Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák and Government Proxy for Roma Communities Peter Pollák of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) on Monday, Ocotber 22, unveiled 14 measures to tackle the Roma issue in the sphere of education.
The measures include the introduction of mandatory three year long pre-school education for children from challenged families, and the duty to enrol in a three year training programme for manual jobs even for pupils who do not finish their primary school studies. The entire package should be carried out within two to three years.
"This reform is here because children belong in school," said Pollák as quoted by the TASR newswire. According to head of opposition OĽaNO Igor Matovič, it is not healthy for the children to leave them in an environment that is marked with long-term unemployment, the criminal behaviour of their parents and chronic truancy. "We won't be passing the buck by leaving education up to the parents; we'll take the children out of the environment that ordinarily would condemn them to remain on the street," said Matovič, who attended the unveiling of the reform package – worked out in conjunction with governing Smer – at the Interior Ministry.
Around one sixth of the entire Roma reform package will concern education. The reform is set to be unveiled in parts over the next five weeks. Other issues to be tackled include law enforcement, housing, the social system, employment and social welfare.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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