Cowen: aid for Roma school in the Slovak Republic
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D., has announced a grant of IR£9,000 from the Ireland Aid budget to fund an educational project at an elementary school for Roma children in Filakova in central Slovakia. The Minister announced the grant while on an official visit to Bratislava today and said that he was pleased to lend his support to the important work being carried out by the Slovak Government to improve conditions for the Roma in Slovakia.
The contribution will go towards the purchase of teaching materials and equipment for the school, which is located in an area of high unemployment and social disadvantage. The Roma community in Slovakia have historically suffered from higher levels of social and educational disadvantage than other groups in society.
Note for Editors
The school, Pro Schola Nostra, is located in a predominantly Roma settlement in the central Slovakian town of Filakova. 78% of the pupils are Roma, and the unemployment rate in the town is 42%. The project is called ‘For Our School - For Our Students', and runs from January 2000 to June 2001. It is administered by a civic association comprising of parents, teachers and members of the local community. It aims to promote the participation of Roma in Slovak society by improving educational achievement and encouraging a positive sense of identity among the Roma in the town. A series of components are designed to develop different skills including, inter alia, IT skills, tolerance training, literacy, a positive sense of Roma culture and adult education for parents. The project was identified with the assistance of the Slovak authorities and the Office of the European Commission in Slovakia.