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Research finds Roma pupils are more comfortable at school than non-Roma

Roma pupils feel better in school than their non-Roma schoolmates, while Roma children are also more comfortable with their marks and self-esteem and overall have more fun at school, according to research conducted by the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), the TASR newswire wrote.

Roma pupils feel better in school than their non-Roma schoolmates, while Roma children are also more comfortable with their marks and self-esteem and overall have more fun at school, according to research conducted by the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV), the TASR newswire wrote.

The research was carried out as part of the international EDUMIGROM project and featured 27 schools in two unnamed Slovak district towns and a sample of around 800 pupils age 15 and 16.

Experts expressed several explanations for Roma student's higher comfort level at school.

"There are lower demands on pupils with worse results, so they're under less stress from the school environment and they experience probably more fun than study at school," said Judita Rusnáková of SAV to TASR.

The research did not confirm the assumption that Roma pupils feel inferior at school. On the contrary, Roma boys especially were more satisfied with their appearance, academic accomplishments and appreciation by others. At the same time, most Roma pupils were proud of their origin, TASR wrote.

"I'm proud of being Gypsy," said one Roma boy, confirming the phenomenon that many Roma in Slovakia prefer being called Gypsy rather than the Roma, according to TASR.

SAV sociologist Zuzana Kusa pointed out that regardless of ethnicity, pupils with worse results feel more comfortable in school than pupils with better marks. The survey also showed that the education level of parents has a stronger effect on pupils' results than their ethnicity. According to the authors of the study, Roma pupils largely leave school prematurely due to poverty at home.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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