Roma communities are considered in the social imaginary (promoted in mainstream TV and social media) as those who have no interest in education, are perceived as backward, and Roma women subdued to men.
But scientific research as well as a non-biased approach to the community shows that what underlies all these stereotypes and prejudices against the community is the still existing anti-gypsyism. Such anti-gypsysism penetrates societal structures, and inter-personal relations.
Evidence reveals that the poor educational performance of Roma children cannot be attributed to a lack of “interest in education” of an entire ethnic community (something per se misleading), but due to systemic and interpersonal barriers faced at the time of having to navigate educational systems that are blinded to ethnic diversity, and which still working under segregationist dynamics (FP6 INCLUD-ED).
Take a look on the following data:
Background report on the educational situation of the Roma in the EU:
The EU Fundamental Rights Agency in a survey conducted in 2016 showed that Roma communities still facing segregation and discrimination: see, https://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2014/education-situation-roma-11-eu-member-states
However, there is a lot of literature across Europe and across the US that also reveals improvement in the persistence of Roma children in school, as well as in their access to higher education. Just a glimpse of this research can be consulted here:
Flecha, R. (2015). Successful Educational Action for Inclusion and Social Cohesion in Europe. Springer Publishing Company.
Aiello, E., Amador-López, J., Munté-Pascual, A., & Sordé-Martí, T. (2019). Grassroots Roma Women Organizing for Social Change: A Study of the Impact of ‘Roma Women Student Gatherings’. Sustainability, 11(15), 4054. doi: 10.3390/su11154054
Díez-Palomar, J.; Sanmamed, A.F.F.; García-Carrión, R.; Molina-Roldán, S. (2018). Pathways to Equitable and Sustainable Education through the Inclusion of Roma Students in Learning Mathematics. Sustainability, 10(2191), 701-716. doi: 10.3390/su10072191
Aubert, A. (2015). Amaya, Dialogic Literary Gatherings Evoking Passion for Learning and a Transformation of the Relationships of a Roma Girl With Her Classmates. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(10), 858–864. doi: 10.1177/1077800415614034
Flecha, R., & Soler, M. (2013). Turning difficulties into possibilities: engaging Roma families and students in school through dialogic learning. Cambridge Journal of Education, 43(4), 451–465. doi: 10.1080/0305764X.2013.819068