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School segregation ruled illegal

TEACHERS at a primary school in Šarišské Michaľany say they disagree with a ruling by the district court in nearby Prešov that their school discriminated against Roma children by separating them from other pupils. The court found in favour of the Advisory Centre for Civil and Human Rights in Košice, which sued the school in 2010 saying that it had violated the principle of equal treatment established in the anti-discrimination law, the Sme daily reported.

TEACHERS at a primary school in Šarišské Michaľany say they disagree with a ruling by the district court in nearby Prešov that their school discriminated against Roma children by separating them from other pupils. The court found in favour of the Advisory Centre for Civil and Human Rights in Košice, which sued the school in 2010 saying that it had violated the principle of equal treatment established in the anti-discrimination law, the Sme daily reported.

“It is the first ruling passed by a court pertaining to the segregation of Roma children educated in Slovakia,” said Štefan Ivanco from the advisory centre, as quoted by Sme, adding that the centre is aware of other cases and will probably sue over those as well.

The centre complained that since the 2008/09 school year Roma children have only been able to attend separate classes which are located on a separate floor of the school.

The school’s headmistress, Mária Cvancigerová, said she expected that a return to integrated classes would reduce the quality of education. She stressed that the main goal of establishing the separate classes was to adjust education to the needs and abilities of pupils from a deprived environment.

Cvancigerová added that the school is considering an appeal of the ruling.


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