Presentation on theme: "Steps to end segregation of Romani children in Slovakia’s schools High Level Event on the Structural Funds contribution to Roma integration in Slovakia."— Presentation transcript:
Steps to end segregation of Romani children in Slovakia’s schools High Level Event on the Structural Funds contribution to Roma integration in Slovakia – Košice, 25 May 2011
Segregation is illegal Segregation in education is prohibited by the: Slovak national legislation: Anti-discrimination Act; Schools Act EU legislation: EU Race Equality Directive, EU Fundamental Rights Charter Regional and international human rights treaties: European Convention on Human Rights, ICCPR, ICESCR, ICRC, ICERD
Positive steps so far In 2008 the new Slovak Schools Act prohibits discrimination, especially in the form of segregation. In 2008 the government adopts a Concept of Education and Training of Romani Children and Pupils, including a commitment to decrease the number of Romani pupils in special schools. In 2010 the new government programme includes a commitment to adopt measures to end segregation on the basis of ethnic origin in education.
The Obstacles: Failure to enforce the prohibition of segregation in education Discrimination and prejudices existing among professionals involved in primary education Residential segregation Problems with the assessment Inadequacies in the implementation of informed parental consent Inadequate support measures: Zero grades Teaching assistants Failure to ensure accountability
Failure to act No concrete measures have been adopted yet by the new government to effectively end segregation in education. Representatives of the Slovak government continue to deny that segregation is a result of structural failures within the Slovak education system. A possible solution of the problem exceeds an election cycle, which leads to lack of interest of the subsequent administrations to take an immediate action.
Recommendations 1. Implement the prohibition of discrimination: Develop a plan for desegregation, clearly identifying bodies responsible and introducing yearly targets for its implementation Introduce a clear duty on all schools to desegregate education; such a duty should be accompanied by effective support for schools to desegregate Review all decisions by local and educational authorities to create separate classes or schools, to ensure they do not violate the prohibition of discrimination and segregation Introduce adequate support measures for Roma and non-Roma children who need extra assistance so that they may achieve their fullest potential within mainstream schools, and in order to promote inclusive education
Recommendations 2. Monitoring and accountability Strengthen the mandates and powers of the State School Inspectorate and the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights, providing adequate resources and clear guidelines for the identification, monitoring and combating of segregation Provide effective remedies for discrimination and segregation to all victims, including through the establishment of an accessible complaints mechanism and by strengthening the mandate of monitoring bodies Ensure that school advisory centres, including Centres for Pedagogical Psychological Counselling and Special Pedagogical Centres are inspected and monitored with a view of combating discrimination and segregation Collect data, disaggregated by gender and ethnicity, to assess the impact of policy measures taken on desegregation
EU Structural Funds The government of Slovakia must ensure that the use of EU funds does not lead to school segregation of Romani children Furthermore, the EU Framework Strategy calls on Member States to identify and implement necessary measures to ensure effective use of EU funds for the social and economic inclusion of Roma, including “to promote desegregation in all policies and to avoid reproducing segregation, so as to overcome this problem in the long term”
Concluding questions Is the Ministry of Education working on a comprehensive plan for the desegregation of Slovak schools? Does the upcoming Concept of Regional Education or any other legal or policy instrument currently being prepared by the Ministry of Education introduce a clear duty on all schools to desegregate? Does the upcoming Concept or any other legal or policy instrument currently being prepared address the current lack of safeguards against discrimination in the existing system of school placement and pupil assessment? What measures will the Government take to ensure that EU funds are used to end the segregation of Romani children in Slovakia’s schools?
Barbora Černušáková, EU Team, Amnesty International Thank you Ďakujem