The teachers shared their thoughts and emotions
We took a closer look at the obstacles faced by Roma children on the move, when migrating with their parents for temporary work in EU countries. We talked with educational professionals and Roma families.
"You should know that I'm a student at School X and that I'm a good child."
A student said this: "I ordered a taxi. When it arrived and the driver saw that I'm a gypsy, he refused to take me." "And what did you do?" "I told him: Thank you very much. But you should know that I'm a student at School X and that I'm a good child." It was something he was proud of.
At the Christmas festivity, amongst the group that went carolling the mayor, there was also this child. He came to me and kissed me. His teachers told me: "He's one of the best students we've got." There's no greater pride. This means that you should never treat them differently: Roma or Romanian. He is a child.
"They are beautiful children.Their school related effort is fantastic."
They are beautiful children. Taking into account their background, their school related effort is fantastic. We have children of doctors, of engineers, of professors. But we also have children who feed themselves from the bin. And all of them in the same classroom. Apart from three, all other parents are illiterate. The children are taking an enormous leap. They jump ahead a couple of generations, as long as they learn to write and read and can sit an exam.
“I've won the child over."
It was the case of a "problem child". After a while, the violent child that would beat everyone up was accommodated. I found the solution: he is actually a very good sports person. I sent him to contests and told him to come back with medals. From that moment on, the child has changed. He was very excited to have received a medal .
Moreover, I invited him in the office to present him the medal and the diploma to other teachers . His problematic behaviour was in fact a form of self-defence and of showing that he needs more attention. I've won the child over.
The child you've "won over" can be "lost" if there is no continuity.
I'd see it like this: when the parents leave, they should inform me in due time, on their intentions, on the place they are going to. All so that the people at the destination school will not believe that child is a gypsy and had gone there to steal. It's about seeing a child correctly, as he is. Maybe he is a very good child. It would simply help us if we knew the child's educational level: how much he has learned or how much he has missed out learn while abroad, to have information on what they are doing there. To somehow manage to keep in touch with them, even when the parents don't want to. We can't find them. We can't contact them.
Let's say things as they are. There, as well as here, in Romania, Roma people are being labelled. Like it or not, we must accept the fact that Roma people are not viewed like the other. Likewise for disabled children.