. The girl got soscared by that act that she refused to go toschool ever again. Next year, when heryounger sister was to start that sameschool, she was scared to go there withouther sister. The girl is very shy and she didnot want to answer the questions duringthe interview. Her mother stated that shedid not react to that situation and she didnot report the case to anyone. None of theschool representatives know thatsomething like this had happened.Later on, the interview with the motherrevealed the real reason for dropping out.Her mother is afraid that her daughtersmight fall in love and be “used”, whichwould prevent them from getting married.When asked directly if they fear akidnapping of the bride, the mother saidthat if a man took her as his bride it wouldnot be a problem, “but if he uses her andleaves her on my doorstep, what am I to dowith her?” The two younger children (a girlof 8 and a boy of 6) go to primary school,but their mother is not sure that they willcomplete it. In her words “they will go ifthey want to”, but she also said that theirfinancial situation was very bad, evenworse than before the fire.The chain of reaction was the same in thiscase as well. The mediator called themother to come to school, but she neverdid.MERSIDA AND ELMA, GIRLS KEPT VIRGINS FOR MARRIAGE
    • majority-population parents whose children goto school are more likely to think boys (32%)should get married after they turn 25.In summary, the study shows that the majorityof Roma and Egyptian parents would supporta child’s decision to enter marriage at an ageunder 18 (71% of those whose children do notgo to school and 60% of those whose childrendo go to school). Parents of other ethnicitiesmostly would not support marriage under theage of 18 (78% of those whose children do notgo to school and 69% of those whose childrendo go to school).86Figure 32Ideal age for marriage for females00%66%112%882%22%444%22%448%00%88%44%882%66%443%22%446%Up to 15 years 16-18 years Older than 25 19-25 yearsnon-RE children enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in schoolFigure 33Ideal age for marriage for males00% 44%332%664%22%225%88%661%00%66%118%770%77%229%33%558%Up to 15 years 16-18 years Older than 25 19-25 yearsnon-RE children enrolled in schoolRE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in school
    • Compromised Motivation for and Interest inEducation among Young PeopleThe degree to which a child likes or dislikesschool most probably influences theirchances of dropping out, and it is no surprisethat children who stay in education like to goto school to a greater extent. Parents’evaluation of the extent to which theirchildren like to go to school matches theirevaluation of their children’s opinion ofschool. So 97% of parents whose children goto school and 98% of their children “like, orlike very much going to school”. A similarevaluation is a lot less common amongchildren who dropped out of school—apositive evaluation by 55% of the parentsand 59% of the children in this group. As isobvious, more Roma and Egyptian childrenattending school have a positive opinion of itversus ones not attending, as stated above,98% versus 59% respectively. A special noteshould be given to the fact that half of thechildren who dropped out of the educationalsystem, either of Roma and Egyptian or anyother ethnicity, would like to return to school.The reasons for children disliking school canbe numerous and varied, and certainly thequality, as covered below, including specificcomponents of the education setting andmethods, such as a relevant curriculum andfriendly school environments, should bescrutinized.Unfortunately this research did not allowfurther exploration of the reasons that havedriven certain children and parents to formtheir opinions.87Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 34Supporting children in early marriage226%668%660%339%116%778%771%227%Would support Would not supportnon-RE children enrolled in school RE children enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in school
    • Half of the children who dropped out of theeducational system, either of Roma andEgyptian or any other ethnicity, would like toreturn to school.Continuity of UseRoma and Egyptian children and othervulnerable children are not only at risk ofdropping out of school, but also often attendschool irregularly or repeat grades, due to avariety of factors. The ability to attend regularlyand continuously, of course, determinesoutcomes in education. The majority of childrenfrom the majority population not participating inthe education system have not enrolled inprimary school largely for health reasons. Non-enrolment and dropping out among Roma andEgyptian students is mostly attributable to theirpoor financial situations. The study found thatchildren who had dropped out of school were notattending classes regularly beforehand. Theyalso often repeated grades. A lack of identitydocuments and birth certificates amongst asignificant percentage of the Roma and Egyptianpopulation is also a factor contributing to theirnon-enrolment and dropping out. Also covered isdata on the health of children in and out ofschool. Both sets of data can give some clues asto whether or not schools are inclusive andmeeting the needs of children with disabilitiesand Roma and Egyptian children.1. Children outside of the system of educationChildren who do not complete compulsoryprimary education can be split into those whohave never entered the system, and those whodropped out of the system. This studyencompasses 150 children who are outside ofthe education system, of whom 46% droppedout of school, while the rest were neverenrolled.Amongst the majority population, it is somewhatmore likely that formal education was not startedat all (64%) than amongst the Roma andEgyptian population (49%). There are divergentreasons for non-enrolment and dropping outbetween the two populations (Figure 35).Specifically regarding enrolment, children fromthe majority population do not enter schoolprimarily due to severe health conditions,disability and/or developmental problems (78%of children from the majority population whowere not enrolled in school). This decision ismore likely to be made by a doctor (53%), thanby parents (31%).88Figure 35Parents’ evaluation of the extent to which their children like to go to school998% 997%661%553%22% 33%339%447%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolLike Do not like
    • As cited by 63% of Roma and Egyptian parentswhose children were not registered in school,poor financial situations and money shortageswere the predominant reasons for non-enrol-ment. These are the same reasons for droppingout amongst Roma and Egyptian children (in29% of cases the reason for dropping out – Fig-ure 36). According to 31% of Roma and Egyptianparents, formal education was also interruptedbecause the child did not want to go to school.89Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 36Main reason for non-enrolment in school00% 33% 33%66%113%778%110%66%663%112%00%112%Child did not want togo to schoolLack of personaldocumentsPoor financialsituationOther Distance fromschool/no organizedtransportHealth problems of achild/disabilitynon-RE children not enrolled in school RE children not enrolled in schoolFigure 37Main reason for dropping out229%112%331%22%00%00%88%66%22%88%66%333%222%111%111%111%111%66%66%66%00%00%Poor financial situationHealth problems of a child/disabilityChild did not want to go to schoolDistance from school/no organized transportSeasonal work/child labourDo not know/refused to answerChange of place of residenceDiscriminationOtherLanguage barrierPoor conditions in school non-RE children not enrolled in schoolRE children not enrolled in school
    • Among both Roma and Egyptian andmajority-population children, other reasonssuch as distance from school, poorknowledge of language, changing place ofresidence are rarely crucial factors for non-enrolment or dropping out (less than 10% ofcases). However, when parents list all thereasons why their children dropped out of thesystem of education, the picture becomessomewhat more complex. Namely, it is oftena combination of factors that negatively affectthe final outcome. As mentioned, a pooreconomic situation was cited as a majordeterminant negatively effecting schoolenrolment and dropping out amongst Romaand Egyptians. Shortages of money forschool expenses was cited by 74% of Romaand Egyptian parents as a reason for non-attendance at school, and 61% citedshortages of adequate clothing. The majoritypopulation singled out disability (54%) anddevelopmental problems (58%) as the mainreasons for non-attendance. Additionally,other barriers to enrolment and continuousattendance in school mentioned by Romaand Egyptian were: the absence of90Figure 38All reasons for dropping out66%88%227%774%111%77%331%114%661%111%111%99%112%116%111%220%111%44%11%114%113%77%77%55%558%554%228%118%118%114%112%112%110%88%88%88%66%44%44%22%22%22%22%00%00%00%00%00%We cannot afford the expenses of schooling (snack, books...)The child has no adequate clothesThe child does not want to go to schoolThe child had bad grades at schoolWe have family problemsThe child has no necessary documentsOther children from our settlement do not go to schoolWe do not know where or how to register the child for schoolThe child would be treated badly because of ethnicityThe child has to earn money for the familyTransportation to school cannot be providedThere is no one to take the child to schoolChildren will not learn important things in schoolThe child has to watch over younger brothers and sisters orolder family members and help with house choresThe child does not know the language used at schoolThe child is not capable of attending school, behaviouralproblemsThe child is not capable of attending school, has a disabilityThe way to school is not safeThere is no one to watch over childThe child is too old to go to schoolThe child is not capable of attending schoolThe family came from abroad and could not get the childenrolled in schoolThe family went abroadThe family had to move because of seasonal workRE children not enrolled in schoolnon-RE children not enrolled in school
    • documents; fears that their child would bediscriminated against on the basis ofethnicity;there being no one to watch overthe child; and the child being too old forschool (Figure 37). Barriers to educationcommon to both populations are poorperformance at school (27% of Roma andEgyptians, 28% of the majority population),and a lack of will on the part of their childrento go to school (31% of Roma and Egyptian,12% of majority population). It is veryimportant to note also that 14% of Roma andEgyptian parents cited the fact that they arenot informed enough about where and how toenrol their children in school.Although language differences were mostly notmentioned as a barrier to participation ineducation, results still indicate that there aredisparities between the language of instructionand the mother tongue of some children. Thisfactor can be considered a potential obstaclein the process of education. While the vastmajority of children who currently go to school(97% of Roma and Egyptiansand 92% of themajority population) speak Montenegrin, alower percentage of children who dropped outfrom the system of education know thelanguage (85% of Roma and Egyptians and78% of the majority population).Attendance at SchoolAll children covered by the survey who were orare in the education system, share similarexperiences regarding the number of schoolsthey attended. It is usually only one school(93%). However there are significantdifferences between children who dropped outof school and those still attending, regardingregular attendance and the frequency of graderepetition. One-third of Roma and Egyptianchildren and one-fifth of majority-populationchildren who dropped out of school, did notattend classes regularly before leaving school(Figure 38). Percentages among childrenattending school are 3% and 0% for Roma andEgyptian children and majority-populationchildren respectively. The reasons forabsences among Roma and Egyptian children,as described by parents whose children arenot in school, are the same as the reasons forleaving school: children refusing to go toschool (39%) and financial hardship (22%).However one in ten respondents cited poorknowledge of the language or health problems.91Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroFigure 39Regularity of school attendance1100% 997%778%665%33%222%335%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolRegularly Irregularly
    • Recorded differences in reasons for graderepetition are somewhat more complex, withsome barriers being ones that Roma andEgyptians are more likely to face, compared tothe general population. For instance, not onlydid Roma and Egyptian children and childrenfrom the majority population who dropped outof school repeat a grade (22% in both groups),but 17% of Roma and Egyptian childrencurrently attending school also did. This almostnever happens among majority-populationchildren going to school (Figure 39). Accordingto Roma and Egyptian parents, their childrenaccomplished insufficient success because ofa shortage of money, as well as some citingthat their children “don’t like school and theydon’t learn”.For Roma and Egyptian childrenwho are attending school, the other importantreason for repeating a grade are the healthproblems they are facing.92Figure 40Repeating grades998%883% 778% 778%22%117% 222% 222%non-RE childrenenrolled in schoolRE childrenenrolled in schoolnon-RE children notenrolled in schoolRE children notenrolled in schoolNever repeated grade Repeated gradeGiven that the data indicates morefrequent occurrences of irregularschool attendance and graderepetition among children outsidethe education system, they can beconsidered significant predictorsof potential dropping out,especially in the case of Roma andEgyptian children. Mitigating bothshould be a focus when creatingprogrammes and social policies.
