June 23rd, 2016, Sofia, TSA:
TSA launched the 6th program cycle of the “Equal Chance – Аccess to Secondary Еducation” program. TSA will work with 15 NGO partners and will support approximately 360 students from 9th through 12th grade from all over the country.
The program was created to address low rates of high school enrollment of Roma and other low-income pupils in Bulgaria by providing textbooks and school materials and covering travel expenses. Currently, it is estimated that less than 50% of Roma in Bulgaria finish the 8th grade and less than 15% finish high school. Therefore, the Equal Chance program’s focus is to address a few of the most urgent needs of disadvantaged students, which block their regular school attendance and related academic achievement: the lack of funds to travel to school and inability to purchase textbooks.
The program is open for students from low-income families; the majority of the participating students are Roma, given the high rates of poverty among many Roma families as well as the gaps in educational achievement. The expected results of the program are higher high school enrollment, higher rates of attendance and GPA, grade completion, and eventual graduation.