Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro

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Study on the obstacles to education in Montenegro

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. 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
  3. 3. 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
  4. 4. 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
  5. 5. 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
  6. 6. 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
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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
  10. 10. 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
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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
  15. 15. 15Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroSUMMARYPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
  16. 16. 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)
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. • 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:
  19. 19. 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. 20. 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:
  21. 21. 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
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. 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. 24. 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.
  25. 25. 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.
  26. 26. 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:
  27. 27. DATA OVERVIEW OF PRIMARYEDUCATION COVERAGE27Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
  28. 28. 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
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. 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.
  35. 35. 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)
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. ANALYSIS OFDETERMINANTSIN EDUCATION37Study on the obstacles to education in MontenegroPhotography:UNICEF Montenegro/Risto Božović
  38. 38. 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
  39. 39. 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)
  40. 40. 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)
  41. 41. 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

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