    • Challenges with Birth Registration andLegal Identity PapersIn order to help ensure enrolment it is importantto consider whether parents and children havepersonal documents—a lack of them can be aserious formal obstacle to the enrolment ofchildren in school. Survey results haveconfirmed this hypothesis. In majority-population households almost all fathers andmothers have birth certificates and personal IDcards. This is not the case with Roma andEgyptians, though there are some variationsbetween the Roma and Egyptian communities.A lower percentage of Roma and Egyptianchildren have personal documents as comparedto children from the majority population. Theyare also less frequently registered at birth, thusmore often lack birth certificates. Of Roma andEgyptian children not attending school 18%were not recorded in the birth register; 5% ofRoma and Egyptian children going to schoolwere not. Additionally a higher percentage ofRoma and Egyptian children not attendingschool are without personal documents,compared to Roma and Egyptian children inschool. Of Roma and Egyptian children notgoing to school 22% do not have a birthcertificate, in contrast to 10% of Roma andEgyptian children going to school.There are differing reasons for not registeringchildren at birth between the Roma andEgyptian populations whose children go toschool, and those that do not. According tointerviewed parents, in the case of Roma andEgyptian children not attending school, thedominant reason for not registering a child atbirth is the lack of free time of the parents toregister their children. In case of children whoare in school, the main reason mentioned is theparents’ own lack of necessary documents inorder to be able to register the child.Possibly connected to the issue of a lack ofpersonal documents, the numbers of Romaand Egyptian children enrolled and not enrolledin school also differ according to their countryof birth. One-third of Roma and Egyptianchildren who do not go to school were born inKosovo (internally displaced persons), and only14% of Roma and Egyptian children whoattend school are from Kosovo. Although themajority of children are in fact registered in themunicipality of current residence (in total 94%of children), it is important to note that amongthe Roma and Egyptian children who do notattend school a lower percentage of them areregistered (88%) in comparison with childrenwho do go to school (97%).Child Health and Developmental Difficultiesas an Obstacle to Enrolment and AttendanceThe majority of parents evaluate their childshealth as good (84%). It is important that inhouseholds of the majority population wherechildren do not attend school, more than a halfof parents (54%) think that their childs healthis poor, while in the remaining types ofhouseholds almost all parents (93%) evaluate93Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro21% of Roma and Egyptian fatherswhose children do not attend schooldo not have birth certificates, versus9% of Roma and Egyptian fatherswhose children do attend school.Furthermore, 24% of Roma andEgyptian fathers whose children donot go to school do not havepersonal ID cards, compared to 6%of fathers whose children do go toschool. The situation is very similaramong Roma and Egyptian mothers:20% of Roma and Egyptian motherswhose children do not go to schooldo not have birth certificates, versus9% of mothers whose children do goto school, while 31% do not havepersonal ID cards, which is the casewith 14% of mothers whose childrengo to school
    • their childs health as good. Such pronounceddifference in the assessment of the childshealth indicates that in the majority population,the childs poor health is one of the importantfactors of non-enrolment or dropping out ofschool, which was confirmed by the dataobtained from discussion in focus groups withparents and case studies.Although the health of children in Roma andEgyptian households is generally assessed asgood, it is worth mentioning that in the case ofRoma and Egyptian children who attendschool, their health is somewhat morefrequently assessed as excellent (82%) than inthe case of Roma and Egyptian children whodo not attend school (69%).This data may point to both a lack of inclusiveaccommodations in schools for children withSEN, and of environments and curricula thatare child-friendly and supportive of diversity.QUALITYThe determinants that fall under the category ofquality have a decisive impact on theeducational outcomes of vulnerable andmarginalized children. Not only should allchildren have equal access to education, butthey should have equal access to qualityeducation. In order to level out disadvantageand to foster inclusion, schools and classroomsshould meet standards in at least each of thefollowing areas: Teaching quality and methodsshould be of the highest quality, inclusive, child-centred, and adjustable to meet the individualneeds and skills of each child including SENchildren; accommodations should be made forchildren whose mother tongue is not thelanguage of instruction; school infrastructureneeds to be safe and adequate and suppliedwith all essential materials and equipmentincluding for disabled children; curricula shouldbe multicultural and relevant to Roma andEgyptian children as well as to other minorities;schools should be child-friendly environmentsand actively work against prejudice andhostility, and toward tolerance and theembracing of diversity. Without these and otherfactors Roma and Egyptian children as well asother marginalized children will not bemeaningfully included in schools.Since the research presented in this documentwas limited to questions asked to parents andchildren, what follows is data on theirsatisfaction with teaching staff and with therelationships among students.The findings ofthe survey will be then complemented by themain conclusions of the Evaluation of theReform of the Education System inMontenegro 2010-2012.94Among children from the majoritypopulation who do not attendschool, in a significantly higherpercentage of cases some sort ofserious health problem or disabilitywas diagnosed (only 38% ofchildren are healthy, while 22%have disability, 18% have cerebralpalsy, 12% have epileptic seizures,and 10% have speech/hearingproblems). In the other types ofhouseholds, the majority ofchildren are healthy or do not havea disability (above 80%). The out-of-school status of children with thedescribed problems may indicate alack of adequate inclusive schoolsand classrooms that couldaccommodate them, and possiblylimited outreach and child-seekingservices to encourage theirattendance at school.
