Israeli Expert training Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment to Help Roma Children to Learn!

One of the most important innovative projects of ETP Slovakia – Let’s learn how to learn – has progressed to long awaited crucial phase – we finally have got a chance to learn how to educate children from Roma communities more efficiently with a use of renowned Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment methodology.

The expert from the Feuerstein Institute (, Jerusalem, Israel, Mrs. Nechama Tzaban came to Herľany in Eastern Slovakia for 2 intensive weeks of training. Mrs. Tzaban provides social workers and educators from ETP’s community centers, teachers and special pedagogues from local elementary schools with new powerful tool for their everyday work with children from segregated Roma communities.

Feuerstein’s Instrumental Enrichment (FIE) is focused on helping clients to overcome disabilities and deficiencies that prevent the learning process, such as undeveloped cognitive skills, lack of motivation and concentration, language barriers and emotional disbalance. It focuses not on teaching specific content or knowledge, but enhances and enables learning process as such through development of its basic prerequisites through specific interventions and gradual steps.  

The FIE is based on principals of developmental and cognitive psychology and it has been successfully applied in more than 40 countries worldwide in past 60 years. It has proved its effectiveness, described in many research studies, in dealing with children, youngsters and/or adults, whose ability to learn and study have been slowed down or impaired for various reasons.

The aim of the ETP Slovakia, supported by the EEA, Norway, and Swiss grants and other donors, is to apply the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment method to educate children from segregated  Roma communities in order to enhance their learning potential, undeveloped mainly due to their social environment.

During the project planned for school year 2013/14, 2 elementary schools and 2 community centers in Košice-Šaca and Veľká Ida will use the FIE as a support for lesson plans and after-school activities with approximately 40 zero- and first-graders from local communities. The method will be similarly employed in 6 other community centers operated by ETP, where pre-school clubs work systematically on a daily basis with approximately 100 Roma children. As a result, children will gain the knowledge and tools to reach beyond their manifested abilities. In order to measure developments and effects of the FIE, 60 children will be tested through set of standard psychological cognitive tests, 20 children will tested by LPAD – Learning Propensity Assessment Device at the beginning and at the end of the school year.

The project aim is to demonstrate to policy makers and stakeholders in Slovakia effectiveness of FIE for education of children from marginalized Roma communities, whose abilities to be educated in standard schools using standard pedagogic methods are limited. The FIE facilitates the development of learning aptitude and improves thinking and learning potential of a child regardless of his social, cultural background or developmental ability.

The project has been supported by EEA and Norway Grants through Active Citizenship and Inclusion Program, operated by Ekopolis Foundation in collaboration with the Children of Slovakia Foundation and SOCIA – The Foundation for Social Change.

The Project has been supported also through a project Community on its Way to Prosperity, as a part of Swiss-Slovak Partnership Program. The overall goal of the Swiss-Slovak Partnership Program is to reduce economic and social disparities within the enlarged European Union.