Czech Republic: Interest in tutoring for Romani children in Brno exceeds supply of volunteers
News server iDNES.cz reports that the Romani residents of Brno are expressing increasing interest every year in the long-term tutoring of their children. This year a minimum of 250 Romani children are augmenting their regular education in this way.
Over the last 12 years more than 1 000 Romani children have used the services of after-school tutors. That is about one-fifth of the total number of Romani people 18 years of age and younger living in Brno, the second-largest city in the Czech Republic.
Experts say the myth that Roma do not value education no longer applies. On the contrary, Romani parents want their children to perform well in society.
"Romani parents are aware of the value of education, and because they frequently are not able to advise their children themselves, or to aid them, they take advantage of our tutoring services," says Alica Sigmund Heráková of the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno. That organization began offering long-term tutoring for Romani children 12 years ago and still does today.
Three other larger nonprofits in the city offer tutoring to Romani children as well. There is such interest in the service that both primary and secondary schoolchildren are on waiting lists, as there are not enough volunteer tutors to meet demand.
Volunteers at the Museum of Romani Culture are currently tutoring 60 children. Around 40 volunteer tutors teach them free of charge.
Most are college graduates or students, predominantly from departments of education or philosophy. The Musuem, however, is seeking more volunteers.
The waiting list at the Museum now has 20 Romani children primarily interested in improving their English, Czech and mathematics skills. Greater interest in education has been reported by three other big nonprofit organizations working with Romani people in Brno - DROM, IQ Roma servis, and the Pavlač drop-in center run by Ratolest.
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