    • Parent and Child Satisfaction with Teachersand Peer RelationshipsIn general children going to school and theirparents had more positive evaluations of teachersand relationships among students, compared tochildren out of school and their parents.The data from this study indicates that theparents of children who have left school aremore likely to be dissatisfied with the attitude ofthe relevant actors involved in the provision ofeducation to their children than the parents ofchildren in school. These same parents are morelikely to be displeased with the work of teachers,and unlike parents whose children are in school,are less likely to express satisfaction with theway their children are treated by classmates andtheir parents. A large majority of parents ofchildren who go to school (91%) evaluated thework of teachers positively, as opposed to 71%of parents whose children are not in school.Children’s testimonies of social relationships atschool are very similar to their parents’. 95% ofchildren going to school, regardless ofethnicity, are satisfied with the treatment bytheir peers and teachers. However childrenwho used to be in the system have somewhatmore negative testimonies.Evaluation of the Reform of the EducationSystem in Montenegro (2010-2012)38,Implementation of Inclusive EducationIn order to complement the survey resultsanalyzed in this document, the opportunity willbe used to briefly present the main findings ofthe recent Evaluation of the Reform of theEducation System in Montenegro (2010-2012)focusing on implementation and the quality ofinclusive education in general:• Legislative framework in the area ofinclusive education is comprehensive,innovative and in continuous process ofalignment with relevant European andinternational standards and norms;95Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroThere are noticeable differencesbetween children going and notgoing to school, regarding socialrelationships especially amongstRoma and Egyptians. Roma andEgyptian children who go to schoolare better accepted by their peers,as well as by their peers’ parents.Almost all Roma and Egyptianparents of children who go toschool are satisfied with the waytheir children are treated by theirpeers (96%), compared to 71% ofparents whose children do not go toschool. The attitude of classmates’parents is evaluated positively by95% of Roma and Egyptian parentswhose children go to school, and82% of Roma parents whosechildren do not go to school.38 Evaluation of the Reform of the Education System in Montenegro (2010-2012), Instituteof the Open Society Foundation,NGO Pedagogical Centre, with the support of the Ministry of Education, Bureau of Education and Bureau for Textbooksand Teaching Materials, December 2012More than two-thirds of thechildren in the survey had apositive rating of the way they aretreated by their classmates andteachers. Those who were notsatisfied with the relationshipsthey have with their peers,reported problems with physicaland verbal abuse. In addition tothese problems, one-fifth of thechildren in the survey reportedhaving been faced with otherissues in the course of theireducation, usually financialhardship, fights, a lack of interestin school and living too far awayfrom school
    • • Remaining challenges relate to theimplementation of relevant laws andstrategies and strengthening of thecooperation between sectors at thenational and local levels;• There is a need to enhance operationalprocedures and make them more effective,defining clear roles, responsibilities,coordination mechanisms and informationflow between all stakeholders in theeducation process;• Opportunities for training and education ofteaching staff in the areas of inclusiveeducation should be expanded and madecontinuous.Recognizing the important role of the Ministry ofEducation in driving forward the reform processand implementation of inclusive education inMontenegro, the Evaluation points out that thenumber of children with special education needs(primarily children with disabilities and Romaand Egyptian children) enrolled in schools isincreasing each year. However, several specificconcerns have been brought up with regards tothe quality of inclusive education:• Insufficient training of teachers to work withchildren with Special Education Needs (SEN);• Lack of properly trained teachingassistants for SEN children;• Criteria for assessments of learningoutcomes of children with SEN notuniformly implemented and sometimesonly formal, thus not contributing to thepersonal development of the child;• Teaching staff have insufficient expertiseand training for development of IndividualEducational Plans, especially withregards to: definition of short-term andlong-term educational goals and tasks;means for evaluating children’s progress inachieving academic goals; differentiationof teaching processes suitable for theneeds of the child; creation of a holisticapproach in the educational process; andthe establishment of adequate inter-personal communication in the classroom;• The participatory approach to developmentof Individual Educational Plans needs to beimproved both with regards to participationof parents, as well as among teachersinvolved in the education process;• Individual Educational Plans remain aformal document, rather than a functionaldocument aimed at improving the quality ofeducational work with the child for whom itwas developed.The general impression is that Montenegro hasmade significant progress in the implementationof inclusive education in the country, especiallyin terms of setting the legislative and institutionalframework for the reform. The Ministry ofEducation and all relevant stakeholders remaincommitted to continue working on improving thequality of inclusive education.EXPERIENCES OFCHILDREN WITHDISABILITIESBecause the results of the study indicate that, inthe majority population, children with disabilitiesare mainly the ones staying out of the formaleducation system, this group of children will bepaid special attention to in this section.According to the study requirements, majority-population households with at least one child notgoing to school were interviewed. It turned outthat as many as 27 of the total of 50 interviewedchildren have some disability, and here theresults of analysis of data obtained from these27 children and their parents will be presented.The difficulties that these children mainly sufferfrom are cerebral palsy (33%), epilepsy (11%) orsome non-classified problem. Talking to parentsduring focus group discussions, the impressionwas that children who had a severe disabilitystayed outside of the system. These arechildren with mobility impairments (they cannotsit, but they spend most of the time lying in bed)96
    • that physically disable them from staying inschool and attending classes, and children withdevelopmental problems, such as speechimpairment or lack of memory, which isaccording to their parents preventing them fromattending classes.Children with disabilities who are includedin this study live in less adverse financialconditions in comparison with the otherchildren encompassed by the study. Theirhousing facilities are mainly spacious enough(85% of households have more than 10 m2 permember, and a half have more than 0.4 m2 ofseparate space per member), they all have abathroom with running water and essentialappliances, such as a water heater, refrigerator,washing machine and TV. However, 55% ofthese children’s parents evaluate their housingconditions as unfavourable. Almost half of themcannot always provide heating fuel during thewinter, while problems such as dampness,noise and pollution occur in one in four or onein five households.The general financial situation is perceived asbad by 63% of families. The average incomeper household member is more than €50 inhalf of the cases, but a certain part of the needfor money is cannot be satisfied. There ismainly no problem with the acquisition of food,since two meals a day is a minimum, while inmore than 80% of these households childreneat three or more times a day. However, somethings that children need cannot beprovided. So half of these families cannot97Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • afford textbooks, while 60% cannot afford tobuy clothes (either summer or winter),although the vast majority of them keep theirchildren’s clothes clean always.Focus group participants indicate that theirfinancial situation as parents of children withdisabilities is further aggravated by the factthat these children, due to their specificcondition, have a special diet and are takingmedications. Additional expenses are alsomedical aids (wheelchairs and the like), as wellas transportation to the nearest health facilitythat they have to pay for unless they have a car,which many of them do not. The state covers apart of the costs, but in the situation whereinsurance covers a substitute medication,parents invest additional money and effort tofind the prescription drugs that their child needs(a substitute does not have the same effect asthe prescribed medication does).The families we are talking about had their firstchild as adult citizens. Almost all of them thinkthat they devote enough time to their upbringing. The majority of parents of both sexes(more than 60%) had completed secondaryschool, and even those with lower educationare literate. However, almost 60% of mothersand fathers are unemployed, and another thirdof mothers are housewives.When focus group participants who wereparents talked about the everyday routine oftheir children with disabilities, the impressionwas created that, due to their condition,these children are almost exclusively athome with their closest family. This datawas confirmed by the quantitative study aswell. The results are the following: childrenwith disabilities spend most of their time withadult household members (67%) or with theirbrothers and sisters, while only one-third havepeers to socialize with. They spend their timemainly at home, watching TV (19%), lyingdown (15%) or simply “indoors” (11%), whileonly a quarter play and 4% go for a walk. Quiteexpectedly, these children do not help withchores. Focus group participants who areparents say that taking care of a child with adisability is a daily struggle, requiring all-dayactive engagement. They often dophysiotherapy themselves; they do theexercises and try to teach children everythingthey can. It is a slow and long process, veryoften with the pattern “one step forwards, twosteps back”, but even the slightest progressbrings the greatest satisfaction.Only one out of the 27 children attended akindergarten, while two were enrolled insecondary school, but they did notcomplete it due to their disability. Thedecision not to enrol the child in school, evenwhere the parents were well informed aboutthe time of enrolment, was usually made onthe basis of expert medical assessment. Whatis important is that, in the case of thesechildren, there is no reason other thanperceptions about disability that is affectingtheir enrolment in school (finance, child labour,etc.) and that parents express a very positiveattitude towards education and its relevance.The majority of parents agree that importantthings are learnt in school and disagree withthe statement that the school of life is moreimportant than formal education.These parents say that their other children dogo to school, either primary or secondary, andthat parents pay attention to their education.Accordingly, parents are mainly willing to doeverything so that their children withdisabilities can get formal education, butthe majority agree that nothing can be doneor that they do not know what might helpthem. Almost all 27 parents believe that theirchildren cannot complete formal education dueto their health condition and that they will not,and that even if they completed it, they wouldnot have any opportunity for employmentbecause they were not capable of working.98
