20 September 2022 – During IDM activities, one of the issues raised was related to the implementation of the law on education for national minorities and the need to address it in parliament for the case of the Roma minority.
In this context, through a public hearing, MPs of the Committee on Education and Means of Public Information had the opportunity to be informed and discuss the need for more supportive policies for the qualification and employment of Roma language teachers.
Experts and actors of civil society organizations presented the recommendations of interest groups for the implementation of the provisions of the “Law on the Protection of National Minorities” such as (a) the inclusion of students belonging to the Roma minority among the categories of students that are exempted from the annual fee in all cycles of university studies and the application of the full scholarship for this category for each branch, including teaching branches; (b) the categorization of ‘Bachelor and Master’s programs (after the opening of the latter) in Albanian and Roma languages’ among the study programs of priority fields in the country and (c) guaranteeing the employment, as appropriate, of instructors (Bachelor’s graduates) and teachers (Master’s graduates) of the Romani language and the opening of classes for the teaching of the Romani language.
In his speech, MP Mr. Petro Koci emphasized the importance of this hearing and the issues raised for discussion. He added that ” Roma minority need both languages, including Albanian. But education in the Romani language is more stimulating for the general education of the Roma. The guaranteeing of rights for minorities is indicative of strong and advanced societies.”
Moreover, MP Mrs. Ina Zhupa mentioned the obligations of Albania regarding the protection of human rights also within the framework of EU integration. She made concrete suggestions regarding the possibility of adding teachers of the Roma language in the capacity of assistant teachers in those schools where there is a greater concentration of children of the Roma minority.
The representative of the Ministry of Education and Sports presented the steps and initiatives undertaken by the ministry regarding the issues raised in this hearing and offered alternatives for addressing them in the future. Also, representatives of the People’s Advocate evaluated the requests of this interest group and recommended the opening of Roma language study programs in Tirana and Korçë Universities, as well as engaged in the follow-up of the issues raised following the activity of the PA.
Issue brief link.
This activity was held in cooperation with the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), within the program “Support to Parliament and Civic Education in Albania” (PACEP), supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), implemented by the National Democratic Institute(NDI) and the OSCE Presence in Albania.