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Czech Republic: Romani secondary school students can apply for scholarships, deadline is 15 July

18.6.2018 10:11
More than 80 Romani secondary school students were awarded scholarships on Friday, 4 November 2017 in Prague by the ROMEA organization. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)
More than 80 Romani secondary school students were awarded scholarships on Friday, 4 November 2017 in Prague by the ROMEA organization. (PHOTO: Petr Zewlakk Vrabec)

Romani secondary school students are now able to apply for scholarships for the 2018/2019 school year from the ROMEA organization. Online applications can be sent in until 18 July through the online application form at www.romskastipendia.cz.

The opportunity to apply for a scholarship exists thanks to the Romani Scholarship project implemented by ROMEA with the support of the Denmark-based foundation of the VELUX corporation and other donors. "The scholarship can be acquired this year by as many as 50 secondary school students and 10 students applying to higher technical schools. The purpose of the entire project is to support primarily those students who have achieved good academic results but whose further studies are endangered because their families are in bad financial situations," explains project manager Jitka Votavová.

"We are convinced that education is the way, generally speaking, to effectively respond to the existing discrimination and social exclusion here, and that it can also facilitate the involvement of Romani people in the decision-making processes that influence all of society. Support for Romani students leads to bolstering the economic and social strengths of Romani people, both as communities and as individuals," she said.

If those applying for scholarships meet all of the criteria, the secondary school students will receive a scholarship worth CZK 14 000 [EUR 544] for the academic year. Students of higher technical schools will receive CZK 21 000 [EUR 816].

The scholarship is disbursed in two payments, with the second payment being disbursed after the students document that their mid-term academic achievements are satisfactory. Each student must describe his or her academic aims, future professional goals, and financial and social situation when applying.

Another component of the application is information about the students' academic achievements and extracurricular activities. All of that is assessed by a three-member commission of committed Romani people.

"If the students fulfill the conditions and we decide to financially support them in their studies, we want them to also dedicate some of their activity to volunteering. We are requiring a minimum of 50 hours of volunteer work in their home towns and attendance at our Romani student meetings," says the program coordinator, Denisa Maková.

"The scholarship aided me mainly with covering the costs of school materials. I studied computer science so I needed a good computer, and I also used the scholarship to cover the cost of attending cultural and social events at the school or to buy the professional literature needed for school. As part of the scholarship ROMEA also paid for tutoring for me, which I took advantage of mainly when preparing for my English examination," says Roman Lakatoš, one of the 81 scholarship recipients supported last year.

This is the third annual round of the Romani Scholarship project. During the last three years 143 scholarships have been awarded, almost 200 students have had other courses and tutoring paid for, and five Romani student meetings have taken place.

Detailed information about the scholarship competition is HERE. The online application form is HERE.

The scholarship award decisions will be communicated by e-mail to the applicants at the close of August and start of September. Should you have any questions, contact Jitka Votavová at tel. 257 329 667 or by email - jitka.votavova@romea.cz.

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Roma, Soutěž, Stipendia, student



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