[ 2012-01-20  comments | 1234 views ]

Unemployment – “Profession” for Many Boarding School Graduates

Press Release

Boarding school graduates are subject to a higher risk of becoming unemployed. As compared to the youth who grow in a family environment, most of the children from boarding schools continue their studies not in lyceums or universities but in professional or vocational schools. One of the reasons for such situation is the poor training that residential institutions offer but also the lack of professional orientation and of elementary life skills. The reasons of discrimination faced by most children who grew up in residential institutions were discussed at the meeting of the Investigative Journalists Club held on 19 January.

qPresent at the event, Valentin Crudu, Head of the Preschool, Primary and General Secondary Division of the Ministry of Education, said that each second youth who graduated from a boarding school in 2011 chose to go to a professional or vocational school. At the same time, only 8 percent of the graduates chose to go to a lyceum and 7 percent were enrolled in colleges. Each third graduate did not wish or did not have the possibility to continue their studies.

According to Valentin Crudu, the graduates of residential institutions benefit from a one-time allowance of 5 thousand lei and are supported financially through scholarships, allowances and food allocations throughout their studies. Upon graduation from education institutions – professional schools, colleges or universities – the state pays them a one-time allowance of 10 thousand lei.

Another participant in the event, Aliona Stepan, Program Coordinator at the Center for Information and Documentation on the Rights of the Child, said that it is very hard for boarding school graduates to go to university. “In some cases, the members of the admission commission of colleges, when seeing graduation diplomas from boarding schools, are not very happy to have such children in their institutions and try to orient them to a professional or vocational school.”

Providing living space to boarding school graduates is another problem hard to solve. According to the law, upon graduating from a boarding school, the orphans should return to their parents houses that the state must keep if the parents are not alive anymore or, they are alive, the youth are entitled to living space in their houses. In reality, many of such youth land on the street.

The head of the division for family reintegration and adoptions of the Municipal Department for Child Protection Angela Ganea said that her department, responding to the children’s needs, had created a daycare and placement service for post-institutionalized youth with a capacity of 35 places. The graduates of all the country’s boarding schools who do not have a place to live can go there.

“To ensure the right of the youth to a work place it was necessary for the municipality to have a real estate book where we have 300 beneficiaries with their domiciles registered at the Department’s legal address. This gives us the possibility to document the children who do not have a place to live so that to give them the right to get a job and benefit from social apartments,” Angela Ganea said.

qAccording to Silvia Lupan, Coordinator of Child Protection Programs at UNICEF, the graduates of residential institutions are subject to a higher risk of becoming unemployed. A study conducted with the UNICEF support shows that approximately 40 percent of the graduates become unemployed while the rate of unemployment in the country in the group age 15 to 24 is 15.4%. As compared to the youth who grow up in a family environment, the graduates of residential institutions twice as more often go to professional schools and eight times less go to universities. At the same time, the risk to become victims of trafficking for such youth is ten times higher than for their peers who live in a family.

At present the Ministry of Education has 50 residential institutions with 4814 children in its subordination.

The meeting of the Investigative Journalists Club was organized within the Information and Awareness-Raising Media Campaign “Journalists for Equal Opportunities and Diversity,” supported by Soros Foundation Moldova

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