The EESC Study Group on the Inclusion of the Roma organised a public hearing on the issue of early school leaving within the Roma community. This hearing highlighted the current situation with regard to early school leaving amongst the Roma. It identified factors which trigger this phenomenon and featured a discussion on initiatives and good practices which are being undertaken by civil society organisations as well as recommendations on how early school leaving can be prevented.
Cedefop was invited to present the work on tackling early leaving from education and training with an emphasis on how VET can become a meaningful support to the reintegration of Roma people back to education and/or the labour market.
Erika Koller from the European Economic and Social Committee opened the public hearing welcoming the participants.
The first panel on "Early school leaving: root causes and state of play" was composed by:
- Roland Ferkovics, Roma Education Fund
- Andrey Ivanov, Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)
- Daniel Stanislav, International Step by Step
Dr Rena Psifidou contributed to the 2nd panel: "Combatting early school leaving: recommendations and best practices" giving a speech on Benefits of VET for Roma as a means to counteract early school leaving and presenting good practices and tools available on Cedefop VET toolkit for tackling early leaving.
Petra Goran from DG Education and Culture presented the work of the Commission in the field of early school leaving, while representatives from the Council of Europe, and the European Roma Information Office presented initiatives and research projects they have in this field.
Discussions were held in English, French, Hungarian, Italian and Lithuanian.