Distance learning in the Republic of Moldova is doomed to failure as long as there are no decent conditions in students’ homes, said Ion Duminică, a member of the secretariat of the Coalition “Voice of the Roma”. He noted that the results of the monitoring report for the first half of 2020 on education, concerning the National Action Plan to Support the Roma Population, shows that most of the Roma children do not have appropriate conditions for distance learning at home.
In a news conference at IPN , Ion Duminică said that in five localities that are mainly populated by Romani people (Schinoasa village of Ţibirica commune, Parcani village of Răciula commune, Ursari village of Călăraşi district and the towns of Hâceşti and Edineţ), which were monitored in terms of education, the Roma children were supplied free of charge with textbooks, but what the Coalition “Voice of the Roma” was interested in during the pandemic, between March 16 and May 15, was the number of Roma children who benefitted from financial assistance for purchasing the equipment needed for distance learning. “The Ministry of Education reported that each tenth child in the Republic of Moldova didn’t have the necessary equipment for distance learning during the pandemic. As regards the Roma community, this process here failed, primarily in Schinoasa village, where 44 monitored Roma children in the period didn’t have the necessary equipment and didn’t get support to buy such equipment for becoming involved in distance learning,” stated Ion Duminică.
In Ursari village, the children were contacted by the landline only. “They were asked if they read many books and were told to read further! This is not education when we say: read more books!” said Ion Duminică. As to the situation in Edineţ, he noted that of the 500 children aged between 7 and 15 living there, only 23 were engaged in the education process, while the others were wandering.
“In most of the monitored localities, the Romanian language and math were the main subjects at which the teachers could somehow deliver education. Other subjects could not be taught and the children complained that some of the teachers do not have digital skills and cannot ensure such education. During the pandemic, the education process in Roma communities, which are vulnerable ones, was fully abandoned,” stated Ion Duminică.
Elena Sîrbu, a member of the secretariat of the Coalition “Voice of the Roma”, said that to prepare the monitoring report for the first half of 2020 on health, they asked for information from the responsible institutions of the local public authorities, but that information wasn’t conclusive. “It was reported that the informing of the Roma population about the benefits of becoming part of the mandatory health insurance system takes place, but there is no exact figure and we do not have the methodologies used by the medical staff,” stated Elena Sîrbu
As regards the situation of the Roma in Schinoasa, she said the local doctor and community meditator went from door to door and informed the community, children, young and elderly people, that they should comply with the recommendations of the WHO and the Ministry of Health. “But the biggest problem is the fact that the children cannot wash their hands as there is no drinking water or a source of drinking water in Schinoasa village. The inhabitants have to go by cart, by personal transport, if they have such, helping each other, to the neighboring village or filling stations to fill containers with water and bring them home so as to have water for the most pressing needs,” noted Elena Sîrbu.
She concluded that only 20% of the measures of the Action Plan to Support the Roma Population in the first half of 2020 were implemented. The actions in the Health division were implemented in an absolutely unsatisfactory way.
The monitoring of the Action Plan to Support the Roma Population is carried out as part of the project “Step by Step We Find Solutions for the Roma in the Republic of Moldova” that is supported by East-Europe Foundation in concert with the Partnership for Development Center with resources provided by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.