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

Key Area:
Racism, Discrimination
12/01/2012 - 20:27
Short Answer

Although officially abonded, in practice there are still cases of segregation of Roma children in kindergartens and elementary schools.


Qualitative Info

In the past, it was common practice in Slovenia to form homogeneous (separate) classes for Roma children  in kindergartens and  in all classes in elementary schools, especially at the beginning of schooling. According to another model it was practice to separate Roma children in case of classes of Slovenian language, mathematics and natural plus social science while in other classes they were together with other students. Formally these practices have been abandoned since the school year 2003/2004 because the legislation was adopted where forms of differentiation are explicitly destribed without giving legal possibility for separate classes for Roma children.

Still, in practice, the form of differentiation allowed by legislation are applied in a way to separate Roma pupils in some classes from other children. The law allows to organise work with pupils from 1 to 9 grade in different groups according to their capabilities (inner differentiation), to organise level instructions for pupils from 4 to 7 grade in case of Slovenian language, mathematics and foreign language (flexible differentiation) and to differentiate pupils in case of the same subjects  in grades 8 and 9 in various ways (level instructions, separate groups for instructions etc.). Since Roma pupils, having bad command of Slovenian language and facing other disadvantages, demonstrate lack  of adequate capabilities in many subject they are consequently differentiated in separate groups.

The critical reports often refer to "Bršljin model", a model introduced after the conflict in an elementary school in Bršljin in 2005, where parents of majority pupils threatened with boycott requesting for Roma pupils to be sent to other schools. In fact the model  established  by the government to overcome the conlflict  (and criticized by experts and human rights groups) allows to the school to separate Roma from majority pupils based of different level of capabilities and knowledge.

In Slovenia, there are also two kindergartens located in two Roma settlements (villages) - in Pušča and Brezje/Žabjak - which are attended only by Roma children.


Strategy for education of Roma in Slovenia, Ministry of Education, 2004, Date of access: 10.1.2012.

Addition to Strategy for education of Roma in Slovenia, Ministry of Education, 2011, Date of access: 10.1.2012.

Amnesty International Report on Education of Roma Children in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia, 2006, Date of access: 10.1.2012.

Amnesty International Slovenia Report, 2010, Amnesty International Slovenia Report, 2010,

Albina Necak Luk and Sonja Novak Lukanovic: "Inclusion of Roma Children into Education in Slovenia: The Language Competence and Culture Dimensions", The Open Education Journal, 4/2011, Date of access: 10.1.2012.


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