Poll: Most Czechs believe Roma should be educated in regular schools
Romani children, according to most Czechs, should be educated in regular classes in the primary schools. A survey performed in September by the Center for Public Opinion Research (Centrum pro výzkum veřejného mínění - CVVM) found that 59 % of respondents agreed with such a statement while roughly one-third disagreed.
With respect to the integration of children with auditory and visual disabilities, 54 % of respondents are against integrating them into mainstream education, while 80 % are against integrating the mentally disabled into mainstream education. Most people agreed that pupils from both impoverished and wealthy families should be educated together in regular classes, with nine out of 10 respondents responding positively.
Approximately three-quarters of those surveyed approve of integrating children with physical disabilities and foreigners, while 60 % of respondents approve of integrating exceptionally gifted children. Romani children's integration received less support than that, but a positive attitude still predominated there.
According to the authors of the survey, a more detailed analysis reveals that the education of Romani children in regular classes is supported relatively more often by people who enjoy a good standard of living. Such respondents were also more open to the cases of foreigners and children of impoverished families.
"A lower share of agreement with Romani children being educated in regular classes was noted among the inhabitants of municipalities with populations between 30 000 and 80 000," the authors said. The Czech public also takes a positive stance on establishing non-standard schools within the framework of the mandatory nine years of school attendance.
Roughly four-fifths of respondents agreed that primary schools with expanded instruction, "practical schools" for children with mild mental disability, or special needs schools for children with moderate and severe mental disability should operate alongside the regular primary schools. The least amount of support was expressed for academic high schools, which only two-thirds of respondents believe should exist.
Roughly one-fifth of respondents expressed disagreement with such schools. Support for this kind of school rises the more educated respondents are.
The survey was conducted between 8 and 15 September. A total of 1 017 inhabitants of the Czech Republic older than 15 years of age participated.
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