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A total of 596 scholarships have been awarded to Roma students enrolled in first to fourth grade in the academic year 2021/2022 within the project “Stay@School: Action for inclusion of Roma in elementary education” funded by the European Union. The project is implemented by the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia together with its partners the Center for Educational Support Dendo Vas and the Foundation for Educational and Cultural Initiatives Step by step.

Eligible for the scholarship were Roma students whose families are recipients of social assistance, related to the income of the families and those who renew the scholarship awarded in the academic year 2020/2021. Scholars come from 73 primary schools in 31 municipalities, 51% are girls and 49% are boys. Scholarships reduce the financial cost to Roma families related to their children’s education. Scholarships are awarded for a period of one school year, in the amount of 400 Euros per year (in denar counter value), and their retention and renewal depends on the regularity of the children in classes. The scholarship is intended to cover the costs of children’s education, food, clothing, school supplies and materials, sports and other equipment for children’s extracurricular activities.

During the first semester of this school year, 47 primary schools, where scholarship holders of the project study, conducted extracurricular activities, which through play and joint participation encouraged the interaction and exchange of knowledge between students and the integration of Roma students. The schools received support from the project in the amount of 2500 Euros per school, which includes didactic materials, school supplies, sports equipment, school furniture, library material, equipment, materials for arranging schoolyards, as well as small adaptation works for creative and enjoyable school corners for learning and socializing of children, parents and teachers. Through a series of activities, the schools promoted equal opportunities for all students, establishing a positive climate in the school and transforming the school space into an inclusive and stimulating learning environment.

The project “Stay@School: Action for inclusion of Roma in elementary education” aims to provide equal access to education for Roma children and to motivate children to attend classes, but also to help schools provide an inclusive environment for learning where diversity is respected and where all children feel welcome and equally motivated to succeed. The project is funded by the European Union and will be implemented by October 2022. More information can be found on the FOSM website and on the Facebook page of the project.

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9 March 2022