    • CONCLUSIONS ANDRECOMMENDATIONS99Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • ENABLING ENVIRONMENTSocial NormsDiscrimination against children from vulnerablesocial groups and children with disabilitiesAll countries battle with managing diversity andintegrating minorities and children withdisabilities into education. Discriminationagainst Roma and Egyptian children as well asprejudices against children with disabilitiescontinues to be a pervasive problem in manyEuropean countries. Both have verydetrimental effects on the meaningful inclusionof Roma and Egyptian children and childrenwith disabilities in education.In several European countries, Roma andEgyptian children are often thought of asintellectually inferior, with schools and teachersdelivering a lower quality education to thesestudents due to reduced expectations of theiracademic abilities. Roma and Egyptian childrenare furthermore often victims of abuse, physicaland verbal insults within school environmentswith little done to curb such abuse.Through a series of nationally representativeKnowledge, Attitudes and Practices surveys,the stigma attached to children with disabilitiesin Montenegro has been identified as one ofthe main obstacles to their full inclusion ineducation in the society.As mentioned earlier, nationally representativepublic opinion surveys measuring socialdistance based on ethnicity in Montenegro wereconducted in 2004 and 2007.39 The surveyresults have shown significant distance towardthe Roma and Egyptian community. Also,findings of the survey conducted in 2011 on theDiscrimination of Minorities and MarginalisedSocietal Groups40, which examineddiscrimination in access to education,employment, health protection and justice showthat on average members of the Roma andEgyptian community are the most marginalizedand discriminated against in Montenegro.10039 Ethnic distance in Montenegro, Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), 2004 and 2007(http://www.cedem.me/sr/programi/istraivanja-javnog-mnjenja/ostala-istraivanja/viewdownload/38-ostala-istraivanja/203-etnika-distanca-u-crnoj-gori-maj-2007.html)40 Survey on Discrimination of Minorities and Marginalised Societal Groups, CEDEM, June 2011(http://www.cedem.me/sr/programi/istraivanja-javnog-mnjenja/ostala-istraivanja/viewdownload/38-ostala-istraivanja/208-istraivanje-diskriminacije-manjinskih-naroda-i-marginalizovanih-drutevnih-grupa-jun-2011.html)• As a response to the stigma attached tochildren with disabilities in 2010 theGovernment of Montenegro and UNICEFjointly launched the "Its About Ability"campaign with the aim of combating thestigma and creating positive images ofchildren with disabilities in public. Thiscampaign was successful and should becontinued. A similar campaign shouldalso be launched to deal with prejudiceand discrimination against Roma andEgyptian children and their families. Sucha campaign would also support thegovernment’s efforts to disaggregateexisting Roma and Egyptian camps andprepare successful integration intosociety (more in Supply-siderecommendations).Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • 101Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegrothe quality of education for Roma andEgyptian children and children withdisabilities are not covered in educationpolicy, including: teaching methods;language of instruction; school setting—including safe adequate infrastructure; acurriculum which is mono-cultural and non-inclusive; prejudice and animosity asdescribed above.• The government should actively pursue theimplementation of anti-discriminationlegislation and policy. Including developingor strengthening effective complaintmechanisms, the capacities of humanrights liaisons, and mechanisms forredress—and ensuring that all potentialbeneficiaries are well informed of them.Diversity training of officials and servicedelivery personnel, in all relevant sectors,as well as in local governments in general,should be standard.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:• The political will to implement strategies,action plans, legislation and policies has tobe raised. Awareness of the benefits,including economic, of social inclusionshould be raised among decision makers.Clearly articulated objectives, goals anddeadlines and requisite regular evaluationsand monitoring of initiatives under actionsplans, are necessary for implementation. Thecentral government should help set the tonefor local implementation—some oversightand monitoring, as well as mechanisms thatwould encourage local buy-in.• Mechanisms for complaints and redress ofdiscrimination and human rights violationsshould be strengthened, developed, andpaired with campaigns to raise awareness oflaws and how to use mechanisms. Capacitybuilding of those responsible for enforcinglaws and policies should also be conducted.• Existing policies, strategies and actionplans on inclusive education should beadequately budgeted to ensure their fullimplementation.• Legislation should be amended so thatchildren with disabilities can be morereadily identified and counted—thisincludes their explicit inclusion anddefinition within legislation and policies.Additionally amended laws which as of2010 encompass more comprehensivelythe needs of Roma and Egyptian childrenand children with disabilities should be fullyimplemented.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:41 Roma Education Fund. (2009) Advancing Education of Roma in Montenegro 2009 Country Assessment and the RomaEducation Fund’s Strategic Directions. Budapest. pp. 14-15.Legislation and Policy on EducationThough Montenegro has legislation thatprohibits discrimination, and in fact hasRoma-inclusion strategies and action plans,including at the local level, implementationcould be further accelerated.41 Moreoverpolicy on inclusive education is mostlymissing and key areas that would improve
    • Budget and Expenditures onEducation in MontenegroThe level of education financing as well asthe method of distribution can bediscriminatory and exclusionary. Certainaspects of budgeting and expenditures inMontenegro in fact do not promote inclusiveeducation of Roma and Egyptian andchildren with disabilities, and should beimproved. Compared to expenditures onsalaries, the financing of education perstudent is low, as is expenditure on othernon-salary items which are important toensuring quality inclusive education. Theproportion directed towards quality-enhancing measures is, simply stated,inadequate, as is the funding of policies thattarget disadvantaged children and whichwould enhance social inclusion.102• There is a need to change the structureof expenditures and significantly increasethe proportion directed towards quality-enhancing measures including earlychildhood development, higher educationand lifelong learning. In the end these willall play an important role in Montenegro’sfuture competitiveness.• Money should be directed toward boththe supply and demand sides ofeducation, “investment in educationinfrastructure to overcome disadvantageand financial incentives to increaseenrolment and retention”.42• Financing the expansion of freepreschool should be stressed,considering its importance in reducingeducation and life-chance gaps betweenRoma and Egyptian and the majoritypopulation.• Studies and research to test differentmodels of investing in Early ChildhoodEducation (ECE) and primaryeducation in view of expanding thecoverage and inclusiveness andimproving the quality of educationshould be conducted.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:42 UNICEF, 2011, The Right of Roma Children to Education: Position Paper. Geneva: UNICEF Regional Office for Centraland Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS). pp. 21.
    • Management and CoordinationWeaknesses and strengths in managementand coordination of education in general andof initiatives to aid inclusive education inparticular, determine education outcomes forvulnerable children. A key to effectivemanagement is having precise data andmonitoring and evaluation systems. Theseelements are all undeveloped in Montenegroin regards to Roma and Egyptian childrenand children with disabilities and theireducation. In particular there is a lack ofinformation on Roma and Egyptian childrenincluding those who are DPs/IDPs. Withoutprecise statistics it is impossible to moveforward with policies and programmesintended to improve education for vulnerablechildren, confident that they are having theirintended impact. Census and key informationon Roma and Egyptian children withoutdocuments, who are not in school, who arerepeating grades, who do not know thelanguage of instruction, and who are notattending school regularly are missing. Otherinformation on their health, wellbeing andtheir family’s wellbeing is missing as well. It isessential that better systems for monitoringare created, with baseline data on both Romaand Egyptian children and children withdisabilities. Contributing to the lack of data isweak coordination among sectors andrelevant institutions to identify children atrisk, and which could gather data.Concomitantly, coordination around holistictargeted measures that could preventdropping out and poor outcomes amongstRoma and Egyptian children and childrenwith disabilities is also not strong. Meaningfulinclusion of Roma and Egyptian children andchildren with disabilities in education requirecoordinated and multi-pronged strategies,that are monitored and evaluated for theeffectiveness and impact.103Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• Establish better monitoring and data-collection mechanisms on vulnerablechildren who are at risk of dropping out orare out-of-school children (children withdisabilities, Roma and Egyptian children,and IDP/DP children). Establisheddatabases should be accessible by allrelevant state institutions in order toprovide a better flow of information andstrengthen cooperation between crucialstakeholders.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • 104• There needs to be better coordination inproviding support to Roma and Egyptianchildren and children with disabilities inaccessing and benefitting fully fromquality education, including preschool.Among other measures inter-sectoralwork should be strengthened. This canbe done through the expansion of inter-sectoral commissions. Though theStrategy for Improving the Position of theRoma, Ashkali and Egyptian Populationin Montenegro in 2008-2012 had aninter-sectoral commission, it was weaklyimplemented.43 If strengthened, thesekinds of mechanisms could help ensurethat Roma and Egyptian children andchildren with disabilities are receiving theeducation support they need, especiallyholistic measures targeted at theirspecific situations. Particularly when itcomes to children with disabilities, it isnecessary to further work on: awarenessraising of the health sector professionalson the importance of multi-sectoralcooperation and approach, strengtheningof the early diagnosis and interventionsystems, intensifying direct work withchildren with disabilities and psycho-social support to their families, as well asimproving accessibility to crucialinformation on the available servicesoffered by education, social and childprotection, and health sector.• As mentioned above, legislation shouldbe amended so that children withdisabilities can be more readily identifiedand counted, which includes their explicitinclusion and definition within legislationand policies. Additionally amended laws,which as of 2010 encompass morecomprehensively the needs of Roma andEgyptian children and children withdisabilities, should be fully implemented.• Some central oversight over local effortsto implement Roma action plans andpolicies is recommended.• Design clear procedures andenforcement mechanisms that wouldenable effective implementation of theprovisions of the Law on PrimaryEducation relating to enrolment anddropping out from school and sanctionsto follow if a child is not enrolled or dropsout. A clear chain of responsibilitiesshould be developed so that everyinstitution involved in the process ofenrolment and prevention of dropping outhas a thorough understanding of whatthe actions to follow are (the stateauthority in charge of vital statistics,schools, centres for social welfare,courts). These institutions should be heldaccountable in cases where proceduresare not observed.• Roma Teaching Assistants (mediators)could play an important role in outreachactivities to parents and in identifyingchildren who are out of school and at riskof dropping out. Their engagement wouldimprove cooperation and coordinationbetween relevant stakeholders, includingschools, and centres for social welfare,NGOs, parents and children. Increasingthe number of Roma teaching assistantscould be one of the priorities in futureefforts to enforce children’s attendance atschool and decrease the risk of droppingout.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:43 Roma Education Fund. (2009) Advancing Education of Roma in Montenegro 2009 Country Assessment and the RomaEducation Fund’s Strategic Directions. Budapest. pp. 15.
