Roma communities have no interest in education

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

See: https://www.coe.int/en/web/roma-and-travellers/education-of-roma-children

Research articles:

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 Inquiry21(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

 

 

 

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Nerea Gutiérrez

The idea of lack of interest in education among Roma communities has been a long lasting prejudice which does not consider the scientific evidence that has shown the opposite. So, although it is widely spread that Roma families do not get involved at school and can only participate in routine tasks or informative meetings, research has shown that sharing a collaborative and egalitarian space in which all the people involved are equally treated, the Roma families build partnership and create confidence-based relationship with the teachers and the school. Consequently, far from being uninterested in education, Roma families’ involvement in their children’s education transform persistent inequalities into opportunities to learn and overcome racism or other systemic barriers, in which many vulnerable families are trapped. Making meaningful connections between the school and students’ lives, Roma communities foster students’ success and open new horizons for a better education and a better life.

Research articles: 
Claveria, J. V., & Alonso, J. G. (2003). Why Romà do not like mainstream schools: Voices of a people without territory. Harvard Educational Review, 73(4), 559-590.

Khalfaoui, A.; García-Carrión, R. & Villardón-Gallego, L (2020): Bridging the gap: engaging Roma and migrant families in early childhood education through trust-based relationships, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2020.1817241 

Last edited 2 months ago by Nerea Gutiérrez
Rocío García

Those dynamics of egalitarian dialogue also occur in the “Roma Women Student Gatherings’ ‘where women from young girls up to ederly Roma women engage in meaningful discussions and share their concerns about their own and their children’s education. It is a powerful space where they discuss the barriers that are faced within the educational system and which actions are needed in order to overcome them. For all the students, and specially for those belonging to cultural minorities, such as the Roma, it is crucial to have role models. In the Roma Women Student Gatherings, Roma women (from different profiles and backgrounds) who have managed to get to higher education, serve as a successful role model and collaborate with a common aim: promote quality education among Roma women in order to overcome exclusion

Rocío García

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Last edited 2 months ago by Rocío García
Gisela Redondo-Sama

I have had the chance to participate in research about Roma women and in the conversations with them, I have always been impressed by their trust on education for the future of Roma girls. Recently, I found the article published this year in the scientific journal Affilia. Journal of Women and Social Work entitled “The invisible feminist action of Roma families” by Munté, de Vicente, Matulic & Amador, (https://doi.org/10.1177/0886109920906780), which also presents evidence that dismantle this hoax.

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