Government to revise strategy in combating social exclusion

The government will review its strategy in combating social exclusion, according to the government’s human rights commissioner Monika Šimunková. Plans to gradually close down the existing network of practical schools (previously known as special schools) attended by a large number of Romany pupils is to be revised after a wave of protests from parents and teachers. Over 76 thousand parents and teachers have signed a petition opposing the plan on the grounds that practical schools are important for children with learning disabilities and called on the government to seek other ways of combating discrimination against Romany children. The government will now focus largely on the work of advisory boards which are instrumental in sending children to practical schools on the basis of tests and interviews in order to make sure that only children with serious learning problems, not socially disadvantaged children, are placed in such institutions.