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Government proxy: Roma children suffer from attending special schools

The Office of the Government Proxy for Roma Communities introduced its national strategy ‘Roma Inclusion 2005-2015’, whose main aim is to eliminate special schools as part of educating young Roma, the TASR newswire reported.

The Office of the Government Proxy for Roma Communities introduced its national strategy ‘Roma Inclusion 2005-2015’, whose main aim is to eliminate special schools as part of educating young Roma, the TASR newswire reported.

“They [special schools] have done a lot of evil,” said government proxy for Roma communities Miroslav Pollák, as quoted by TASR, adding that Slovakia has long been criticised by international and domestic non-governmental organisations for discriminating against Roma children, who are often placed in special schools instead of regular schools.

Pollák argues that if Roma children are taught in common elementary schools, they will be able to continue their education, finish it and thus have a better chance finding work.

Zuzana Kumanová from the Proxy's Office adds that the strategy stresses a more precise process of diagnosing Roma children and deciding whether they actually have to be placed in special schools.

“Special schools are good for children who need this kind of education, but it is a drag and a life-long handicap for those who do not,” said Kumanová, as quoted by TASR. She added that pre-school education in particular should be helpful for Roma children to prepare them for the education process.

The strategy also deals with Roma settlements and ways that the government can improve the conditions in places where Roma live.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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