Practice Details

Title of Practice: Promociona Program
Year: 2012
BPTag: Promising Practice
Reference Number: ESP132-12
City / Town / Village: 27 cities from 12 Autonomous Communities
Region: Europe & Former Soviet Union States
Country: Spain
Has this practice been submitted previously? No
Previous Title:
Address: Name of the Organization: Fundación Secretariado Gitano
Address: Ahijones Street
City/Town: Madrid
Postal Code: 28018
Country: Spain
Telephone number: +34 91-4220960
Fax number: +34 91-4220961
Email addresses: monica.chamorro@gitanos.org
Web page: www.gitanos.org
Name of Contact Person: Mónica CHAMORRO
Email of Contact Person: monica.chamorro@gitanos.org

The Romapopulation is the main ethnic minority in Europe. It is estimated that thereare currently between seven and nine million Roma people living in Europe, ofwhich 700,000 are Spanish.

The distancebetween the educational situation of the Roma population and the rest of theSpanish population is truly alarming and is a factor contributing to wideninginequalities and the social exclusion gap affecting a large proportion of thiscommunity.

Since its creation, one ofthe priorities of Fundación Secretariado Gitano priorities has been to fosterthe educational advancement of the Roma community, at all levels and ages, witha special emphasis first of all on the school enrolment of Roma children andcurrently on the completion of compulsory education and continuity inpost-compulsory studies.

Thus, in 2009, FundaciónSecretariado Gitano launched the Promociona Program, whose main objective is topromote the educational mainstreaming of Roma students with a view to achievinghigher academic success rates at the end of Primary Education and throughoutthe Compulsory Secondary Education and to promote continued middle and/orhigher studies and vocational training.

The actions of thePromociona Program target Roma students who want to evolve and successfullycomplete their studies but require help in order to do so.

Although the Promociona Programis focused on individualised work with students and their families, theacademic support and reinforcement groups (Promociona Classrooms) also play arelevant role. The collaboration with educational centres is also a key factorin the Program development, as well as the collaboration with other resourcesand services involved in the education of minors.

Key Dates: - The Program was launched throughout the academic year 2008- 2009 in 14 cities. - In 2010, 6 more cities were included in the Program. - In 2011, 7 more cities were included in the Program. - In 2012, 5 more cities are expected to be included, so that the Program will be carried out in 32 cities of 13 Autonomous Communities. - In 2013, the first intervention stage will be completed.
Norminating Organization Details
Name of Organization: Spanish Habitat Committee
Contact Person: José Luis NICOLÁS RODRIGO
Type of Organization: Foundation

Name of OrganizationAddressContact PersonOrganisation TypeType of Support
European Union (European Social Fund)3 Rue de Spa - Office: 03/84
City: Brussels
Country: Belgium
Phone: +32.2.29 99362
E-mail: sonia.vila-nunez@ec.europa.eu
Sonia VILA. European Commission. DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, sonia.vila-nunez @ec.europa.euInternational AgencyFinancial Support
Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality18-20 Paseo del Prado
Postal code: 28014
City: Madrid
County: Madrid
Country: Spain
Phone: +34 91-8226570
E-mail: mruiz@mssi.es
Web page: www.msc.es
Mª Dolores RUÍZ BAUTISTA. Deputy Director-General for Social Programs. General Directorate for Services to the Family and Infancy., mruiz @mssi.esCentral GovernmentFinancial Support, Political Support
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport34 Alcalá Street
Postal code: 28071
City: Madrid
County: Madrid
Country: Spain
Phone: +34 91-3277681
Web page: www.mec.es
To be determined (due to recent political changes), To be providedCentral GovernmentFinancial Support, Technical Support, Political Support
Autonomous Communities and Local Administrations: Regional and Local GovernmentNoneNone, NoneLocal AuthorityFinancial Support, Political Support
Savings Banks (Social Projects Funds)NoneNone, NonePrivate SectorFinancial Support, Political Support

