MINELRES: EUMAP report: Equal Access To Quality Education For Roma In Slovakia

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Mon Dec 3 17:30:26 2007


Original sender: Joost van Beek <jbeek@osi.hu>


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EU MONITORING AND ADVOCACY PROGRAM
OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE
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EQUAL ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ROMA IN SLOVAKIA: New EUMAP
monitoring report

END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ROMA CHILDREN IN SLOVAKIA: EUMAP and Amnesty
International call for EU action; five NGOs address open letter to
Slovak
government

--> Don't like this plain text version? Read the fancy version on
--> http://www.eumap.org/journal/news_nov07.pdf  <--

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EQUAL ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCATION FOR ROMA IN SLOVAKIA: New EUMAP
monitoring report

Last week, EUMAP released its monitoring report on Equal Access to
Quality Education for Roma in Slovakia. Many Roma children in Slovakia
live in segregated settings and the education they receive is often
inadequate, it concludes.

_____________________________________ 

SEGREGATION OF ROMA CHILDREN IN SLOVAKIA WIDESPREAD, WITH SERIOUS
REPERCUSSIONS

The separation of Roma children, particularly in special schools and
classes for children with intellectual disabilities, is widespread. Roma
are 28 times more likely to be transferred to a special school than a
non-Roma pupil is. Facilities at these special schools are very poor.

Rural schools serving majority-Roma communities suffer from a shortage
of qualified staff. Some schools employ teaching assistants, but many do
not speak Romanes. 

Only a tiny fraction of Roma children attend pre-school, partly because
the distribution of pre-school places in Slovakia is uneven and
majority-Roma areas have the fewest pre-schools.

The Slovak government has adopted a number of relevant programmes,
including an Action Plan for the Decade of Roma Inclusion. But these
fail to address the problem of segregation, and critical issues have
been overlooked in their preparation and implementation. Several bodies
exist to address claims of discrimination, but the government should
improve their mandate, capacity and accessibility. 

Relationships between schools and Roma communities are generally
limited. Authorities should therefore examine successful NGO outreach
projects as possible models.

_____________________________________ 

MONITORING REPORT OFFERS COMPREHENSIVE DATA, RECOMMENDATIONS, RESOURCES

The 178-page EUMAP monitoring report on Equal Access to Quality
Education for Roma in Slovakia explores access to education, with a
review of enrolment and retention data as well as trends and types of
segregation, and reviews government educational policies and programs.
The report describes the constraints to access to education, including
costs, residential segregation and school and class placement
procedures, as well as barriers to quality of education, such as school
infrastructure, curricular standards, school-community relations and
discriminatory attitudes.

As with all EUMAP reports, the monitoring report includes
recommendations to national and local authorities and training
institutions, and a comprehensive overview of the existing literature
and relevant documents. The report also includes three case studies,
focusing on the communities of
Lucenec, PreŽov and Zborov.

The report is part of a series of monitoring reports on Equal Access to
Quality Education for Roma covering the nine countries participating in
the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005-2015. The full report and a separate
file with only the executive summary and the recommendations are
available online at http://www.eumap.org/topics/romaed . 

Previously published reports on Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia,
information about the reporters and methodology, press releases and an
overview of selected media coverage are available there as well. Reports
on Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and an overview report consolidating
themes from all countries monitored will be released in early December
2007.

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END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ROMA CHILDREN IN SLOVAKIA: EUMAP and Amnesty
International call for EU action; five NGOs address open letter to
Slovak government

EUMAP launched a preliminary release of its report on Equal Access to
Quality Education for Roma in Slovakia in Brussels on 15 November,
during a press conference with Amnesty International. Amnesty
International launched its own report, Still Separate, still Unequal:
Violations of the Right to Education for Romani Children in Slovakia,
which was simultaneously presented in Bratislava as well. 

In a joint statement, Amnesty International and EUMAP called on the EU
to put pressure on the Slovak government to end the systematic violation
of the right of Roma children to education. The two NGOs denounced the
segregation facing very young children, solely due to their ethnic
origin and socio-economic background, in widespread practices tolerated
by the Slovak authorities.

In a separate joint open letter released the same day, the Open Society
Institute, Amnesty International, the European Roma Rights Centre, the
Roma Education Fund and the Milan Simecka Foundation addressed the
Slovak government on the occasion of Slovakia taking up the Chairmanship
of the Committee of Ministers at the Council of Europe.

They are asking the Slovak government to engage proactively and
systematically in action to redress patterns of racial discrimination
and other human rights violations against the Romani minority. In
particular, they call on the Slovak government to address the problem of
the systematic erroneous placement of Romani children in schools for
children with mental disabilities as well as other forms of segregated
education of Romani
children.

Both the statement and the joint open letter are available online at
http://www.eumap.org/journal/announcements/roma_slovakia_brussels .

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ABOUT EUMAP.ORG 

eumap.org is an online centre for resources, news, and analyses on human
rights and the rule of law in Europe.
eumap.org is the website of the Open Society Institute's EU Monitoring
and Advocacy Program. To find out more about the Program view:
http://www.eumap.org/about   

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