The best results occur when the school and the community act together with the parents, in the interest of the children

round table - Noroc

Terre des hommes Romania Foundation organized a round table on the topic "Challenges of education in rural schools", a meeting that took place within the "NOROC - Norwegian-Romanian Initiative for Quality in Education" project. So, we set out to debate the topic of educational services in schools and specific work tools, dedicated to children at risk of dropping out of school and children with special educational needs, who come from vulnerable groups in the rural environment.

For children from disadvantaged areas, access to fair and quality education is an ongoing challenge. In the face of absenteeism and school dropout, schools need support from the community and the authorities, materialized in larger budgets for teacher training and in supplementing human resources and materials dedicated to students from disadvantaged backgrounds and their families. Also, the best results occur when the school and the community act together with the parents, in the interest of the children. These are some of the conclusions drawn from the discussions held during the round table, an event organized online, on January 26, 2023.

The meeting brought together experts and practitioners in the field of education, invited to jointly identify innovative ways to combat school dropout and improve the access of rural children to quality inclusive education. The 37 participants were organized into three working groups, the conclusions drawn will be used in the development of work methodologies with the students, beneficiaries of the NOROC project. "There is a need for continuous support for children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially from rural areas, where the poor socio-economic situation, the lack of parental models and a strong community, based on volunteering and continuous involvement, inevitably lead to discrimination among students ", stated Raluca Ciucă, Project Manager "NOROC - Norwegian-Romanian Initiative for Quality in Education".

The need for coaching and mentoring activities among teachers, students, and their parents, especially parents of children with special educational needs, but also for joint parent-student-school-community extracurricular activities, which would develop a favorable environment for the psycho-emotional development of students, were also highlighted during the discussions. It was emphasized that education in the rural environment needs resource people in the communities, who better understand the needs of students and their parents and bring closer to them the information and resources existing in the public space.

The project aims, in the short term, to combat school dropout and facilitate the transition from primary to secondary school and from secondary school to high school, for 650 children at risk and with special educational requirements, from 20 schools from Dolj, Olt, Gorj, Vâlcea and Bacău counties. In the medium and long term, the intervention aims to improve the quality of educational services, by training 48 teaching staff and mediators in methods of working with children at risk of dropping out of school and with special educational needs.

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The project ’The Initiative ’NOROC in Education’ - A NOrwegian - ROmanian Initiative for Quality in Education’ benefits from a 998.000 € grant from Norway through the Local Development Program. The aim of the project is to improve the quality of educational services, especially in rural areas in 5 counties of Romania. This document has been created with the financial support of Norwegian Grants 2014 – 2021.

The content of this material does not reflect the official view of the Programme Operator, of the National Focal Point or of the Office of the Financial Mechanism. The information and opinions expressed herein represent the sole responsibility of the author(s).

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