Roma language is neglected in Montenegro, is the conclusion of the conference “Roma language in education” which was held on 5th November 2019 at the Ramada Hotel. The event was attended by a representative of the NGO “Mladiinfo Montenegro”.
The conference was opened by the Minister of Human Rights and Minorities, Mehmet Zenka, who spoke about the Roma community as one of the priority groups in Montenegro.
“They are extraordinary people who are very attached to their culture and way of life”, he said.
It is a priority duty to finally help this population. We do no favors to this population, we just give them back what they’ve done for centuries.
The general director of the Ministry of Education Marash Dukaj said that this conference, as we know it, was organized in partnership with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Rights and Minorities.
“Montenegro does a lot to integrate the human RE population. That is best said by the fact that they spend 80 euros for the best of our students and 150 euros for the RE population to stimulate them to learn as much as possible”, he said.
HE Aivo Orav, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Montenegro, said that there was no need to emphasize the importance of education, especially for the Roma population, because acquiring knowledge and skills can break the dangerous circle of poverty.
He said Montenegro ratified the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages and the European Convention for the Protection and Promotion of Languages used by traditional minorities, including the Roma.
“The Roma language is quite neglected in Montenegro, but emphasizes that much has been done regarding the inclusion of Roma in Montenegrin society, and especially when it comes to education”, he said.
Milica Pajovic, Independent Advisor to the Ministry of Education, said that ensuring respect for the basic human rights of Roma students is a challenge for many European countries, including Montenegro.
Montenegro has made significant progress in the past, with more and more Roma children enrolled in primary schools and textbooks for primary schools being free of charge, as well as transportation.
“The more languages we know, the more humane we are”, she concluded.
Sokolj Beganaj, Independent Advisor to the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, said that every year there are more and more Roma and Egyptian children in educational institutions.
“What used to be the biggest obstacle for us Roma and Egyptians, which is to graduate from college, has now become a reality”, he said.
He emphasized support from the state for education of Roma and Egyptians, free kindergartens, provision of books, scholarships, summer and winter holidays, transportation of students and other various programmes aimed at motivating members of the Roma and Egyptian populations.
He also spoke about state support and the importance of the Romani language in pre-school and primary school education.
“Every child has the right to be educated in his or her own language”, he said.
In conclusion, he points out that the introduction of the Roma language into the education system of Montenegro was one of the tangible measures and a clear indication of our state that everything is being done in order to improve the position of the Roma community in Montenegro.