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Poll: Family behind school problems of Czech Romani children

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Prague, Sept 1 (CTK) – The problems of Czech Romany children at school are caused mainly by their family environment and not by lack of talent, teachers at the first grade of primary schools say in a survey conducted by the Open Society organisation, its representatives told CTK yesterday.
The detailed results of the Equality 2.0 project, in which the teachers have participated, will be released in November.
More than 900 teachers have agreed that the school problems of young Romanies are caused mainly by an insufficient support of their parents.
“We perceive this as a positive report since we can work with families and support them so that they could help their children in the educational process sufficiently,” project expert Irena Smetackova said in a press release.
Schools should communicate with the parents in a different way and provide them with the necessary information and material to improve the school results of Romany children, she added.
Teachers in schools with a quite high number of Romany students reject negative statements on Romany children more resolutely than other teachers, but they are also more critical of their parents.
“Everyday experience in dealing with Romany children helps teachers get rid of prejudices, and on the contrary, it reveals possible shortcomings of their parents,” Smetackova said.
The survey also focused on how gender can influence the children’s position in the education system.
Only one-fifth of teachers realise gender differences between children.
However, monitoring and interviews in case studies within the project show that despite that teachers use different approaches to boys and girls and they have different notions of them.
“The fact that gender is invisible for teachers does not mean that girls and boys have really the same position,” Smetackova said.
hol/dr/ms

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