Segregation Of Roma Children In The Czech Educational System

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Booth 65
Oral Presentation
Selma MUHIC DIZDAREVIC , Faculty of Humanities, Department of Civil Society Studies, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
One of the most serious forms of discrimination in the CR is the discrimination against Roma children in primary education. Despite conclusions by the ECHR from 2007 in the case of D.H. vs. CR, which stated that there was discrimination and a violation of the right to education of the Roma children by placing them into so-called special (currently called practical) schools, a third, and in some municipalities one half, of Roma children receive education in these type of schools. The Concept of Roma Integration adopted by the Czech government also includes the removal of obstacles in regard to Roma children’s access to education and the aim to abolish segregation in education. One part of this is making changes to the work of pedagogical and psychological centers (which have to diagnose a child with disorders in order for it to be placed in a special school) in terms of improving their diagnostic methods and their work with socially disadvantaged children.  In April 2010, the Czech Ombudsman concluded that the disproportionally high number of Roma children who are placed in such schools based on recommendations of the school counselling institutions, without being diagnosed with mental disorders, is indirectly discriminatory. Due to the segregation of Roma in education, the CR is continuously criticised by international institutions but, despite this, no efficient regulation has been adopted to remove this type of discrimination. By analyzing governmental policies, the psychological tests, which promote segregation and by interviewing civil society activists who seek to change the discriminatory practice I hope to explain in this paper how it is possible in the EU context to carry on with detrimental and costly policy of exclusion of some of the Czech citizens from the education process and what are the main consequences of such approach.