Round table ‘Housing Issues in Roma Settlements and Education Problems of Roma Children’

Organized by the SASA Board for the Study of Life and Customs of the Roma, the round table titled ‘Housing Issues in Roma Settlements and Education Problems of Roma Children’ was held at the SASA Hall 3, on 2 November.

The core theme of the round table was the connection between numerous housing problems in settlements where primarily members of the Roma community reside, and issues in education of children living in these settlements. The presentations focus on the negative consequences of inadequate housing conditions in Roma settlements on studying, participation and educational achievements of Roma children from the perspective of employees in regular primary schools, as well as researchers and activists from associations of citizens, employees in national institutions, and international organizations which engage in housing, education, female issues and public policies. The housing issues in Roma settlements  included particular aspects of non-regulated urban planning and legal status of settlements and houses, poverty, ghettoization, lack of infrastructure and residential quarters, and vulnerability and insecurity of children and families. The consequences of bad living conditions evident at school  encompassed special topics of absenteeism, low educational accomplishments, stigmatization and low self-image in Roma children, questionable points and priority of education, bias of workers in education and discrimination at school. The examples of good practices illustrating the reduction of adverse consequences of housing issues on the education of Roma children was also examined.  The latter discussion was directed towards priority actions the State could undertake to alleviate the unfavourable consequences of harmful housing conditions on the education of Roma children.