Roma in Slovenia Threatened with Segregation at School

22 July 2005

According to information provided to the ERRC by Mr Roman Tasic, Romani representative in the Municipality of Novo Mesto, in the village of Bršljin, eighty Romani children who attend the village's primary school are to be placed in separate classes from non-Romani children in school, effective beginning April 4, 2005.

Mr Tasic also informed the ERRC that at the beginning of February 2005, there had been a conflict between a Romani parent and a teacher from the Bršljin school, involving physical abuse against the teacher by the Romani parent. The parent had allegedly reacted to the reported physical abuse of his son, Robi Brajdič, a 12-year-old Romani student, by the same teacher. After this incident, parents of non-Romani students at the school reportedly pressured the school authorities to expel the Romani children from the school.

In their response to a letter of concern sent by the ERRC, Dr. Milan Zver, Minister of Education and Sport, expressed that the "there has been no segregation and discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin" but that a new curriculum had been developed for those having trouble adapting to the standard curriculum. Dr. Zver asserted that "the educational groups are mixed, consisting of Slovene and Roma children…" As of June 13, 2005 classes in Bršljin remain mixed and there are reportedly no plans for segregation.


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