Action plan for Roma integration to bring financial literacy

The action plans approved by government for 2016-2018 aim for better financial literacy, Roma children studying at common elementary schools and also fewer long-term unemployed.

Government Proxy for the Roma Communities Ábel Ravasz. Government Proxy for the Roma Communities Ábel Ravasz. (Source: Archive of Interior Ministry)

The action plans of the Strategy of the Slovak Republic for the Integration of the Roma until 2020, for 2016-2018, were approved on February 22 by the cabinet. In total more than €300 million – of which, €170 million will go to education – are slated for the measures, Government Proxy for Roma Communities Ábel Ravasz (of the coalition Most-Híd party) informed the TASR newswire.

“The novelty is for example, the action plan for financial literacy,” the proxy noted. “WE see it as a priority, as running projects for improving the financial situation of this group is in vain if the money then ultimately goes to usurers.” Ravasz added that his office also intends to add action plans for non-discrimination and positive public opinion.

The action plans approved concern education, employment, health, housing and financial inclusion. It would help society a lot if the cabinet managed to fulfil all the plans, 100 percent, Ravasz opined, according to TASR.

Advantages and snags

“We would have better-looking settlements, plots of land under housing financially settled, children would attend nursery schools, normal elementary schools and maybe even secondary schools,” Ravasz said.

We would also have fewer people long-term unemployed, health educators in these communities, and maybe assistants in hospitals, Ravasz explained, adding that there are more than 70 specific measures included in the plans.

The education sector is very important, Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák stressed, and will get the biggest part of the package. He praised the goals for being not just ambitious but also realistic.

The global goal of the approved action plans is to reduce the difference between levels of education of the Roma compared to the national average by improving the access of children from marginalised Roma communities or students from disadvantaged environments, to good-quality education at all levels of schools. The plans will also help reduce the differences between the unemployment rate and state of health between the Roma and the Slovak average, as well as the availability of housing. The removal of segregation of the Roma is also planned, TASR wrote. The newest item is the financial literacy plan which will help the Roma plan better and avoid the wide-spread phenomenon of debts and usury.

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