    • SUPPLYTransportation and proximity of schoolsThe large distance of some schools fromfamily homes, and the lack of transportation toeducation facilities exacerbates the ability forRoma and Egyptian children and children withdisabilities to participate in education.Especially amongst Roma and Egyptian anobstacle to attending school is the proximity ofschools to their family homes. Many Roma andEgyptian children live too far away fromschools to make the trip safely on foot.Because their families also often contend withsevere economic hardship, paying fortransport is often not an option. Transportationshould be available to all school-age childrenregardless of age, disability, gender, ethnicityor other factors. The following suggestionsshould be considered to eliminate proximityand a lack of transportation as a barrier toaccessing education.105Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• When restructuring education financing,as mentioned above, the governmentand municipalities should exploreinvestment in free and safe transport forchildren living in remote areas.• In particularly remote regions, untiladequate transportation measures canbe put in place and especially in thewinter, other solutions should beconsidered. Multi-grade or satelliteschools could be set up temporarily.However they should be established withstrict stipulations on the length of timethey would be used, and withconcomitant actions taken for permanentsolutions that do not segregate children.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:Photography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • 106• A priority for Montenegro should be theexpansion of free universal andmandatory preschool education forchildren aged 5-6. Language preparation,where relevant, should be an integral partof the preschool curriculum. The existingplans for preparatory classes for this agegroup, should consider making sure thatRoma and Egyptian children are mixedwith majority-population schoolchildren toboost their Montenegrin language skills.• For communities that may be remoteand/or where illiteracy among parents isespecially high, alternative preschoolsolutions can also be considered, butagain not as a replacement for morepermanent measures. An example couldbe organizing home preschools thatcombine raising the awareness of theimportance of preschool and literacy ofparents, with quality preschool activitiesfor their children.• Enrolment in preschool should be madeeasier especially for parents who may beilliterate and who may be missingdocumentation. Both preschoolenrolment fees and the enrolment priorityof favouring families with two employedparents, should be waived.• Preschool and primary school staff andteachers should be trained in bilingualeducation in order to accommodate thosechildren whose mother tongue is notMontenegrin. Extra Montenegrinlanguage classes should be providedand staffed, to help Roma and Egyptianchildren in primary education who mayneed to catch up on the language ofinstruction.• Strengthening the system and role ofRoma teaching assistants to work withRoma and Egyptian children whosemother tongue is not the language ofinstruction.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:Community infrastructureAccess to Quality Preschool andAdequately Staffed ServicesThe supply of quality education requires thatteachers and service providers be expertlytrained, especially in methods that areeffective with marginalized anddisadvantaged populations. The lack ofaccess to preschool education particularly forRoma and Egyptian children is a major barrierto completing compulsory education inMontenegro, as is the lack of accommodationin schools for Roma and Egyptian childrenwhose mother tongue is not Montenegrin.Without improving access to quality ECEservices for Roma and Egyptian children andchildren with disabilities their chances tosuccessfully transition into mainstream schooland reach their fullest potential in education issubstantially lowered. Additionally actions bythe government institutions to identify andaddress instances of dropping out are notadequate, and when they are done, they arecarried out by NGOs.
    • DemandHousingBoth Roma and Egyptians and the majoritypopulation of low socio-economic status lackadequate clothing, footwear and the means topay for essential school materials. Beyondthese essentials, inadequate housing especiallyfor the Roma and Egyptian population is aparticularly insidious obstacle. Poor housingconditions include, in some cases, a lack ofrunning water, heating in the winter and roomsfor children to study in. All of these factorsinhibit participation in the school system andcontribute to poor education outcomes amongRoma and Egyptian children and children withdisabilities whose families are challenged withfinancial hardship. Especially hard hit are manyRoma and Egyptian children whose familieswere displaced during the conflict in Kosovoand who are still living in camps. Thegovernment should address the living situationof these families and institute measures that willsupply them with basic adequate housing,infrastructure and safe environments.107Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• Measures to strengthen the capacity ofsocial welfare centres and otherrelevant actors, including schools, tofollow up with students who drop out, orwho are not attending regularly, shouldbe developed. Better monitoring anddatabase systems need to beestablished, as do better relationshipswith other relevant sector institutions inorder to effectively track absences,grade repetition and dropping out.Information sharing on actions andmethods employed by NGOs working inthis area can be helpful. However everyeffort should be made to take over theassisting of families with schoolenrolment and dropping out, fromNGOs by state or municipal officialsand institutions. Attached to this,provisions for second-chance schoolingwould help re-integrate Roma andEgyptian children who drop out ofschool.• Employ measures to help inform Romaand Egyptian parents of the importanceof preschool and their choices. Researchhas shown that parents of Roma andEgyptian children are not sufficientlyinformed on their preschool choices.Their children do not have to attend thelocal kindergarten for the Roma andEgyptian population, they can enrol theirchildren in ethnically mixed kindergartenslocated elsewhere.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • Financial hardshipPoor financial conditions are one of the mostcommon reasons for dropping out among Romaand Egyptian children. Without the means toprovide textbooks, school supplies, clothes,adequate housing and healthcare, as well as inmany cases three meals a day, Roma andEgyptian families and their children are at asevere disadvantage in accessing andparticipating successfully in education. Resultsof this study undoubtedly indicate that, basedon all these criteria, Roma and Egyptianchildren, and especially those who do not go toschool, are in a worse position than their peersfrom the majority population. Gaps in socialassistance should be addressed in making sureespecially Roma and Egyptian families haveenough financial means to send their children toschool.108• Disaggregation of existing camps shouldremain a priority for the government.Permanent housing solutions need to beimplemented for those families still livingin camps. In the meantime, municipalitiesand schools can assist with arrangingappropriate spaces to do homework in.Study spaces for children, whose housingsituations are not conducive to studying,should be provided through schools.• All future steps aimed at disaggregationof existing camps and integration ofRoma and Egyptian should be precededby intensive activities aimed atpreparation of a successful transition ofchildren into integrated schools andneighbourhoods. These efforts should gohand in hand with an intensive C4Dcampaign, which would enable inter-cultural communication work to preventthe new neighbourhood from becoming aghetto.• Adequate water supply and heating alsoshould be provided to those families whodo not have access to these essentials.Other measures include: providingshared bathrooms in Roma and Egyptiansettlements where children can takeshowers on a daily basis; provision offree personal hygiene products tohouseholds facing difficult financialsituations.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • 109Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• Various financial aid assistance schemescan be explored to encourage schoolparticipation, and to eliminate financialhardship as a barrier. Conditional cashtransfers (CCTs) that are not punitivehave been promising. These are cashtransfers distributed with schoolenrolment and regular attendance, anddo not affect negatively any other socialassistance if these criteria are not met.They could be considered as a way tohelp especially Roma and Egyptianfamilies buy the essentials for schoolattendance. But they should be exploredcautiously. Adequate supply-sidemeasures need to be in place, and theiruse should be closely monitored. In somecases Roma and Egyptian families hadbeen receiving CCTs without schoolattendance. As Roma and Egyptianchildren often require additional attentionat school, in some places where CCTswere piloted, officials were happy to markabsent Roma and Egyptian children asattending, and allowing transfers to go tofamilies.44 Better conceptualization andimplementation of CCTs is necessary,including thorough monitoring andevaluation, to ensure that if CCTs areused they are in fact helping Roma andEgyptian children to receive a qualityeducation. In tandem with CCTs, schoolsneed to be given the right training andsupport to address the SEN of Roma andEgyptian children.• Increase identification of Roma andEgyptian families who are falling thoughthe gaps, and may not be receiving thefinancial assistance or health servicesthat they are eligible for. Social welfare,child protection and health servicesamong other relevant actors should bestrengthened in their capacity toactively seek out and identify at-riskchildren and their families, and providethem with assistance, sensitive to theirsituations.• Other measure include: thecontinuation of distributing freetextbooks and school supplies withgreater monitoring to ward off abuse;subsidies for school supplies.• Measures to raise the level of employmentamongst the Roma and Egyptianpopulation can help families finance theirchildren’s education. Well-conceived adulteducation classes, connected toemployment, that are accessible to Romaand Egyptian parents and which transferskills needed in the current labour market,are an example. These kinds of measuresshould be developed with the particularsituation of the Roma and Egyptians inmind, and with their participation. Forinstance Roma and Egyptian mothersmay not always be available to attendclasses due to child-caring duties. In thiscase childcare accommodations intandem with the provision of adult learningclasses would be appropriate.• Work with local employers in connectionwith employment programmes for Romaand Egyptian, to start eliminating prejudiceamongst the majority population and tohelp increase employment chances forRoma and Egyptians.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:44 UNICEF, 2011, The Right of Roma Children to Education: Position Paper. Geneva: UNICEF Regional Office for Centraland Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS).
