Brogniezstraat 54, 1070 Anderlecht

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Better school course through pictogram stickers

Volwassenen In part of the European project DREAMS, parents and teachers in Romania, Bulgaria and Belgium worked together to improve communication between parents and school.
The Roma community in Anderlecht has some 1,600 members and Maks vzw has a specialised team to help them integrate and find jobs. Contact with their children’s school is often difficult due to lack of ( linguistic) knowledge, cultural differences and discrimination. Teachers, on the other hand, feel that Roma parents are not involved in their children’s schooling. And parents feel that the school does little to improve their children’s well-being.

Maks brought parents together to create digital stories about the problems their children experience at school. Digital storytelling is a low-threshold methodology where you build a story in group using images. The storyteller, the Roma parent, is the creator of the story. The result is a short film made on tablet. This method gives a voice to parents who are potentially underskilled.

Teachers viewed the stories and, through a mediator from Maks, a dialogue was created to address the issues. The result of this project was a handy toolkit with pictograms to facilitate communication between both parties. Through images and simple words representing everyday situations, teachers can communicate with parents about how their child is doing at school and whether, for example, specific material needs to be brought for the next day. This way, we avoid exclusion and increase the chances of a successful school day.

The project was tested in two Anderlecht schools (primary and secondary) and is still running there.