Program for pre-school education of Roma children in Astrakhan region

In recent years school №71 in Astrakhan implemented the program for pre-school education for Roma children. Preparatory groups for kids are designed for pre-school children and they are being recruited through older children, who already attend the school, or through their parents. Usually 15 to 18 children are registered for this group each year.

The problem we are trying to solve is that usually these kids don’t go to other pre-school establishments and the characteristics of family education that they receive do not allow these pre-school kids to get the necessary skills and abilities for further learning at school.

The main difficulty in educating Roma children in primary school is the language barrier. They have difficulties of memorizing the spelling and reading of letters because they don’t always comprehend what the teachers say. Unfamiliar language spoken by unfamiliar adults produces stress in little children.

After considering these problems, our primary school methodological teachers’ association elaborated a program, which allowed children to go through a period of adaptation during their first school year. The program includes special subjects, such as speech development, mathematics, drawing, labor activities, physical training, special classes with speech therapist and development classes with a psychologist.

The classes are organized during the vacation period (one week in February, one in March, four weeks in June). Each week has its topics, which allows to both solve the problems of socialization for Roma children, as well as teach them regular subjects. The topics for each of the weeks include “What the native country begins with?”, “Farewell to winter, greetings to spring”, “Visiting fairy tales”, “Beautiful summer has come”, “Objects near us”, “Friends and friendship”.

While studying, we widely use various illustrative materials, practical methods, audio and video materials, while also providing oral explanations to make children’s vocabulary more rich and extensive. Studies are packed with a lot of information and often are made in the form of games.

Gulnayem Bisaliyeva,
teacher of high qualification, exemplary teacher,head of primary school methodological teachers’ association