At the international conference entitled “Identifying the Challenges and Ways of Preventing Discrimination and Segregation in Education” our colleague, Lenka Czikková, presented ETP Slovakia experiences with the implementation of the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) method. The conference was organized by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Slovak Republic and it took place in Bratislava on the 26th and 27th of September 2017.
“The ETP approach is unique. We work with whole families, helping them to improve their housing, employment and education. Our approach in providing educational services to our clients is truly “from the cradle to career” in that we organize pre-school education, afternoon educational activities for children, youngsters and adults and continue this life-long focused momentum by continuously encouraging our clients to save funds, to search relentlessly for a job, and once they find the job, to keep it.
The FIE method helps us to teach pupils from segregated Romani communities, step-by-step, “how” to learn. Without supportive intervention, these pupils miss proper stimuli for development of cognitive skills, nonverbal analytical thinking and command of the Slovak language, which is spoken in primary schools in Slovakia. Based on our survey, an average mental age of these pupils at the start of first grade is “3.9 years” compared to the average, “6 years”, for children from the majority middle class.
However, despite of all of the challenges pupils from socially deprived communities have to overcome, we can say, based on our four-year experience is that the FIE program taught in after-school clubs is successful.
We have seen that 75% pupils who attended the FIE afterschool club progressed into the next grade (compared with only 44% pupils who did not attend the FIE club). The average final marks of the FIE pupils were 2 (compared with 3 for the “non-FIE pupils”). Also, the average number of “hours absent” for FIE pupils per pupil over the period of 4 academic years was 51 compared to 125 of that of the non-FIE pupils.”
The presentation about our four years’ experience with implementation of the FIE method in afterschool clubs and the consequent achievements of the pupils was detailed at the international conference attended by ten people, representatives of the following institutions: European Commission (DG EAC), Council of Europe, Ministry of Human Resources (Hungary), Ministry of National Education (Turkey), Ministry of Education (Serbia), Ministry of Education and Training (Flanders, Belgium), City of Gent (Belgium), Babington College (UK), and the Grammar School in Giraltovce (Slovakia).