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Evidence of school segregation and/or policies of separate/distinct schooling of minorities

Key Area:
Racism, Discrimination
17/02/2012 - 16:30
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

According to the research report  "One school for all?: access to quality education for roma children", "in Romania, Roma segregation is the most widespread phenomenon of ethnic segregation. There are two types of ethnic segregation: de jure segregation – the consequence of a local or national government decision, and de facto segregation (residential segregation resulting from the demographic concentration of an ethnic group in an geographical area). Residential segregation may be due to the so called “white flight” trend where in families with high socioeconomic status flee an impoverishing area, thereby the learners from a low socioeconomic background become overrepresented. In this trend, the socioeconomic status is often linked to a specific ethnicity. A third type of school segregation, based on academic attainment, is sometimes practiced and it consists in separating “good” students or students who have attended early childhood education from the other children. The risk of accruing multiple vulnerabilities (minority group, low socioeconomic level, abridged cultural capital) is quite high for the Roma, which means that this type of segregation may in fact overlap with ethnic segregation." [1]

According to the research "Participation, scholar absenteeism and discrimination experience of the Roma in Romania" supported by the UNICEF representation in Romania, close to 60 % of the Roma children who attend preschool go to segregated kindergartens (where over 50% of the children are Roma), and 11,7% of the Roma children are in all-Roma kindergarten groups.

Segregation is more accentuated in primary school, where 64,5 % of the students learn in segregated classes, while the percentage of secondary school students is 53% (maybe because the percentage of Roma students in Gymnasiums is lower). In primary school, a percentage of 9,8 % learn in classes in which all the students are Roma, and at Gymnasium level the percentage is 9,5 %.

Segregation trends in classes are more pronounced in rural areas, where 68,6% of Roma children learn in segregated classes in comparison with a percentage of 47,6 in rural areas. Roma children coming from families in which the Romani language is spoken 64 % of them learn in segregated classes by comparison with 48,3 % of children who speak the Romanian language in the family. This fact can be explained by residential segregation, more pronounced in the case of the Romani language speakers, but also by a more severe discrimination of the traditional Roma.

The questionnaires were administered in the period of December 2009-January 2010, to a sample of 985 Roma adults having at least a child who abandoned the school, and to a sample of 979 Roma adults whose all children attended primary or secondary school. There were selected 56 compact Roma communities from 30 Counties and from Bucharest municipality. [2]



[1] Duminică, G., Ivasiuc, A. (2010) One school for all? : access to quality education for roma children : research report , available at (Accessed on 21.12.2011)

[2] Surdu, L. (coord.) (2011) Participare, absenteism şcolar şi experienţa discriminării în cazul romilor în Romania (Participation, scholar absenteeism and discrimination experience of the Roma in Romania), Bucureşti, Vanemonde, available also at (Accessed on 21.12.2011)

Groups affected/interested Roma & Travelers
Type (R/D) Anti-roma/zinghanophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Education
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