Czech Republic: ROMEA awards scholarships to Romani secondary school students
More than 50 Roma students at higher vocational schools and high schools in the Czech Republic received scholarships yesterday in Prague from the ROMEA organization. The stipends aid those whose studies are endangered by their families' bad financial situations.
More than 100 Romani students applied to the program. In addition to assessing their families' economic situations and the students' academic achievements, the scholarship commission also took into consideration students' after-school activities and motivation.
The high school students chosen will receive CZK 14 000 (EUR 500) for the school year, while those attending higher vocational schools will receive CZK 21 000 (EUR 800). "We not only have students here from prestigious college preparatory schools, nursing schools and teacher-training schools, but also from schools focused on construction or engineering. We also have, for example, two students from the Janáček Conservatory who performed on piano and saxophone for us during the ceremony," said Jitka Votavová, project manager of the scholarship program.
In the motivation essays that were required as part of their applications, students wrote, among other things, that they consider studying to be a way to move out of the excluded localities in which they now live with their parents. ROMEA has also offered scholarships for college students.
The introduction of scholarhips for students at high schools and higher vocational schools is the organization's response to many years of requests from Romani children and parents for support at that phase of their studies. Compulsory, free education in the Czech Republic is from the ages of six to 15 only.
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