Saturday, 19 Apr 2014
Roma assistants in Viennese schools

Since September 2000, Roma school assistants have been working on behalf of Romano Centro in selected Viennese schools with a high percentage ofSchulassistentin Roma pupils. Initially, the project was financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture (BMUKK) and the Vienna Integration Fund (later becoming Municipal Department 17); a few years ago, however, the City of Vienna stopped its support, and expenses now have to be covered solely by funding from the BMUKK. Roma school assistants liaise between teachers, pupils and parents. They motivate and accompany children in class, assist teachers with problems in understanding and try to facilitate parental access to school. For the children, school assistants as native speakers play an identity-generating role; for the parents, they act as confidants, thanks to their understanding of the cultural and traditional background.

Every effort is made to ensure the continuous further development of the programme, which currently, due to lack of funds, can unfortunately not be extended to more schools. Sadly, we have also so far tried in vain to promote the desirable integration into schools’ social work, in order to give more pupils the chance to profit from the specific quality of Roma school assistance.

 

Tasks of Roma school assistants:
  • supporting relations between school and home as well as communication between teachers and Roma parents
  • informing, advising and accompanying parents in both school and educational matters
  • acting as multi-lingual liaison person for Roma pupils and parents as well as for teachers encountering problems of/with Roma pupils
  • accompanying school field trips to ensure the participation of Roma pupils
  • supporting Roma pupils in class during lessons, above all also through communication in their native language
  • arranging additional courses and remediation for Roma children
  • providing knowledge on Roma culture and history for both pupils and teachers

Schools offering Roma school assistance:

1030 Wien, SPZ Petrusgasse 10, Roma-Schulassistent: Manuel Weinrich

1160 Wien, VS Liebhartsgasse 19-21, Roma-Schulassistentin: Jasmina Pavlović

1160 Wien, VS Gaullachergasse 49, Roma-Schulassistentin:  Žaklina Radosavljević