Government says equal education opportunities vital to Roma integration

12-10-2011

The government on Wednesday debated a report on the plight of the country’s Romany minority which for the most part lives in social exclusion. According to available statistics there are around 400 slums in the Czech Republic with an estimated 80,000 inhabitants, predominantly from the Roma minority. Prime Minister Nečas told reporters that the key to breaking the vicious circle of poverty, unemployment and social exclusion was to give Romany children equal opportunities in education and help them overcome cultural barriers.

The government report cites an alarming lack of progress in this sphere noting that Romany children were almost automatically placed in special schools for disadvantaged children which made it highly unlikely they would find a job and live a better life than their parents. With increasing racial tension in Roma populated areas some municipalities have moreover created a system of residential and social policies that essentially displace troublesome groups of people to the community’s outskirts.