MINELRES: Advocacynet: New Survey Finds Roma Parents Enthusiastic About Secondary Education in the Czech Republic

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Oct 27 19:19:59 2006

Original sender: The Advocacy Project <apdc@speakeasy.net>

News Bulletin 83, October 19, 2006


October 19,
2006, Prague: Contrary to long-held beliefs, many Roma parents in the
Czech Republic are committed to formal education and want their children
to receive at least a secondary education. Yet they do not understand
that their children's chances of advancing to secondary school will be
hindered by going to special schools.

These are the findings of new research by the DLleno Association, a
Prague-based Roma news service and partner of the Advocacy Project (AP).
Ivan VeselA?, President of DLleno, presented them at a recent conference
in Prague on Roma education.

In May 2005 DLleno conducted a survey of 300 Roma parents from six Czech
towns and asked them about education,
housing, politics, the job market and child-raising. More than 65
percent of the respondents replied that they wanted their children to go
to secondary school. Only about 13 percent said they wanted their
children to leave school after the elementary years.

This contradicts a long-standing perception that Roma parents do not
value formal education. This grew in part because of the discrimination
many educated Roma face when seeking employment. Mr. VeselA? told the
conference that the survey is particularly credible because the
interviewers were Roma.

About 20 percent of the parents surveyed expressed the hope that their
children would attend university. Another five percent hoped their
children would study at technical college.

In spite of this apparent enthusiasm for mainstream education, DLleno
notes that many parents raise no objections to their children attending
special schools, where the students are predominantly Roma. DLleno's
research suggests that this separation may hinder their chances of going
on to secondary school.

DLleno also questioned Roma children aged 15 and older about their
attitudes toward school. More than two-thirds said they liked going to
school. About 35 percent thought their teachers treated them worse than
their non-Roma classmates.

The results of the survey were analyzed at a new think-tank that was
launched by DLleno in August. The organization also plans to publish an
action agenda based on the findings.

Meanwhile, AP has nominated Mr. VeselA? for the 2007 Yale World Fellows
Program, a 17-week program that brings leaders from different
institutions to Yale from around the world every summer.

Lynne Engleman, from the University of Calgary in Canada, interned for
AP with DLleno this summer.

* For more information on DLleno, visit: http://www.dzeno.cz/?c_id=2533
* To read DLleno's reports on the Roma, visit:

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