SLOVAKIA’S Deputy Prime Minister for a Knowledge-Based Society, European Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities, Dušan Čaplovič, plans to open three or four additional boarding schools for Roma children in cooperation with the Education Ministry by the end of this election term in June 2010, the SITA newswire reported.
Čaplovič believes that the talents of many Roma children are not sufficiently developed in their domestic environment and thinks that primary and secondary boarding schools would give the children a chance for a better life.
Presently there is one eight-year secondary grammar boarding school in Slovakia. Čaplovič, who is proud of this first project, considers it to be a success that this school remained open after it was relocated first from Zvolen, then to Lučenec, and now to Kremnica.
The NGO Amnesty International Slovakia disagrees with Čaplovič and says the concept of boarding schools for Roma children does not represent an ideal solution to the educational problems facing Roma citizens, as boarding schools would be available to a negligible number of Roma children and would further deepen segregation of Roma children.
“We believe that the vice prime minister’s priority until the end of the election term should be to admit there is segregation in the Slovak education system and to ensure precise monitoring of the ban on segregation at Slovak schools, rather than pursuing the idea of boarding schools,” Branislav Tichý, the director of Amnesty International Slovakia, told SITA.
11. Jan 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff