Reader feedback: Offer Roma exclusive educations

Re: Some want to take the Roma to school, By Martina Pisárová, May 24 - 30, Vol 10, No 20

If the EU is serious about reducing the inequality between Roma and non-Roma Slovaks, then Eric van der Linden should take things one step further and offer concrete measures on how to achieve this boarding school alternative. I would suggest that boarding schools in the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, France, Austria, and Germany make room for Roma children. I am sure that you would get a large number of parents who would support their children getting a Western education.

Western countries already have the experience and infrastructure to deal with immigrants, and the small number that would actually be accepted need not be a fiscal burden on any single EU state. These children could come back with language skills and an education that is most sought by Western companies operating in Slovakia. That would give them a fighting chance to enter the job market upon coming home.

It will also provide for a better transition in case any Roma wished to emigrate. If in 10 years you see that educated Roma are finding jobs and living successfully in an enlarged EU, it shouldn’t matter where they live as long as they are able to actively contribute to the society they choose to be a part of, and that society openly accepts them. Many Roma are already bilingual or trilingual (Slovak, Hungarian, Romany). Any difficulties regarding instruction in a new language would be easily overcome.

The only difficulty may be that you would get thousands more applications than you expect, because people would start admitting that they actually have a Roma parent or grandparent in order to get this chance to go abroad, rather than doing everything they can to hide their heritage as they do now since it currently does not pay to be a Roma in Slovakia.

Bill Bila,
Munich, Germany

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