Promoting school for a better future

EIGHTY-SIX per cent of 15-year-old gypsies attend school compared with 98 per cent of the Spanish population.
By the time they are 16 this will have fallen to 55 per cent compared with the national average of 93 per cent, according to regional government statistics. Almost 64 per drop out of school early, compared with 25 per cent for non-gypsies.
The Promociona programme which promotes schooling amongst Almeria Province’s young gypsies, was introduced four years ago to combat these figures.
Supported by the Fundacion Secretariado Gitano in collaboration with the Junta de Andalucia, the programme encourages studies to be seen as a tool for the future and an instrument for social change, the organisers explained.
“Above all the programme tries to ensure that the young people obtain their certificate of secondary education and are motivated to go on to further education,” said Lola Ramon, the Fundacion’s coordinator for Almeria Province.
As well as tutoring sessions for pupils throughout the school year, there are also meetings with families to stimulate parents’ support and after-school revision.
Around 80 per cent of the Promociona pupils successfully finish their studies, Ramon said.

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