Is student segregation the best solution?
The fact that the parents of Roma children do not enroll them in the education system until they are 6 to 7 years old, seems to be perpetuating the existing intercultural tension between the distinct ethnicities coexisting in Săcueni. Our interviewee stated that in the past, several projects were implemented at schools with the aim of integrating Roma children into the educational sphere. However, mixed classes have so far turned out to be a struggle for certain members of the community given that 1st grade Romas do not have the learning aptitudes that their Hungarian classmates acquired during kindergarten.
It was their limited knowledge of the Hungarian language, coupled with their inability to hold a pencil or write properly what sparked a feeling of frustration and unsuccessfulness amongst the teaching staff. The school average score ended up decreasing because teachers were unable to neither go at the desire paste with the study programme, nor tackle the specific needs of Roma children.
According to Holczman Ilona, it was the Roma parents who requested for their children to be transferred into different classes in order to solve this inconvenience and ameliorate the intercultural tension that seemed to be going on between the two parties involved. The proposal seems not to have experienced any significant opposition, but instead has been encouraged to be carried out due to its alleged benefits.
Given these circumstances, it is inevitable to wonder whether anyone considered if the adopted measure might have a repercussion on the minors involved? Where the positive and negative short-term and long-term effects of this decision assessed by the school board before proceeding? Should the schools have taken another course of action before resorting to this method? And most importantly, is this segregation “rebirth” truly contributing to the improvement of ethnic relations?