Roma children education continues to be high on the political agenda, even after Romania’s accession to the European Union in January 2007. The Open Society Foundation’s Roma Inclusion Barometer* 2007 indicates a fairly different educational pattern for the Roma than the rest of the population.
23% of Roma respondents have no education whatsoever, 27% have primary school, and 33% finished secondary school, as opposed to 2%, 11%, and 24%, respectively for other ethnic groups taken as a whole; 95% of Roma have no high school education, compared to 60% among other respondents. Over time, the Roma appear to have had rather insignificant educational development compared to members of other ethnic groups in Romania. Therefore, survey data indicates that the educational difference of persons aged over or under 40 is significantly smaller in the case of the Roma population than among other respondents. Even among much younger Roma respondents, 95% have no higher education, and 21% have no education whatsoever.
In addition, school attendance among Roma children is significantly lower than that of other children. Of all 0-6-year-old Roma children, 80% attend neither kindergarten nor day nursery, compared to 48% of non-Roma children aged 0-6. Some 19% of 7-11-year-old Roma children do not attend school, compared to 2% of non-Roma children in the same age group. In the category of children over the age of 11, 39% of Roma do not attend school, compared to only 9% of non-Roma children of the same age.
* Roma Inclusion Barometer 2007, Open Society Foundation