Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Education (CZECH REPUBLIC)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 862-868
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Based upon the estimates, approximately between 200 and 300 thousand Romanies live in the Czech Republic who constitute 2 – 3% of the inhabitants of the Czech Republic. Of course, the data are quickly becoming outdated due to the high birth rate of this group. The number also grows thanks to the migration from Slovakia.

By socialisation we understand such an engagement of an individual in the society which will make him/her possible to live in harmonious relations with other individuals, with groups and institutions and moreover to contribute to prosperity and a positive development of groups and the society in which he/she is integrated. Socialisation is a process that culminates in the starting of his/her productive work and behaviour as a responsible citizen. It is true that even the Romanies have been living in the territory of the Czech Republic for centuries, they have never been integrated in the Czech society.

The reason why this paper was written is the fact that the Czech Republic is often censured in the international forum for the alleged ignoring the solution of the poor social, economic and educational situation of the Romany (Gipsy) ethnic group. The first part of the text gives the analysis of the social situation of the Romanies and the accent is put here on the situation after the social changes that took place after October 1989. Based upon this information, the situation may classified as bad or even as that getting worse. If we want to solve something in this domain, we must start with children, above all at the level of their education. In the Czech Republic several projects focused on the education of the Romany ethnic group. These projects are slowly winning recognition together with varying degrees of success. This is reflected in the second part of the text.

So as to improve this situation, significant changes in the process of educating Romany children must occur. To make their education sufficiently effective, several basic preconditions must be fulfilled. Among these, based upon the teachers´ experience, are especially the following ones:
- ensuring sufficiently long and regular school attendance of pupils,
- removing their language barriers
- adequate approach of schools and school institutions to specific values, interests and needs of Romany families and their children,
- utilising alternative approaches to education
- mutual respecting of cultural differences and values of Romany and other pupils within the framework of multicultural education.

The last but perhaps the most important principle: Do not let us expect either fast success or much gratitude. It is improbable that during several weeks or months we overcome by our personal influence a deep-rooted distrust of Romanies (all the time renewed by majority aversion) and especially the principle which is implanted to Romany children ever since their childhood: that to tell lies, to cheat, to rob the Gadzha is right! Our love for children and the pedagogical responsibility is really a “long-distance race” when working with the Romanies.
Socialisation of Romany children, Romany demography, factors of escalation, ethnocentrism, education, measures taken, educational projects, pedagogical principles.