RomABC – moves forward
Further development of innovative instruments for combating functional illiteracy of Roma in Europe

"Whe nyo ur eadt hi ste xty ouk no whow itfe elsi fyo uc ann otr eadp rop er ly." (source of the German text: "Grundbildung in Europa: Projekte und Perspektiven", NA BIBB).

According to UNESCO, an estimated number of 73 million adult Europeans are considered as functional illiterates. This is equal to 1/5 of the employable population aged 18 to 64 years. Taking reliable figures on the extension of functional illiteracy into consideration (e.g. leo – Level One Study in Germany), this concerns 6.2 Mio. adults in Germany, 2 Mio. in Greece, 1.2 Mio. in Hungary, 0.2 Mio. in North Macedonia, 3.8 Mio. in Romania, 0.8 Mio. in Serbia and 0.5 Mio. in Slovakia. Unfortunately, there are no valid figures concerning the literacy rate of Roma. Experts say that the share of functional illiterates among adult in urban regions of the partner countries is about 60 per cent, in rural areas partly up to 80 per cent. Women are particularly concerned.

Unfortunately, the low education level is still a relevant reason for the permanent discrimination of Roma. Disadvantages in the education sector which is a central field for the social integration and raising of such a young generation, are particularly visible. A real segregation exists.

Many times, functional illiteracy is the reason for the difficult access of Roma to education and employment as basis for their social integration.

For this reason, a Curriculum for alphabetisation courses for the improvement of the literacy of Roma in the fields reading, writing, numeracy and IT that is in line with their specific needs was developed in the Strategic Partnerships „RomABC goes Europe!“ and „RomABC – the next dimension“. During the testing of this Curriculum in the frame of according courses, it got obvious that an insufficient health literacy and a lack of basic civic knowledge is also limiting the every-day-life of Roma relevantly.

Therefore, the further development of the Curriculum for raising the literacy grade of adult Roma by those emphasis is the centre of our follow-up project.


The comparable high share of functional illiterates among Roma does not only require a possibly nation-wide offer of tailored alphabetisation courses, accordingly trained adult educators but also innovative training offers and adequate training material. Those needs shall be covered in the project by:

  • enabling Roma to build up a social enterprise and establish it on the market
  • minimise the risk of failure of social enterprises of Roma
  • improving their access to measures of adult education
  • raising their self-confidence and their self-esteem
  • improving their social and civic participation
  • raising their interest in lifelong learning
  • increasing their employability and
  • reducing their poverty risk.


In the frame of a study the partners will implement in their countries, additional disadvantaged target groups shall be identified for which tailor-made alphabetisation courses would also be necessary. The resulting needs for the modification of the Curriculum and the Handbook shall be found out as well.


This website is funded with support from the European Commission. This publication (communication) reflects the views only of the author,
and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Privacy Policy   •   Legal Notice