A Class Apart; Romany Segregation in Schools Still a Problem
Amnesty International (AI) has pointed to the segregation of Romany into their own special classes in the East Slovak town of Levoca, while pointing out that it is no individual case and so plans to launch a petition to combat this kind of ethnic segregation.
The school has refused to back down on its system of segregation despite the objections of parents. Levoca mayor Miroslav Vilkovsky said the special classes were set up because many of the Romany children had not been through pre-school preparations at nursery school, while noting that only a few parents had raised objections. A similar case was registered in Sarisske Michalany, which was subsequently deemed illegal by the court.
“This case is not isolated. Thousands of Romany children throughout Slovakia continue to attend separated, exclusively Romany schools and classes, which means that they are denied the right to education without discrimination,” the AI wrote. According to the most recent census, there are around 106,000 Romany living in Slovakia, but many feel the real figure (almost 18% up on 2001) is much higher.
Amnesty International looks at individual cases in an article on its website.