Adult Education and Roma Women in Geek Thrace: An Intercultural Approach
Managing social, cultural and educational diversity has become an imperative in a globalizing world, especially in promoting the so-called community building (Arvanitis, 2006). The only agencies to counteract the immense power of economic globalisation can be proven to be the rising generation of global citizens, workers and learners. One critical challenge is to transform these agencies, regardless of their cultural backgrounds, into global citizens able to interact interculturally across national, religious, ethnic, language, gender and class borders (Cahill, 2000, Apple, 2001 & Singh, 2002). Education of minority groups such as the Roma women need to be rethought and repositioned in the frame of life long learning strategies in order to counteract social exclusion and reinforce educational and work mobility. In the majority of European countries, access to basic services is extremely limited for Roma, as they are a clear example of a minority group suffering severe discrimination (Georgiadou, 2007). Access, participation and equity are also marginal issues for Adult Education System in Greece with no Roma population attending classes in the Centres for Adult Learning in 2007. Similarly research data is limited as studying minority groups remains a peripheral theme in official research policies.
This paper aims to discuss the findings of selected case studies of Roma women, the most excluded and marginalized population in Greek Thrace, who attended an adult education computer training program. Digital literacy has proven an important competence able to act as a means for further education re-boosting Roma women’s motivation to learn and acquire other basic skills such as reading and writing and communicating in different contexts. At the same time educating Roma women leads to the core of community development promoting both civic identification and participation in social life.
Keywords: Adult Education, Roma Women, Thrace
Dr. Eugenia Arvanitis
Affiliation not supplied
PhD Candidate, Primary Education, Democritus University of Thrace