Out of a total of 108 Roma high school students in Montenegro, 102 students completed their final year at school. Out of that number, 20 have graduated from high school, 11 of them have been employed, and two are awaiting admission to college due to affirmative action. These are the results of the project “Increasing Access and Participation of Roma Students in Secondary Education and the Transition to the Labor Market,” which was implemented by the NGO “Young Roma” and funded by the European Union. So far, nearly € 26,000 have been invested in the project, while an additional €38,000 have been provided for the coming period.

The aim of the project, which began last year, is to improve the academic achievement and employability of Roma high school students through collaboration with mentor-teachers. During the previous school year, the programme included 22 schools in Montenegro, employing a total of 37 teacher-mentors, who monitored the students’ school performance. This academic year, 44 professors-mentors will be hired and selected through a public call.

“Our estimates are that over 40 students will finish high school this year, which represents  an increase of 50%,” said Samir Jaha, the Director of the NGO “Young Roma” during a media Conference at the EU Info Center.

The programme also provides paid internships for students in their final year of studies. Other project activities include organising internship sessions, organising trainings and workshops where students are able to acquire the skills required to find a job, as well as arranging visits to potential employers to connect with high school graduates.

“Last year, 31 students got paid internships, of which 27 successfully completed the internship. Their monthly fee was €165 (net),” explained Jaha.

The project is part of the European Union-funded regional project “Increased Educational Opportunities for Roma Students and Young Roma in the Western Balkans and Turkey, ” which is implemented by the Roma Education Fund (REF). The NGO “Young Roma” is a national partner organisation for Montenegro.