Illustration. Photo:BIRN

Kosovo Urged to Take Swift Actions Prevent School Drop Outs Among Non-Majority Communities’ Children

An OSCE report reveals that over 400 first to ninth grade students dropped out of school in Kosovo between 2020 and 2023. The majority of these students came from non-majority communities.

The schooling of children from the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities continues to be one of the challenges for non-majority communities in Kosovo and the education system. This was highlighted in a recent report published by the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, titled “School Dropout: Behind the Numbers of Dropouts from Compulsory Education in the Kosovo System 2020-2023.”

The OSCE report details troubling trends in dropout rates, especially among vulnerable communities. The report emphasises that these challenges persist despite commendable efforts by MESTI, the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation. Further, the report highlights that children from marginalized communities such as the Kosovo Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians are particularly affected.

An analysis of MESTI dropout data from grades 1-9 shows that 43 per cent of dropouts are from the Ashkali community, 43 per cent from the Egyptian community, 13 per cent from the Roma community, and 1 per cent from the majority community.

The report, which examined over 400 cases of school abandonment between 2020 and 2023, underscores the impact of poor socio-economic conditions and frequent discrimination on dropout rates.

Michael Davenport, Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo, emphasised the urgent need for intervention.

 “Without active and systematic efforts, early school leaving will persist, limiting young people’s employment prospects and contributing to a disadvantaged and unskilled workforce”, Davenport stated.

The report provides targeted recommendations for MESTI, municipal education directorates, schools, and NGOs.  These recommendations focus on the importance of collaborative efforts to address the issue and promote inclusivity in Kosovo’s education system.

In 2023, 23 cases of discrimination were reported by the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities, according to the national platform for protection against discrimination for these three communities.

The National Platform for Protection against Discrimination for the Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptian communities was established by the Government of Kosovo in June 2022 to support the values ​​set out in the Constitution of Kosovo.

In Kosovo, according to the latest statistics [2011], there are 8,824 Roma, 15,436 Ashkali, and 11,524 Egyptians. Roma constitute 0.51 percent of the population in Kosovo, Ashkali 0.89 percent, and Egyptians 0.66 percent.

01/03/2024 - 18:31

01 March 2024 - 18:31

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