    • Compromised Parental Support forContinuation of EducationParental support is integral to children’sretention and success in school. Roma andEgyptian parents for a variety of reasons donot always have the capacity to properlysupport their children’s education. Low levelsof employment, low literacy rates as well aslow educational attainment contributes to botha technical inability on the part of Roma andEgyptian parents to help children withhomework, for instance; and a transference ofa hopeless attitude regarding the potential foreducation to increase life chances andemployment. A significant part of thehopelessness is the feeling that their childrenwould be discriminated against in theemployment sector regardless of whether theyhave an education. Roma and Egyptianparents, especially those whose children arenot attending school, were often not aware ofthe importance of basic education and thebenefits of it.110• Better and closer relationships betweenschools and Roma and Egyptian parentsshould be established, with schoolssensitized to the capacities and situationsof Roma and Egyptian parents and theirfamilies. Schools should actively seek outthe participation of Roma and Egyptianparents, and help inform them of thebenefits of education. Work with parentsand children after school can beorganized, to encourage investment ineducation by Roma and Egyptian, and toboth help children with their school workand raise the capacity amongst Romaand Egyptian parents to help theirchildren.• The organization of literacy classes canbe an option in communities whereliteracy among Roma and Egyptianparents is low. As mentioned above,second-chance schooling and adultlearning classes attached to employmentopportunities should be considered as ameasure to help foster an appreciationfor education.• The relevance of formal educationshould be enhanced. The educationcurriculum and the skills taught inschools need to be better aligned withthe demands of the labour market.Connected to this campaigns on theimportance and benefits of educationcould be organized, includingdisseminating examples of Roma andEgyptians who acquired education andimproved their situations.• Measures such as antidiscriminationcampaigns can be launched to help startto eliminate prejudice and foster betterunderstanding between the Roma andEgyptian and majority populations.• Enhance cooperation with media anddevelop and conduct trainingprogrammes for journalists focusing oncreating and fostering positive images ofRoma and Egyptians.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • Early MarriageMarriage amongst Roma and Egyptianshappens at a somewhat earlier age onaverage in Montenegro than among themajority population. The survey revealed thatviews on the ideal age of marriage were loweramongst Roma and Egyptians than themajority population. Data also showed higherdrop-out rates among Roma and Egyptiansafter age 11 especially among girls. Views onthe age of marriage and demands regardingvirginity within some Roma and Egyptiancommunities may be contributing factors. Anumber of measures should be considered toovercome gender-based dimensions toexclusion from education.111Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro• Efforts to effectively enforce the legal ageof marriage should be made. Howeverthis should be accompanied by activemeasures, community engagement,awareness raising and support to Romaand Egyptian communities aroundwomen’s and girls’ rights, and thebenefits of all children staying in school.This can also include workshops onfamily planning and sex educationclasses.• Enforcement and prevention work onearly marriage and other criminal andabusive practices towards children mayrequire special training and protocols forliaising with the Roma and Egyptiancommunity, based on the type ofcommunity liaison policing practices thathappen in some EU member states.• Second-chance schooling should bemade available for young mothers.• Schools should be sensitized to theissues around early marriage, and Romaand Egyptian sensitivities around thevirginity of their daughters.• Programmes should be developed tohelp Roma and Egyptian women havemore control over their reproduction; andto raise their awareness, confidence,independence and empowerment inregards to marriage, family and theirfutures.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • Challenges with Birth Registration andLegal Identity PapersA lack of official documents, ID papers, andbirth certificates are a significant barrier toenrolment in education amongst Roma andEgyptian, especially among Roma, Ashkali andEgyptian populations who are IDPs. Withoutthis documentation enrolment in preschoolsand schools is not possible.112• Outreach by social services to enrolchildren in school, acquire all necessarydocuments, make Roma and Egyptiancommunities aware of the importance ofbirth registration, and inform them thatdocuments for children are notnecessary for enrolment in primaryschool. Connected to this outreach,municipalities and relevant servicesshould improve their databases toinclude all vulnerable and Roma andEgyptian families and children, to bettercoordinate assistance with SocialWelfare Centres and local governments.This should include information on IDPsand non-Montenegrin citizens.• More in-depth investigation into themechanisms by which Roma andEgyptians are not registered at birth.This may for instance include: a lack ofhealth insurance, a low rate of hospitalbirths, illiteracy and unnecessarycomplexity in birth registration andacquisition of missing documents, fearon the part of Roma and Egyptianparents of repercussions if theythemselves do not have documentation.• Issues of citizenship and Roma andEgyptian IDPs should be addressed andresolved in every camp and community.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:Child Health and Developmental Difficulties asan Obstacle to Enrolment and AttendanceThe study also shows that children assessedby parents as having poor health, includingthose with disabilities, were mostly likely tobe out of the school system. Both indicatethat schools may need to increase supportsfor Roma and Egyptian children and childrenwith disabilities, especially in regard toinclusivity.In general, Roma and Egyptian parents assesstheir children’s health as good, and it isimportant to mention that in the case of Romaand Egyptian children who attend school, theirhealth is somewhat more frequently assessedas excellent (82%) than in the case of Romaand Egyptian children who do not attendschool (69%).
    • 113Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroQualityEqual access to education is not enough; allchildren should have equal access to qualityeducation. A quality education is one in whichall children are effectively encouraged to reachtheir highest potential, and one which provideschildren with safe, inclusive environments, andrelevant curricula.The findings of the recent Evaluation of theReform of the Education System inMontenegro (2010-2012) focusing on theimplementation and the quality of inclusiveeducation in general point out some of thepositive aspects, but also the main shortfalls ofthe reform process. Recognizing that thelegislation in the area of inclusive education iscomprehensive, innovative and in a continuousprocess of alignment with relevant Europeanand international standards, the Evaluationemphasizes that implementation, along withcooperation between sectors at national andlocal levels remain a challenge. Also,additional efforts are needed to promotecontinuous training and education of teachingstaff and assistants in schools to implementinclusive principles in practice and adapt theteaching methods to the individual needs ofthe children.Though the survey did not include teachingstaff and other school actors directly, questionsposed to Roma and Egyptian parents andparents with children with disabilities on thehealth of children in and out of the schoolsystem, and their satisfaction with teachersand peers, hints at the quality within education.Children out of school and their parents wereless satisfied with teacher and peerrelationships at school. Additionally morechildren assessed as having poor health,including those with disabilities, were mostlylikely out of the school system due to theirhealth issues. Both indicate that schools mayneed to increase the quality of the educationthey are providing, especially in regard toinclusivity.• Strengthening the role and developcapacities of local inter-sectoralcommissions for orientation of childrenwith special education needs ineducation to provide support to parentsof both Roma and Egyptian children andchildren with disabilities in determiningthe best option for a child in aparticipatory manner.• Measures to assess and raise the healthof Roma and Egyptian children shouldbe developed including: strengtheningoutreach by actors in the health andchild protection sectors in cooperationwith schools; workshops on child healthto raise awareness among Roma andEgyptian parents of preventablediseases and healthcare options;increasing the number of Roma andEgyptian children with assignedpaediatricians sensitized to their specificneeds.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:
    • 114• Assessments of school quality should beconducted. Child-centred and bilingualteaching methods and child-friendlyconcepts should be employed at theschool level, and teachers and staffshould be trained in them. Revisions tothe curriculum to make it more relevant todiverse populations should beconducted.• Preschools and schools should establishcooperation with associations of peoplewith disabilities. These associations havedetailed knowledge of their issues, whichcould help preschools and schools or localgovernments to find and communicatewith children and their parents.• Based on the preliminary assessment byan expert team, schools should prepareindividual educational programmes forchildren and monitor their progress.Children with SEN should be monitoredclosely with the cooperation of allrelevant school staff, and with services,sectors and institutions outside theschool setting. Parental involvementshould be actively sought out as well.This can also include the involvement ofthe abovementioned inter-sectoralinclusion commissions if they aredeveloped.• Formation of school inclusive educationteams, including members of Roma andEgyptian and majority-populationcommunities, school staff, teachers andchildren. The teams can help developinclusive education measures, promoteunderstanding, tolerance and a cultureof diversity in schools. Mixedworkshops, study groups and after-school activities should be organized tohelp with academic achievement, buildunderstanding and relationships amongRoma and Egyptian children andchildren from the majority populationand their parents; and to help developthe language skills of Roma andEgyptian children who do not speakMontenegrin.• To improve the overall quality ofeducation for Roma and Egyptianchildren the system of Roma teachingassistants should be expanded andstrengthened, increasing their numbersand capacity to effectively work withmore children and their families. Theirrole and standards of work should beclearly defined through relevant bylaws,as well as designing educational andtraining programmes aimed atprofessional development.45• Both pre-service and in-service diversityand conflict-resolution training ofteachers, school staff and social serviceproviders should be made standard.Recommendations for systemic and multi-sectoral addressing of identifiedobstacles include:45 Opinion of the Ombudsperson’s Office to the Ministry of Education with regards to Implementation of Inclusive Educationin Primary schools, November 2011:http://www.ombudsman.co.me/djeca/preporuke/15112011_MINISTARSTVO_PROSVJETE_I_SPORTA.doc
