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Racial segregation
According to the Law for protection against discrimination from 2004 the issuing of an act, acting or non-acting, which leads to compulsion dividing, isolation or separation of actors on the basis of their race, ethnical belonging, or on the colour of their skin is Racial segregation. One of the forms of racial discrimination is the isolation of race groups in the suburban neighbourhoods of the inhabiting area, with the intention of settlement.  

The schools in the segregated Roma neighbourhood are fix in a result of the dividing into districts of the educational system, which makes the free choice of school impossible or least difficult, especially for people, isolated by the system. Besides, the segregated schools in the Roma neighbourhoods were created like schools “with low standards and culture”, whose main goal is “initial literacy and adopting of labour habits and skills”. Teachers and tutors in the segregated schools of the Roma neighbourhood and in the boarding-schools during the totalitarian regime were receiving additional payment for work with difficult children. Despite of that, the portion of “irregular” teachers, i.e. of this without the necessary education and qualification, was drastically lower of that of the rest of the schools.

After the beginning of the democratic changes of 1989, all problems of the segregated Roma schools rest the without changes, and even some more problems raised. The prospects of additional raise to the teachers’ salaries disappeared as a governmental incentive and the quality of education alongside the opportunity of recruiting qualified teachers further deteriorated. In the middle of the nineties, many of the special educational programs for some of the Roma schools were cancelled, but on an unofficial basis this practices steel exist. According to statistics by Institute “Open Society Institute” Sofia, 5 % of all pupils in the segregated schools have only a realistic chance to graduate from high school. It would not be surprising the sight of a fourth grader who is not capable of reading or writing. Only 0, 3 % of all Roma pupils are interested in undergoing the required examinations for admission in the specialized high schools after seventh or eighth class.

The Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria gives the right to all Bulgarian citizens of equal start in the education. However, not all come to the finish line. Often, somewhere in the middle do a significant number of Bulgarian pupils come to drop out of school and to never exercise their entrenched rights of free access to education. In their largest majority these “drop-outs” are of Roma ethnicity. Thus, in the aspect of middle school education, we often become witness to the following vicious circle: the lack of quality education leading to a large-scale marginalization and unemployment amongst representatives of the Roma ethnos and the dismal prospects of long-term poverty and even further increases of ethnic marginalization.

-Is it possible for this vicious circle to be broken into and what are the ways in which to do it?
-   Yes, by Desegregation.
-What is Roma Desegregation of Education?
-   The process of providing conditions for free access to quality education to Roma children in integrated school environments.
-When did Roma Desegregation of Education start in Europe?
-   The pilot project commenced in September 2000 in the Bulgarian town of Vidin, led by NGO Organization Drom.
-Why do we need this process?
-   This process is needed because this is the way to increase human capital and educate a society without racial prejudice by giving equal opportunity to everyone despite the ethnic background.
-Who benefits from it?
-   It is the whole society that benefits from this process. Giving free access to quality education to Roma children is investment in long-term prosperity.

The Roma Desegregation of Education is at the core of the Decade of Roma Inclusion (2005-2015). It is a crucial step in the socio-economic inclusion of children and parents into the mainstream society. Wide spread desegregation of Roma education and abolishment of all-Romani schools is a must. Targeted policy and financing for desegregation activities need to be systematically increased. The Vidin model provides daily bussing, free textbooks for children from impoverished backgrounds, offers catch-up classes, provides multicultural training courses for teachers, offers supervisors, who act as liaisons between Roma parents and teachers, and organizes variety of extracurricular school project activities to integrate children and parents in school and out-of school environments.