REF team visits Albania and meets the Minister of Education, development agencies and Roma civil society to discuss progress on the inclusion of Roma children in education

June 25-29
A REF team composed of Alexandre Marc, Executive Director of REF and Marius Taba, Program Officer, visited Albania from June 25 to 29 to monitor the REF financed project implemented by UNICEF and the Roma NGO Amarodrom.

The project titled "From the Margin to the Mainstream: Helping Albania's Roma Children Access to Education' is under implementation since 4 months and is focusing on birth registration of Roma children so that they can enrol in school, lobby the government to review the registration policy, conduct a needs assessment of Roma community in the field of education, expand the garden of mother and children approach in areas where the Roma live and reform curriculum to integrate reference to Roma culture and livelihood and strengthen the capacity of Government and Roma NGOs in the field of Roma education. The mission reviewed all aspects of the project implementation and found it satisfactory with some elements of best practice. The mission undertook field trips to Breg Lumi and Korca to visit project sites.The REF team also met with Government officials, Roma civil society and representatives of major donors active in Albania. With the Minister of Education, Mr Genc Pollo, the team discussed future directions on education reforms to ensure that greater attention will be given to equity issue. The team stressed that very urgent attention needs to be given to enrollment of Roma children. At the moment, according to UNICEF sources, only 15% of Roam children are enrolled, which is the worst level in Europe.