Following the monitoring of the phenomenon of school segregation in over 500 schools in the North-East Region (Moldova), the Center for Advocacy and Human Rights – CADO and the Resource Center for Public Participation – CeRe made a series of recommendations to improve the legislation that protects the right to education of all children in Romania, through an address sent to the Ministry of National Education and Scientific Research on May 24, 2016. So far, the experts of the two organizations have not received any response from the institution.
The recommendations submitted by CADO and CeRe review the main legal obstacles in the desegregation effort, proposing concrete improvements, as follows:
I. Amendment of Order 1540 of 19 July 2007 on the prohibition of school segregation of Roma children and the approval of the Methodology for the prevention and elimination of school segregation of Roma children:
- Modification of Order 1540/2007 by adopting the methodology for monitoring the inclusion / & nbsp; school segregation of Roma students & nbsp; developed and tested within the project ;
- Introduction of sanctions for non-compliance with the provisions of Order 1540/2007. Currently, this normative act that regulates the obligations of school units for & nbsp; preventing and combating school segregation of Roma students does not contain any sanctions (not even administrative sanctions) for non-compliance with its provisions;
- Modification of the definition of school segregation regulated in Annex 1, Chap. 2, Article 2 para. 2 so that the risks of school segregation are reported to the age population corresponding to the education cycles in the school unit in the school district (but only after a system of data collection disaggregated by ethnic criterion at school district level will be adopted);
II. Clarification of the legal framework regarding the Integrated Information System of Education in Romania (SIIIR) and collection of disaggregated data on ethnic criteria. We specify that the & nbsp; methodology for monitoring the school inclusion / segregation of Roma students & nbsp; developed and tested within the project “School for all children!” aimed to harmonize (as far as possible) its indicators with those collected through SIIIR;
III. Modification of the MENCS Order no. 3158/2016 – approval of the Calendar and Methodology for enrolling children in primary education for the 2016—2017 school year:
- Include an express reference to Order 1540/2007 on the prohibition of school segregation of Roma children and the approval of the Methodology for the prevention and elimination of school segregation of Roma children;
- < em> Introduction of a system of random (computerized) distribution of students in the formation of classes at the beginning of the educational cycle (preparatory class and fifth grade), a system similar to the existing and currently functional for computerized distribution upon admission to high school; >
- Introduce clear criteria for setting up school districts in a way that does not preserve or generate school segregation;
IV. Amendment of Law no. 87/2006 on ensuring the quality of education by completing the ARACIP methodology for assessing the quality of education with indicators for evaluating school segregation on the basis of ethnicity.
CADO coordinated the monitoring of the phenomenon of school segregation in the North-East Region in the school year 2015-2016, within the project “School for all children”. According to the monitoring report, 81 school units from those monitored in Botoșani, Iași, Neamț, Suceava and Vaslui counties present at least one form of school segregation based on ethnic criteria. This represents 20% of the 394 schools that provided data in the monitoring.
In Romania, national legislation prohibits school segregation and education is recognized as one of the levers that could contribute to the impoverishment of the next generation. However, the separation of children according to ethnicity and social status persists. Segregation leads to poor education and perpetuates poverty.