Indicator history

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

Key Area:
Racism, Discrimination
16/02/2012 - 21:03
Short Answer


Qualitative Info

As in the case of migrants, despite the Ministry of Education's effort to counter seggregation, the housing condition of the Roma and thier residential concentration in specific areas inevitably means that Romani children attend specific schools in large numbers. This can lead Greek Cypriot parents to enrol their children in other schools, although there are also examples of schools where Romani and Greek Cypriot school children are attending the same school with little or no tensions, which were, to a large extent ironed out over the years. As an indication of the tensions which existed until recently, in September 2005, the parents’ association of a school in Paphos which was attended by large numbers of Roma, closed the school down, demanding that the Education Ministry suspend the Romani pupils’ attendance to the school until they received confirmation that none of them suffered from hepatitis (following some hepatitis incidents in a nearby village three months earlier). Out of a total of 341 pupils attending this particular school, 120 were non-Cypriots and 18 were Roma. The parents’ association, protesting at the large number of Roma in this school, demanded that the Roma pupils also be dispersed to other schools in the region. Overall, the authorities expressed disagreement over the parents’ action and gave their assurance over the health and sanitary safety of the school. However, they did nothing to prevent the closure of the school by the parents or to support and protect the Roma pupils from this outburst. Whilst the authorities called on the parents to terminate the closure of the school and to enter into a dialogue with them on how to solve the problem, they conformed to the parents’ demands to submit the Roma pupils, as well as the residents of a Roma settlement in neighbouring Makounda, to blood tests to establish whether any of them suffered from hepatitis. In an effort to appease the parents, the Paphos District Officer convinced a seven-member Roma family residing in the Roma settlement of the neighbouring Makounda, some of whose members had suffered from hepatitis but had successfully been treated, to move back to the village they had come from, and resettle into a home that had recently been restored. On 26 September 2005, the parents agreed to allow the school to re-open but only on the condition that Roma pupils would not attend the school. The Minister of Education succumbed to this request. On 28 September, the blood tests showed that none of the Roma pupils suffered from hepatitis and were thus allowed to return to their school. The Ombudsman started to investigate this incident, but decided to discontinue with the case, claiming that the problem had already been resolved.

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