    • 115Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroANNEX 1: COMMON BASICPRINCIPLES ON ROMAINCLUSIONEuropean Council Conclusions onInclusion of the Roma 2947thEMPLOYMENT, SOCIAL POLICY, HEALTHAND CONSUMER AFFAIRS Councilmeeting Luxembourg, 8 June 200946Common Basic Principles on RomaInclusion—as discussed at the 1st meetingof the Integrated European Platform forRoma Inclusion, April 2009.Roma people are disproportionately affected bysocial exclusion, prejudice and discrimination.Roma communities have been part of Europeansocieties for centuries, often marginalized andsometimes persecuted. Over the last two decades,it is apparent that the socio-economic situation ofmany Roma people has stagnated or evendeteriorated in a number of EU Member States.Many Roma people experience unemployment,low income, reduced life expectancy and poorquality of life. This represents a human tragedy forthe individuals concerned as well as an immenseloss for society as a whole. Moreover, far-reachingexclusion entails social instability and represents aproblem in economic terms.Therefore, the issue of addressing the problemswhich affect Roma people is increasinglyrecognized as being extremely urgent in bothethical and practical terms. The European Unionrecognizes that there is a need for more activeand effective policies concerning Roma inclusion.The practical delivery of these policies rests aboveall with the Member States and, in particular, withregions and municipalities. Although the numbersand socio-economic conditions of the Roma inindividual Member States vary greatly, there areseveral common denominators. Moreover,experience from several Member States showsthat there are general policy approaches whichhave proved to be useful and can thus berecommended to others.Principle No. 1: Constructive, pragmaticand non-discriminatorypoliciesPolicies aimed at the inclusion of Roma peoplerespect and realize the core values of theEuropean Union, which include human rightsand dignity, non-discrimination and equality ofopportunity as well as economic development.Roma inclusion policies are integrated withmainstream policies, particularly in the fields ofeducation, employment, social affairs, housing,health and security. The aim of these policies isto provide the Roma with effective access toequal opportunities in Member States’ societies.ANNEXES46 http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/en/lsa/108377.pdf
    • Principle No. 2: Explicit but not exclusivetargetingExplicit but not exclusive targeting of Roma isessential for inclusion-policy initiatives. Itimplies focusing on Roma people as a targetgroup but not to the exclusion of other peoplewho share similar socio-economiccircumstances. This approach does notseparate Roma-focused interventions frombroader policy initiatives. In addition, whererelevant, consideration must be given to thelikely impact of broader policies anddecisions on the social inclusion of Romapeople.Principle No. 3: Intercultural approachThere is a need for an intercultural approachwhich involves Roma people together withpeople from different ethnic backgrounds.Essential for effective communication andpolicy, intercultural learning and skills deserveto be promoted alongside combatingprejudices and stereotypes.Principle No. 4: Aiming for the mainstreamAll inclusion policies aim to insert Roma in themainstream of society (mainstreameducational institutions, mainstream jobs, andmainstream housing). Where partially orentirely segregated education or housing stillexist, Roma inclusion policies must aim toovercome this legacy. The development ofartificial and separate "Roma" labour marketsis to be avoided.Principle No. 5: Awareness of the genderdimensionRoma inclusion policy initiatives need to takeaccount of the needs and circumstances ofRoma women. They address issues such asmultiple discrimination and problems of accessto health care and child support, but alsodomestic violence and exploitation.Principle No. 6: Transfer of evidence-basedpoliciesIt is essential that Member States learn from theirown experiences of developing Roma inclusioninitiatives and share their experiences with otherMember States. It is recognized that thedevelopment, implementation and monitoring ofRoma inclusion policies requires a good base ofregularly collected socio-economic data. Whererelevant, the examples and experiences of socialinclusion policies concerning other vulnerablegroups, both from inside and from outside theEU, are also taken into account.Principle No. 7: Use of CommunityinstrumentsIn the development and implementation of theirpolicies aiming at Roma inclusion, it is crucialthat the Member States make full use ofCommunity instruments, including legalinstruments (Race Equality Directive, FrameworkDecision on Racism and Xenophobia), financialinstruments (European Social Fund, EuropeanRegional Development Fund, EuropeanAgricultural Fund for Rural Development,Instrument for Pre-Accession) and coordinationinstruments (Open Methods of Coordination).Member States must ensure that use of financialinstruments accords with these Common BasicPrinciples, and make use of the expertise withinthe European Commission, in respect of theevaluation of policies and projects. Peer reviewand the transfer of good practices are alsofacilitated on the expert level by EURoma(European Network on Social Inclusion andRoma under the Structural Funds).Principle No. 8: Involvement of regional andlocal authoritiesMember States need to design, develop,implement and evaluate Roma inclusion policyinitiatives in close cooperation with regional andlocal authorities. These authorities play a keyrole in the practical implementation of policies.116
    • Principle No. 9: Involvement of civil societyMember States also need to design, develop,implement and evaluate Roma inclusion policyinitiatives in close cooperation with civil societyactors such as non-governmental organizations,social partners and academics/researchers. Theinvolvement of civil society is recognized as vitalboth for the mobilization of expertise and thedissemination of knowledge required to developpublic debate and accountability throughout thepolicy process.Principle No. 10: Active participation of theRomaThe effectiveness of policies is enhanced with theinvolvement of Roma people at every stage of theprocess. Roma involvement must take place atboth national and European levels through theinput of expertise from Roma experts and civilservants, as well as by consultation with a rangeof Roma stakeholders in the design,implementation and evaluation of policy initiatives.It is of vital importance that inclusion policies arebased on openness and transparency and tackledifficult or taboo subjects in an appropriate andeffective manner. Support for the full participationof Roma people in public life, stimulation of theiractive citizenship and development of their humanresources are also essential.ANNEX 2: EXAMPLES OFGOOD PRACTICEThe problem of dropping out is characteristicof many EU countries. The European unionhas found, based on data and surveys, thatefficient strategies for reduction of early schoolleaving, apart from educational policy, alsoneed to include social protection policy andpolicy for the young, while measures need tobe preventive, interventional andcompensatory. This section brings examples ofgood practice in the European union from thestudy reducing early school leaving, 2010.47PreventionPreventive measures include systemicmeasures, such as the extension of the durationof compulsory education and development ofthe system for keeping records of children,which enables easier monitoring and providingcontinuous support to children at risk; thenprogrammes of early growth and development,desegregation measures, more extensivesupport for professional development ofteachers, increasing availability and promotinglearning infrastructure in remote areas.Systemic measuresBased on surveys that indicate that extendingthe duration of compulsory education results ina reduction in the number of children who leaveschool early48, one of the systemic measuresimplemented in a large number of countriesis the extending of the duration ofcompulsory education (Holland, Hungary,Poland, Italy). This measure was implementedin Montenegro as well, through establishing acompulsory preparatory preschool programme,thus extending the duration of compulsoryeducation from eight to nine years.Extending the duration of compulsoryeducation in Poland. In the past decade,Poland has been gradually extending theduration of compulsory education. In 1999,compulsory education was extended from 14 to16 years of age. The compulsory zero gradewas introduced, with the aim of preparingchildren for primary school, reducing theprimary school age from 7 to 6 years. According117Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro47 http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/earlywp_en.pdf48 GHK Consulting Ltd (2005) Study on Access to Education and Training, Basic Skills and Early School Leavers;Oreopoulos (2009) "Would More Compulsory Schooling Help Disadvantaged Youth?" in Gruber (ed, 2009) – TheProblems of Disadvantaged Youth, NBER
    • to the Law adopted in 2009, children areincluded in compulsory preschool education atthe age of 5, while they are included incompulsory primary education at the age of 6.Extending of the duration of compulsoryeducation in Italy. In 2007, Italian compulsoryeducation was extended from 8 to 10 years (tillthe age of 16), and the obligation and duty toattend secondary education, secondary school orvocational school, lasting at least 3 years, wasestablished till the age of 18. Before that,compulsory education lasted till the age of 14, andfurther education was not mandatory. The reformwas implemented together with an expansion anddiversification of the initial vocational education byintroducing new crafts and profiles.One of the significant preventive measures isthe introduction of an efficient system forkeeping records of pupils, that storesrelevant information about every pupil,including adaptation and adequateimplementation of pedagogical interventionsfor pupils who are under greater risk ofdropping out of the system of education.School number (Holland). With the introductionof this system of registration of pupils, there arecomplete and very reliable records of the drop-out rate on national, regional, city and schoollevels. Data on dropping out is associated withrelevant socio-economic and demographic dataat the levels of the region, city and county, thuscreating an abundance of information that playsa major role in the implementation and adjustingof strategies.Unique pupil number (England). Since 1997,every pupil in England has a unique registrationnumber, which in an anonymous formatcontains information about the pupil and his orher performance at school. With this data,pedagogical interventions can be adequatelydirected and adjusted, especially in providingsupport to pupils with poor performance orpupils who are at risk of leaving school.Early growth and development programmesGood quality of education in early childhood isconsidered to be the foundation for establishingthe needs and capacities for future studying andthe foundation for adopting skills necessary forfurther education, thus being an importantpreventive measure for “children at risk” thatimproves their physical condition, social andemotional development, development oflanguage skills and cognitive abilities.Education and upbringing in early childhoodprovide children from socially underdevelopedsettings with a better start in compulsoryeducation.49 Therefore developed countriesdirect their programmes most to preschool age,taking into account benefits of investing in earlygrowth and development of children for theirfuture life and for the society as a whole.Quality preschool education in Sweden.Preschool education in Sweden is a useful andsignificant preparation for life-long learning andeducation, and fostering social cohesion. It isbased on extensive investing with adequateplanning and stress on preparation for transferto primary school, as well as on adaptedactivities and organization of preschooleducation. Particular attention is dedicated tointegration into the system of education and toqualifications of personnel, as well as to socialcompetences and ways of accessing languagedevelopment among child immigrants.Also in other EU countries, projects are oftendirected at the youngest population. So, in Franceand Holland, children who are at risk have thepriority when enrolling in early growth anddevelopment programmes at the ages of 2-5. InHungary, children from vulnerable categories(usually defined through the status of parents andtheir level of education) have to have a place in11849 EC, Reducing early school leaving, 2010.
