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Renowned Roma specialist tours Slovakia

One of the leading representatives of the international Roma movement, Professor Ian Hancock, has been visiting Slovakia to promote his new book "We are the Romani People" ("My, rómsky národ" in Slovak).

Professor Hancock is an expert on the Roma holocaust and was a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council under President Clinton.

His third visit to Slovakia included a book launch at the Zichy Palace in Bratislava, hosted by US chargé d'affaires Scott Thayer, and a visit to a new secondary school in Zvolen for children from Roma families and socially disadvantaged backgrounds.

The school specializes in teaching foreign languages and the use of information technology. At present it has only 35 students in two classes but it is modelled on the successful Gandi school in Pecs, Hungary, which has a 75% success rate in placing its graduates in university.

Professor Hancock was pleasantly surprised that the students were able to chat with him in Romani and English. Nevertheless, the school has problems. According to teacher Jana Ľuptáková it is very difficult to get text books in Romani.

Compiled by Roger Heyes from press reports
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