Gypsy kids herded into Czech schools for disabled
The charge comes a year after the European Court of Human Rights demanded that the country stop the practice.
"continue to be dramatically over-represented in practical primary schools
that follow a special curriculum for mentally disabled pupils," the
Czech Education Minister Ondrej Liska said it could take three to five years to solve the problem but admitted that the children of Roma, or Gypsies, "are not less talented and do not have fewer abilities than the others."
Rights advocates said, however, that officials at all levels are reluctant to address the issue.
"What is needed here
is a real action to bring Roma children into mainstream schools," said
Robert Kushen of the Budapest-based
Roma are one of
They remain at risk of social exclusion, despite government programs to integrate them. The European Union has set aside millions in education, housing and job aid to help.
In November 2007, the
European Court of Human Rights demanded the
Failure to comply with the ruling could lead to a new court case and possible fines or sanctions.