Second chance education

Education as a determinant of life chances


The results of the 2011 survey in 11 EU Member States2 and the EU MIDIS 2016 FRA Survey covering 9 EU Member States3 confirm that largely Roma children are behind in educational achievement and show a considerable gap  between Roma and non-Roma children attending schooling. Despite the efforts to expand and improve education for Roma children over the years, as many as 50% of Roma children in Europe fail to complete primary education and only a quarter complete secondary education. Participation in education drops considerably after compulsory education where only 15% of young Roma adults have completed upper-secondary general or vocational education. The levels of illiteracy amongst young Roma remain comparably high for Europe where almost 50% of Roma are illiterate or moderately literate. Without compulsory education completion, many young Roma are unable to meet the basic requirements for vocational education programmes.

With lower levels of education and literacy skills, they experience limited access to essential goods and services and are less likely to benefit from the same opportunities and chances as other young people. Growing up in segregated neighbourhoods and schools, deprived of being part of mainstream society, often with limited access to vocational training, they are less competitive in the labour market.


Open Society Foundation: Second Chance in Education project

Soros Foundation Romania in partnership with Pestalozzi Foundation, Media One and Wide Open School Foundation from Slovakia is running Second Chance in Education project.

The total value of the project is 13 853 434 RON and the running period is 36 months, between May 2011 and April 2014. The project is co-financed from European Social Fund through Sectorial Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007-2013, contract no.   POSDRU/91/2.2/S/60294.

The project aims to prevent early school leaving by developing integrated socio-educational services and by increasing the selected communities members’ involvement in maintaining the youngsters considered at risk of early school leaving, inside the educational system.

Target group of the project consists of pupils at risk of early school leaving, their parents and tutors, young people that have abandoned school or haven’t graduated the compulsory education as well as staff involved in projects and programmes aimed to prevent early school leaving.


More information is available here:



Roma Education Fund

This Program provides grants for initiatives by governmental and non-governmental agencies in the Decade of Roma Inclusion countries. Applications are also considered from other countries with a substantial Roma population. The REF finances projects at all education levels, i.e. preschool, primary, general and vocational secondary and tertiary, and adult education, and for policy development.

Since 2013, REF has developed five models that shape its current grants and policies. Grant applications should be targeted on these models to be considered for support as well as the objectives above. Below follows an excerpt from REF’s 2013 Annual Report that describes the aims of these models developed by REF with assistance from the World Bank.

The Roma Education Fund has begun a shift from its current proposal-based grant design to a model-based grant design. The purpose of the model framework is to better assess REF’s actual progress compared to its targets. The methodology of the model-based applications will allow the applicant to select an implementation model which will trigger the appearance of a set of ready-made component entries and indicators.



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SOS Network: Second Chance programme for Roma students

They  have organized an action whose aim was the popularization of the “Second Chance” program, to bring those interested in school, and to attract those who hadn’t proposed this yet. In particular, our attention was directed toward the discovery of those who left school after four, five, six, or seven classes, that have to enroll in lower secondary classes, school will receive in its program students in the classes I – VIII.

They presented the “Second Chance” program and its first year results. Informed people about the school’s ability to expand the program and about possibilities to cover educational needs of young people who have left school before obtaining a mandatory eight grade diploma. Without this degree students cannot follow professional qualification courses, are not employed and are unable to earn a decent living.


More information is available here: