Thursday, Feb 03 2022

Applying learning programs to the Gypsy community reduces the impact of school failure

Original posted by Pedrajillas

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Scientific Articles

  • Aguilar Jurado, M. A., Gil Madrona, P. and Ortega Dato, J. F. (2020). Effects of the Promociona program against school failure in students of gypsy ethnicity. Revista de Investigación Educativa, 38(2), 345-358.
  • Rosário, P., Núñez, J. C., Vallejo, G., Cunha, J., Azevedo, R., Pereira, R., … & Moreira, T. (2016). Promoting Gypsy children school engagement: A story-tool project to enhance self-regulated learning. Contemporary Educational Psychology47, 84-94.

Explanation of the Post

As indicated in several studies, school failure falls mainly on the Roma population.  According to Rodríguez (2008), school failure is the difficulty in achieving the objectives set by the educational system. For another author Martínez (2009) speaks of school failure as a lack of students of a minimum required knowledge. But we must not confuse school failure with absenteeism, since absenteeism is the lack of continuous attendance of the student to the educational center during the period of compulsory schooling (Garfaella, Gargallo and Sanchez, 2001).

Spain is one of the countries that stands out for having a high rate of school failure and school dropout, especially among young people aged 18-24 years.  In the 2020 PISA report I highlight the different data regarding school dropout in young students from the Roma population being the following data; during the years 2011-2016 school dropout went from an average of 87% in 2011 to 68% in 2016.  In 2019, still with 68% of gypsies leaving schooling prematurely. Where only 18% of the Roma transcended to higher education.

This means that if the gypsy population wants to get a job, it is difficult, since they do not receive any training, nor do they work (nini). Only 40% of the Roma get a job while the average number of ninis during the years 2011 and 2016 went from 56% to 63%.

In order to improve these data, a social guarantee program (PGS) was created, where these programs were aimed at students who do not manage to pass the ESO, where its main objective was to guarantee a basic and professional education and facilitate their integration into working life. One of the plans that is offering better results in Spain is the Plan de Refuerzo, Orientación y Apoyo (PROA). PROA is a socio-educational program designed in 2004 by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, in collaboration with the Autonomous Communities, to combat school failure and school dropout. To this end, the program has two modalities: School Accompaniment Program (PAE) and Support and Reinforcement Program (PAR). PAE is characterized by providing assistance to students with difficulties in instrumental knowledge areas, while PAR focuses on providing additional resources for improvements in organization and academic functioning in centers with difficult environments, risks of social exclusion, etc.  (Ministry of Education, 2011) This program improved in the academic results that many of the students were passing grades after completing the course.

In the discussion of the article promoting school participation of Roma children: a history tool project to improve self-regulated learning by Rosario, Núñez, Vallejo, Cunha, Azevedo, Pereira, Nunes, Fuentes & Moreira del. They discuss that they initially experience difficulties in school learning, where many families see that their cultural beliefs are not represented in school practices. But if Romani children participate in the program to improve their behavioral and cognitive engagement, they found that the cultural traditions of the Romani people and Romani customs are involved in education. Since many Gypsy families live from the fairs and have to move from village to village in order to make a living. This is one of the reasons why young Gypsies do not attend school. That is why it is necessary to involve Gypsy traditions to education so that the impact of school failure decreases.

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1 Comment

  1. As indicated in the article “Portuguese Ciganos: school and social change” (Mendes, Maria Manuela; Magano, Olga; Costa, Ana Rita. 2020, 05), Romani children and youth face challenges in meeting compulsory education and avoiding school dropout. The article highlights persistent social inequalities and ongoing changes, revealing that the Romani population encounters challenges and undergoes transformations both within and outside the school.

    Therefore, we consider it necessary to incorporate educational practices that integrate with students’ extracurricular environment. This would not only foster motivation but also enable students to recognize the relevance of their learning by relating and applying it to their daily lives. Connecting school content with students’ daily reality would not only strengthen their understanding but also provide a sense of usefulness and meaning in their education.

    “Coexistence, educational expectations and school success in Gypsy population in Vilaboa” (Mendes, Maria Manuela; Magano, Olga; Costa, Ana Rita. 2020, 05) conveys that the Romani population in Galicia faces a significant educational disadvantage rooted in historical exclusion. Overcoming this situation requires intercultural interventions involving students, teachers, and parents with the aim of achieving academic success.

    According to the article, we believe that actively involving families in this educational process is essential, offering them a leading role and participation opportunities. By giving families the chance to contribute to the educational environment, an interdependent link is established among the different elements comprising the educational setting: students, families, school, and the community. This collaboration not only enriches the educational experience but also fosters a sense of belonging and shared responsibility toward a common educational goal.

    Drawing ideas from the article “Representations of gypsies in young adult literature” (Tomé, Maria da Conceiçao. 2015-07-30), active family participation would not be limited to school events but would extend to creating educational experiences reflecting the cultural diversity present in the community. This collaboration among all involved elements would contribute to an educational environment where students acquire not only academic knowledge but also intercultural skills and a profound understanding of the significance of education in their lives.


    – Mendes, Maria Manuela; Magano, Olga; Costa, Ana Rita. (2020, 05). Portuguese Ciganos: school and social change. Web of Science.
    Link to article

    – Arranz Núñez, Belén; González Avión, Santiago. (2015-07-30). Coexistence, educational expectations and school success in Gypsy population in Vilaboa: (Galicia). Web of Science.
    Link to article

    – Tomé, Maria da Conceiçao. (2015-07-30). Representations of gypsies in young adult literature. Web of Science.
    Link to article

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