    • kindergarten and priority with enrolment. Allkindergartens have to have up to a quarter ofplaces reserved for children from marginal groups.Policy of segregationIn Hungary are there many citizens of Romanationality with worrying education indicators.Many Roma pupils attend segregated schoolsor segregated classes within schools. In orderto resolve this issue, the government, togetherwith the Hungarian Institute for PedagogicalResearch and Development and the RomaEducational Fund, promotes the developmentof integrated education, through providinggrant programmes and technical support.Schools that used these assistanceprogrammes were obliged to provide socio-economic balance in the population of pupils.Desegregation in schools in Bulgaria. Romaorganizations in 9 towns, as well as one regularschool in Blagoevgrad, started the action ofdesegregation. About 3,500 of Roma childrenfrom schools attended by Roma only weretransferred to regular schools, according to thestrategic model from the year 2000. This modelincludes motivational campaigns among parentsof Roma children with the aim of inclusion ofchildren in regular schools located outside ofRoma settlements, planned inclusion of Romachildren in regular schools in order to avoidrepeated segregation in the new school, providingacademic support to Roma children who need tocatch up with their peers, extracurricular activitiesthat involve Roma and non-Roma pupils andtransportation of Roma children by school bus totheir new school. Evaluation indicates that theperformance of Roma children integrated intoclasses has improved significantly whencompared with the performance of their peerswho attend segregated schools, whileperformance of non-Roma children remainedstable. Socialization of Roma children with theirnon-Roma peers at school age is highly importantfor their social inclusion.InterventionInterventions at school levelPupils leave school the least if they attend aschool that is an inspiring place to study for allpupils. These are schools where active learningmethods and practical teaching are used, andwhere democracy is fostered in everydayactivities. EU promotes the concept of aLearning Community. Schools that aspire to“learning communities” agree about a commonvision, essential values and goals of schooldevelopment. This shared vision of teachers,parents and other interested parties increasesdedication and supports the development ofcurricula at the school level, organization ofteaching and learning and evaluation.Learning communities (Spain). The goal ofthe initiative is to ensure success for all, byincluding all key actors. Learning communitiesfocus on pedagogical innovations, for exampledialogue learning or pedagogy aimed atpromoting learning and open exchange andsolidarity between pupils and schoolpersonnel. Pupils, teachers, schoolmanagement, parents, interested communityparticipants and representatives of theauthorities in the sphere of education areinvolved in defining and creating schoolprojects and they actively participate in theprocess of learning from one another. In Spain,more than 100 centres conduct projects basedon the concept of “learning communities”.Implementation of this initiative encompassesseveral phases. The first step is thinking andan open exchange of ideas about motivationfor changes. In order to be continued, theproject has to be approved by a majority ofrelevant actors (teachers, directors, family andthe administration). Once a school decides topromote a concept, all interested parties haveto decide what they want to fix, in both anacademic and non-academic sense. Acombined steering board, in which all relevant119Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • stakeholders are present, monitors theconducting of various phases of thetransformation of the school into a learningcommunity.Networking with out-of-school actorsProgramme of completing school(Ireland).50 This measure favours local andinter-sectoral approaches, based ondevelopment of local strategies. Schools aregrouped into clusters of secondary andprimary schools. Each cluster has a localsteering board made of directors, voluntaryagencies, agencies stipulated by law, includingdistrict development boards, local action teamsfor prevention of substance abuse, partners inspecific areas (local organizations engaged insocial inclusion), a local programmecoordinator, parents, interested communitymembers and other agencies, and localpartnerships focused on social inclusion, etc.The board develops and supervisesimplementation of the integrated plan forpreventing early school leaving.Clusters of schools get extra resources toorganize activities such as continuous academicand non-academic support to pupils. In order toavoid the sense of bigotry or stigmatization dueto singling some pupils out for specific supportactivities, the majority of activities target thewhole class or the whole school.Project of rural education (Romania).51 Theproject of rural education is a national-levelproject aimed at increasing the quality ofeducation in rural areas, increasing the rate ofpupils who complete compulsory education andfacilitating transition to secondary school oruniversity. This large-scale interventionencompasses 4 components aimed at reducingdifferences in the accomplishments of pupilsliving in urban and in rural areas: firstly, a schoolmodel of professional development of teachersbased on open distance learning and supportedby a developed network of teacher mentorship,matching the needs of remote communities;secondly, investing in school infrastructure andteaching aids in order to make the school settingin remote areas more pleasant; thirdly, grantprogrammes for schools and communitiesaimed at improving both schools andcommunities, building local capacities for projectmanagement, supporting school developmentprogrammes and establishing local educationalcouncils; and fourthly, establishing the NationalDatabase of Education for monitoring schoolperformance as one of the essential conditionsfor creating evidence-based policies. The projectwas a great success in terms of increasing therate of transition to secondary school andreducing differences in performance betweenschools located in urban and rural areas.Increasing participation of parentsStrengthening links between home andschool community (Ireland).52 This initiativeis aimed at establishing cooperation betweenparents and teachers in order to promote thechildren’s learning process, particularlytargeting socio-economically deprived familiesor those coming from a socio-economicallydeprived setting. In order to go beyondparents’ negative experiences with school, thisinitiative is trying to regain confidence byrecognizing parents as a part of school (forexample providing parent rooms), courses areoffered for adults, parents participate inteaching mathematics and reading to childrenin primary school, and parents of children with12050 Report on prevention of early school leaving in Ireland, Prevention and compensatory measures for reduction of earlyschool leaving, http://www.kslll.net/PeerLearningActivities/PlaDetails.cfm?id=22 taken from:http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/earlywp_en.pdf51 http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/earlywp_en.pdf52 http://ec.europa.eu/education/school-education/doc/earlywp_en.pdf
    • disabilities also participate and help theirchildren in class. In this way, parents gainknowledge and understanding of the processof learning and can provide greater support fortheir children at home. Another key function ofthe programme is the “coordinator betweenhome and school”, with the role of a mediatorand contact person. The coordinator visitsfamilies on a regular basis and can intervene,especially in situations of crisis, when the childis absent from school or in cases ofinadequate behaviour.Measures focused on pupilsSupport and mentorshipCare teams and advisory teams (Holland).These teams gather professionals who early – ina timely manner – identify risks and take adequatemeasures for the prevention of dropping out. Theyhave direct contact with youth services, socialworkers, police and judicial authorities and theyorganize necessary assistance in order to preventdropping out among the young. They try to makemonitoring/mentorship available whenevernecessary.Support to return to regular educationSAS collection-transitional centres(Belgium). SAS is a school programme ofinclusion of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptianchildren aged 13 to 17, who have left school.Some SAS centres act through more directcooperation with schools, or even work inschools, while other work independently fromschools, but with pupils and their parents. Thekey principle is to offer a paid period of oneyear at the longest, so that pupils can studyother activity areas (for example, activitiesassociated with art), gaining differentexperiences, which can boost children’s self-confidence and enable them to face schoolchallenges more easily. Although pupils arenot registered as having left school, the periodspent in SAS centres is not acknowledged asa year of schooling. Pupils are to start schoolagain from where they stopped. The ideabehind this approach is to avoid stigmatization– labelling associated with continuedschooling – repeating a grade. The key goal isto bring children back to regular school:academic education should take place atschool.Belvárosi Tanoda Alapitvány Foundation(Hungary). The Hungarian Belvárosi Tanodasecondary school is a part of the network ofTanoda centres focused on providingadditional support for children fromunderprivileged settings. Belvárosi Tanoda is asecond-chance school for those pupils whohave dropped out of secondary school. It isfocused on learning adapted to pupils, theirpersonalities and abilities, helping pupilscomplete their education and get a degree.The school does not offer many classesthroughout the year, but organizes smallergroups for some subjects. When necessaryand possible, also one-on-one teaching isused and every pupil can address teachers,not only when it comes to learning, but also inother aspects of life. The pupil signs a contractcontaining personal goals for the upcomingschool year and learns based on his or herown plan.Buildings that do not look like classic schoolbuildings provide a family atmosphere andcreate the feeling of security and acceptableenvironment for the young. Premises are usedin a flexible way, including resting, cultural orsports activities and personal and groupdiscussions. One of the key goals is to createrich social setting with different opportunitiesfor studying social roles and for developingself-confidence. In 2007, this school had 100permanent and 35 occasional pupils in generalsecondary education, 18 permanentlyemployed and 13 occasionally employedteachers and 6 additional staff members.121Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro
    • Financial supportMeasures of fighting early dropping out needto take into account the financial difficultiesthat result in many young people leavingschool early. Some Nordic countries includein their "civil rights" also financialcompensation for education. Financial stimulican also be conditioned by regular classattendance.Compensatory programmesSecond chanceWhile prevention of dropping out is a far bettersolution, second chance is an important optionthat offers the essential opportunity to continueeducation and training for those who havedropped out of the regular system early.However, those who have left school early areoften faced with barriers regarding continuation oflearning; many of their difficulties are associatedwith past bad experiences at school and a lack ofconfidence in their own ability to learn.Some other efficient measures implemented incase of marginal and groups at risk in theEuropean countries are:• Special programmes for mastering thelanguage, especially for those whosemother tongue is not the language used forteaching (with the possibility of includingalso people whose mother tongue is theone used for teaching). It is particularlyimportant that these programmes beconducted within programmes of earlygrowth and development (or even earlier, at3 to 6 years of age).• Training teachers and other personnel inthe regular school system regardingsensitivity to problems of children withspecial needs, as well as children frommarginal groups. Adapting the curriculumand developing skills among teachingpersonnel for working with thesechildren.• Early inclusion of parents in the process ofeducation of children, programmes relatedto education and support for the entirefamily, training sessions aimed atsupporting education participants(teachers, psychologists). As frequent aspossible meetings with parents who arerarely involved in community activities andeducation of children.• Working hours of educational institutionsadjusted to the working hours of majority ofparents.122
    • 123Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
    • 124CIP – Каталогизација у публикацијиНационална библиотека Црне ГореISBN 978-9940-582-04-3COBISS.CG-ID 22363152