Children and Youth
Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Situation Before the Initiative Began:
The high early school dropout rate during the compulsory education period is one of the main problems of Roma students. There are very few male students, and even fewer female students, who reach Compulsory Secondary Education, and a lot fewer who actually complete it (only 20% of those who start it).
Establishment of Priorities:
The Promociona Program was designed in 2008 thanks to the analysis and reflection of a group of professionals from FSG who have a vast experience in interventions with Roma people in the educational area.
This group of experts, after analysing the current situation of Roma students as well as the various best practices developed in this area, defined as a priority of the intervention the creation of a Program meant to prevent early school dropout during the compulsory stage.
Formulation of Objectives And Strategies:
The Promociona Program seeks to promote the educational mainstreaming of Roma students with a view to achieving higher academic success rates at the end of Primary Education and throughout the Compulsory Secondary Education and to promote continued post-compulsory studies.
The Program translates mainly into individualised tutoring and counselling sessions with the student and his/her family, in which collaboration with schools is a key factor. Promociona Classrooms also play a relevant role, as they represent spaces for academic support and reinforcement groups, where we can work on the acquisition of learning habits, rhythms and rules.
Mobilisation of Resources:
Between 2000 and 2006, FSG coordinated actions targeting Roma people carried out under a Multi-regional Operational Program to combat discrimination financed by the European Social Fund (the Acceder Program) and focused on access to employment and pre-employment training. Within the framework of the new period 2007-2013, a new Operational Program is being carried out, focusing on the reintegration into the labour market, but with a new line of action in the educational field.
At the same time, FSG decided to allocate to the implementation of the Promociona Program a part of its economic resources assigned by the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, charged to Personal Income Tax (IRPF) funds, in order to carry out actions targeting social inclusion.
Consequently, the Promociona Program was launched in 2009, supported by the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality and with the help of the Ministry of Education.
Afterwards, several public and private, regional and local entities joined in, and made more or less significant financial contributions to the Program.
Based on the analysis and reflection work carried out by the group of education experts, at the end of 2008 the FSG Education Department defined the Promociona Program by establishing its main objectives, the indicators used to measure them, the intervention methodology, the target population, the main actions etc. At that point, there were also defined the main tools for intervention, follow-up and assessment of the Program, among which we can emphasize the Individualised Intervention Plan, which sets out the objectives and activities to be carried out with each student, and the Student-Assessment Sheet, which includes student’s basic data as well as various indicators that will measure his/her evolution throughout the intervention.
At the beginning of 2009, after obtaining the funds necessary for carrying out the intervention, the Program was implemented in 14 cities that were selected based on their experience in educational intervention out of the cities where FSG already had working teams.
The major problems encountered in the implementation of the Promociona Program were related to the participation of Educational Centres, as they found it hard to understand why the Foundation chose to switch from making interventions with Roma drop-out students to working with students with a greater likelihood of success. In this respect, although the centres’ participation still remains one of the main problems, the attitudes of their professionals changed significantly when they became aware of the good results of the intervention. Moreover, they began to understand that Roma boys and girls who complete secondary education act as reference people to other Roma youth, who previously did not have any similar models to imitate.
As regards the community, the response of the students and their families was fairly good from the start. In this regard, it is important to emphasize that both families and students sign with the Foundation a mutually-agreed contract regarding the commitments they accept when signing into the Program. The objective of the contract is to trigger participation in the process of both students and their families and to allow them to use their own strategies in order to solve the problems they encounter.
Finally, a landmark of the Program that should be emphasized is the launch in 2010 of an Education Database of FSG, which allowed us to systematically keep track of the intervention carried out and also to assess Program results more efficiently.
Results Achieved:
The Program’s financing has been gradually increasing. While initially it was supported by the European Social Fund and the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality (charged to the Personal Income Tax - IRPF), lately it has received funds from various regional and local public administrations. In addition, an intense activity for raising private funds is being carried out at regional level.
On the short term, the Program has registered a great impact as regards the various agents involved in the interventions, and at this point it must be emphasized the high percentage of students who have improved their academic results, the higher involvement of Roma families in their children’s educational process and the teachers’ higher expectations as regards the educational results of Roma students, which has also triggered greater involvement on their part. On the medium-long term, obtaining basic and compulsory academic diplomas will favour a suitable personal development and social integration pathway for Roma, which, in its turn, will also facilitate their social inclusion on an equal footing with all the other citizens.
As regards gender equality, the Program has focused especially on Roma female students, given that they have a higher early dropout rate (due to their main role as wives-mothers). In this respect, Promociona female students have obtained the best of results.
The Program has also favoured the participation of the Roma community as a whole, since it provided them with the possibility of taking decisions and developing their capacity and potential. At this point, we should emphasize the sound knowledge regarding the Roma community of the Foundation’s professionals, who in most cases are Roma people themselves.
Finally, it should be emphasized that the objectives of the Promociona Program are completely in line with the national and European educational policies and with their priorities.
Lessons Learned:
Here are four of the main lessons that Fundación Secretariado Gitano has learnt throughout its extensive intervention with the Roma community and incorporated in the Promociona Program:
- Mainstreaming as an intervention criterion: Any intervention carried out should pursue the access of the Roma population to public services available for all citizens, thus avoiding segregation situations. Consequently, should at some point be necessary to implement specific services for the Roma community, they should be transitory and aim at gaining full access to general resources for the Roma population.
- Respect and adaptation of the intervention to cultural codes: Any intervention should take into account and respect the cultural characteristics of the Roma community. In addition, actions should always aim at promoting living together and mutual understanding and also at improving relationships between people belonging to different cultures.
- Comprehensiveness: A comprehensive intervention involves taking into account the various agents involved in the students’ educational process and the relations existing among them. In order to trigger specific changes in people, the interventions should be performed in and with the different systems in which those people are involved.
Specifically, as regards the Promociona Program, it should also be stressed that one of the aspects that are directly related to the success of the Program is the quality of the intervention, which translates into an adapted and personalized intervention and into a close, constant and prolonged support to Roma students and their families.
The Promociona Program is an action that can be replicated in most of the Spanish cities, given that Roma students have similar features and generally face the same educational needs and difficulties. In this respect, it should be noted that the Promociona Program was launched in the 2008-2009 academic year in 14 Spanish cities and during the 2011-2012 academic year it is expected to reach 32 cities.
Also, we are currently considering the possibility of transferring the Program to Romania, a country with a high percentage of Roma population and where FSG has had collaborations for several years, both with public administrations and non-governmental organizations. In this respect, we have already organised the first working visits.
The positive results obtained by implementing the Program, as well as the fact that the intervention is well defined and divided into detailed phases with specific tools for each phase, are both aspects that favour the Program’s transferability.
Another relevant aspect as regards the Program’s transferability has been, and still is, the work of the FSG Education Department, which coordinates the Program from the FSG Central Headquarters.
Related Policies:

