Roma Rights Summer 1998: Roma and the right to education

The most outrageous form of denial of the educational rights of Roma is, ironically, typical of the comparatively successful new democracies, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In these and some other countries, Romani children are streamed to so called "special schools", or "special classes". What is special about them is that they are designed as substandard educational programs for kids with developmental or mental disability. Rather than compensating alleged disability and integrating allegedly handicapped youths, they are a sure and final departure from equal opportunities, an unmistakable stigma for all who have been once referred to them. The fact is that Romani children are hugely over-represented and in some places make up to 95 percent of such institutions.

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