The project TERNO (Teachers Education for Roma New Opportunities in School) is a project co-financed by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission (Key Activity 1: Roma Multilateral Projects) which aims to set up and implement special support centres in order to support the Roma children that attend the last classes of the elementary school to complete primary education and pass on to the secondary education.

The general objective of the project is to prevent the early school leaving of the Roma children and support the Roma children to move from the elementary to the secondary education. The project aims to improve the participation/maintanance in school for children with low living standard by overpassing the lack of interest towards traditional learning methods. The specific objective with which the general objective will be achieved is through the training of the teachers (or teaching assistants) that are teaching Roma in order to support the Roma children to complete the elementary education.

The main result that the TERNO project has developed are Centres for the provision of supplementary education for Roma children that are completing the elementary education and are preparing to pass to the secondary education. The organization of these centres was based on a methodology which has included all the important elements in order to help teachers of Roma children to better support children that attend the last classes of the school to complete elementary education and pass to the secondary education.

The consortium of the project is multi-actor, it has a great experience in the field and it has complementary competencies. It is constituted from 6 partners from 5 countries (Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Romania). In the project they participate, 3 Roma Associations, one NGO led by Roma, a Research Institute which is specialized in the education research for the Roma people and an organization specialized in the development of research methodologies and management of LLP projects.

Tab 1 The Project

Tab 2 General Objectives and Activities

Tab 3 Main Results

Tab 4 Partners

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teacher training methodology

national research reports

Restoring dialogue and trust through mediation: the Romed Programme

Mediation refers to the work which people with aRoma background, belonging to local
Roma communities, or with a good knowledge of Roma issues,may do to restore communication
between such communities and the public institutions. In most cases, mediators speak the
specific Roma language of the community with which they are working (that
language, as the case may be could possibly be a dialect). The overall aim of the
project is to facilitate intercultural dialogue and support efforts towards the greater
social inclusion of Roma citizens in Europe. Moreover, the aim is to raise the visibility
of existing research and foster cooperation with policy-makers, by providing evidence
for policy initiatives. The programme not only sets out to improve the situation of
Roma, but also undertakes to promote the mediator's professional status and unique
ability to facilitate dialogue between estranged communities.

The first ROMED Programme in the implementation of a joint action between the
European Commission and the Council of Europe is running from July 2011 to April
2013. The programme builds upon networks and results of the work on Roma education
and inclusion carried out by the Council of Europe. The two organisations, the
Council of Europe and the European Commission, have implemented a ‘European
Training Programme for Roma Mediators’, which addresses issues relevant not only
for Roma, but also for many other groups. Mediation works both ways, opening
closely-knit Roma communities to a less anxious apprehension of European society
while facilitating contacts from public institutions and services in their work to
palliate and end all forms of discriminations and of social exclusion. Professionalisation
of mediating activities, through curricula and qualifications which receive
official recognition are part of the long-term objectives for the ROMED Programme.

The improvement of the mediator’s status will in the long run prove beneficial to his
efficiency on the field and to his own working conditions.

Module-based training can meet these requirements, making it easy to monitor
acquisition of knowledge. Basic modules introduce trainees to the realities of the
field, whilst specialised modules enable them to adjust their practice later. This
generates a training profile for skills that match a work profile, allowing them to
construct their own learning itinerary, and improve their qualifications and professional
position in the medium or long term.

During the two years of the ROMED programme, 1 000 mediators successfully completed
their training. The programme is co-managed by the European Commission
and the Council of Europe (EUR 1 million per year has been allocated by both organisations
as 50 % -50 % matching funds).

Work is underway to finalise a successor programme to ROMED to cover 2013-14
with a similar budget and related objectives in terms of mediation, but with a focus
on improving the working environment of the mediators, including the local administrations,
communities, and public institutions.

The main achievements, so far, include:

-design and elaboration of a new training curriculum for mediators (available in
20 languages);

- a European Code of Ethics for Mediators: a set of core principles and norms to
guide the work of mediators has been identified as a key tool for protecting the
mediator against abuse and for enhancing the quality of the services

- creation of a European pool of ROMED trainers: 65 trainers, of which 40 are of
Roma origin;

- creation of a European Database on Mediators: a valuable resource with upto-
date information on various aspects of Roma mediation in a number of
countries. This tool is already available online and needs constant updating.

- over 1 000 mediators trained in more than 20 countries. A very large majority
of mediators are Roma while the others have a very good knowledge of the Roma
community. There is gender balanced participation in the training sessions;

- around 800 representatives from national and local institutions have attended
the training sessions (during each training session, a day was dedicated to the
cooperation between mediators and public institutions and authorities). This
aspect of the training programme is essential, since the improvement of the
working environment has a direct impact on the quality and effectiveness of
the mediation;

- creation of a European network for mediators, which allows professional
exchanges between mediators and their peers in other regions or countries; and

- adoption by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe of the ‘Recommendation
on mediation as an effective tool for promoting respect for human
rights and social inclusion of Roma’ (CM/Rec(2012)9).

Involving Roma as mediators is essential for the good operation of the ROMED Programme.
It has many advantages: Roma mediators are familiar with the sociological
context, the language and the difficulties experienced in the communities for which
they restore dialogue with society, while tapping into the communities’ dynamism. The
ROMED Programme carries a strong political signal which encourages Roma youth to
participate in projects that concern them and which creates jobs. It also fosters new,
positive attitudes amongst Roma professionals, not only in their own communities, but
also amongst their professional associates and institutional partners.

Source: Roma and Education: Challenges and Opportunities in the European Union

                                                                                          © European Union, 2012


This project is co-funded by the European Commission. This publication reflects the views of the author only and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use of the information contained therein.

Supported by the DI-XL project related with the dissemination and exploitation of LLP results through libraries