The Organic Law on Educationestablishes as principles of the Spanish educational system the qualityeducation for all students, regardless of their condition and circumstances,and equity. The said Law also establishes that the compensatory educationpolicies should reinforce the action of the educational system in order toavoid inequalities deriving from social, economic, cultural, geographical, ethnicor other factors.

On the other hand, education isone of the main topics of the 2020 European Strategy and of the politicalagenda of each member state. In this respect, the decrease of the early schooldropout is a priority. In Spain, the target for reducing the early school dropoutrate has been set at 15% by 2020 (currently, it is 31,2%).

Furthermore, the EuropeanCommission, in a communication of January 31st addressed to theEuropean Parliament, considers dealing with early school dropout as a main contributionto the 2020 European agenda and refers to the situation of the Roma communityas a group that is particularly affected by this phenomenon.

1. Title: Secretariado Gitano inicia un programa para que los jóvenes sigan sus estudios (Secretariado Gitano launches a program for young people to continue their studies)
- Author: Mercedes Camacho
- Publication: Lanza (Ciudad Real. Diario de la Mancha)
- Date: 18/04/2010
2. Title: Secretariado Gitano luchará contra el abandono escolar (Secretariado Gitano will fight against school dropout)
- Author: J. Escudero
- Publication: El Comercio
- Date: 1/07/2010
3. Title: 3 de cada 10 niños gitanos empiezan el colegio a los 6 años en vez de a los 3 (3 of 10 Roma children start going to school at the age of 6 instead of 3)
- Author: Sonsoles Echavarren
- Publication: Diario de Navarra
- Date: 07/10/2010
4. Title: El 80% del alumnado gitano no termina ESO (80% of Roma students do not complete the Compulsory Secondary Education)
- Author: Paula Díaz
- Publication: Public
- Date: 30/10/2010
5. Title: Dossier educación. Programa Promociona (Education file. Promociona Program)
- Author: Several authors
- Publication: Gitanos. Pensamiento y Cultura.
- Date: Issue 56. December 2010
- Page number: 23-42

6. Title: El instituto Mediterráneo, seleccionado para el programa Promociona (The Mediterranean Institute, selected for the Promociona Program)
- Author: Editorial staff / La Línea
- Publication: EuropaSur
- Date: 20/01/2011
7. Title: Quiero estudiar para tener un trabajo y no estar en la calle (I want to study so that I have a job and don’t have to live on the streets)
- Author: Amalia López
- Publication: La Opinión ( Murcia)
- Date: 14/02/2011
8. Title: De mayor quiero ser policía (When I grow up I want to be a cop)
- Author: María Fernández
- Publication: HOY ( Diario de Extremadura)
- Date: 10/07/2011
- Page number: 27
9. Title: La mediación logra que familias y profesorado se impliquen más en la educación de los gitanos (Mediation triggers higher participation of families and teachers in the education of Roma)
- Author: Ana Ibarra
- Publication: Diario de Noticias
- Date: 16/10/2011
10. Title: 23 alumnos gitanos de once colegios participan en un plan de éxito escolar (23 Roma students from eleven schools participate in an academic success plan)
- Author: O. Prieto
- Publication: El Adelanto (Salamanca)
- Date: 6/11/2011

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