Supporting access to education and intercultural understanding

Project Summary

Project title:

Increasing access to education and intercultural understanding: EU/CoE support in the field of education to forced returnees and to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo.

Project description:

The project is to work directly with the Kosovo* local and central authorities to support and address the education needs of three categories of direct beneficiary:
(1) Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities,
(2) forced returnees (hereafter referred to as ‘returnees’) from EU Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities and (3) returnees from non-Roma, Ashkali, Egyptian communities.

The project will provide direct technical assistance to central and local authorities who are directly involved in improving the access and quality for returnee children as well as Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children who for certain reasons remain out of school. The project’s work aims at directly involving Kosovo* authorities in the project activities and building local institutional capacity, so that schools, local authorities and local civil society are able to take over the support and education services to integrate the direct beneficiary groups by the end of the project.

On the other side the main needs of the returnee children are usually related to the knowledge of the language of schooling, to the integration in the group of peers, as well as the ability of their families to go through the administrative procedures related to school registration. In particular, some returnee children also need specific psychological support for overcoming the trauma generated by the return process.

This project builds on the experiences and outcomes of the component on Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians of the project IPA 2007 Education project entitled ‘Interculturalism and Bologna Process’, implemented by the Council of Europe between 2008 and 2011 in which it was highlighted how Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children need special support, mainly to overcoming effects of social exclusion, to preventing prejudice and discrimination as well as building their self-esteem and their trust in the school.


To support returnees and minority communities (Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian) to integrate into the education system in Kosovo by facilitating access to education

Result 1: Enrolment in schools and regular attendance of school-age returnee children and of disadvantaged minority children in general, with special attention to Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians

1.1 Effective system of monitoring school enrolment of returnee children in place at MEST level, based on cooperation with MIA, local authorities and other public institutions.
1.2 Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Education Mediators contracted by the project and then by the Kosovo authorities to facilitate school enrolment, integration and retention of the students and ensure regular communication between schools and families
1.3 Mediators and staff of learning centers trained to participate in undertaking the assessment of the needs of the children
1.4 School directors, teachers and staff of the schools, municipal education departments trained and mentored to support the integration of returned into mainstream schooling.
1.5 Returnee children provided with support by the project in direct collaboration with the Kosovo local authorities/MEDs for school registration
1.6 Returnee children local language learning skills developed.
1.7 Prompt early intervention measures in place to respond to cases of drop-out and to support re-attendance and regular school attendance

Result 2: Increased capacity of the education system to ensure higher chances for school achievement of returnee children and Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children

2.1 Teachers from schools attended by returnee or Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children prepared to address the specific needs of returned children
2.2 Educational materials developed by the project and officially endorsed by MEST, provided to schools to guide and support teachers in developing and implementing effective educational activities aimed at addressing the needs of returnee children and at improving the attitudes and relationships in the school community.
2.3 Returnee children attend additional courses in the local language taught in schools in Kosovo.
2.4 Participating schools organize educational activities based on the Kosovo Curriculum Framework
2.5 Online partnerships established between Kosovo schools and the schools from former host countries or returnees or other EU countries.

Result 3: Improved status of Romani language as a subject in Kosovo schools

3.1 Teachers trained to teach Romani language to children
3.2 Materials for teaching Romani language to all schools attended by Roma children; such materials officially endorsed, owned and disseminated by Ministry of Education (MEST) and the Municipal Education Directories (MEDs)
3.3 Romani language taught in selected number of relevant targeted schools in Kosovo as part of their curriculum
3.4 Roma children attended regularly Romani language courses

Result 4: Integration of returnee children among peers in school and in local community

4.1 Staff of learning centres, teachers and other relevant local staff trained for organizing non-formal education activities
4.2 Activities (cultural, sport, educational) aimed at facilitating integration of returnees and organised in schools and local communities in a systematic structured way

Result 5: Policy review and improvement

5.1 Setting – up of a mixed working group involving local policy-makers, local experts and CoE
Main Partners to be involved  Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST)
 Ministry of Interior Affairs (MIA)
 Ministry of European Integration (MEI)
 Municipal Education Department (MEDs)
 Local NGOs
 Schools from different municipalities
 Community leaders/members from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian


Project Team in Strasbourg
Katia Dolgova-Dreyer, Project Coordinator
Samir Heco, Project Assistant

Project Team:

Giovanni Mozzarelli, Project Manager
Juliana Olldashi-Berisha, Senior Project Officer
Mergime Hyseni, Project Assistant Council of Europe headquarters
Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation
Avenue de l'Europe
F-67075 Strasbourg Cedex


[email protected]
[email protected]


Council of Europe Office in Pristina
Bedri Pejani Street No. 5
Tel: 00381 38 243 749 113


[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]