SECRETARIAT OF THE COMMITTEE OF MINISTERS
SECRÉTARIAT DU COMITE DES MINISTRES
Contact: Simon Palmer
DH - DD(2011)439 1
Item reference: 1115th meeting DH (7-9 June 2011)
Communication from the Czech Republic in the case of D.H. and others against Czech Republic (Application No. 57325/00).
Information made available under Rule 8.2.a of the Rules of the Committee of Ministers for the supervision of the execution of judgments and of the terms of friendly settlements.
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Référence du point : 1115e réunion DH (7-9 juin 2011)
Communication de la République tchèque dans l'affaire D.H. et autres contre République tchèque (Requête n° 57325/00) (anglais uniquement).
Informations mises à disposition en vertu de la Règle 8.2.a des Règles du Comité des Ministres pour la surveillance de l’exécution des arrêts et des termes des règlements amiables.
D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic
Information submitted by the Czech Republic at the
1115th meeting of the Committee of Ministers (DH)
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport continues to aim for an inclusive model of educating socially disadvantaged youths, including Roma students, and it has been implementing a number of measures with a view to achieving this goal.
The Government’s Council for Roma Minority Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister, also follows very closely the issue of educating Roma children. In April, the Council meeting, attended by the Government Comissioner for Human Rights and the Deputy Minister of Education, discussed the activities of the Ministry of Education related to the implementation of the National Action Plan of Inclusive Education (hereinafter the “NAPIV“). The Council will continue to monitor very closely the developments in this area.
At the beginning of 2011, an expert working group for inclusive education was established within the Office of the Government; its members include, among others, representatives of the Chamber of Deputies, of the Agency for Social Inclusion in Roma Localities, the Prime Minister’s advisor on human rights, and other experts. The working group’s mission is to submit proposals and recommendations to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Education, to cooperate with committees and commissions of the Chamber of Deputies, to formulate comments on the proposals emanating from the Ministry of Education and to monitor the fulfilment of tasks stemming from the NAPIV.
It should be emphasized that the first phase of the NAPIV, which is currently under way, is a preparatory phase. Its purpose is to prepare specific proposals of strategies and measures aimed at promoting inclusive education at all levels of the educational system, as a result of an extensive expert debate. The implementation phase, which shall aim at implementing the measures that will have been prepared and approved, is expected to start in 2013.
However, some of the measures adopted as part of the NAPIV are already being implemented. The most important of these measures adopted in the first half of 2011 include the completion of amendments of Regulations No. 72/2005, on the provision of counselling services, and No. 73/2005, on the education of pupils and students with special educational needs. The amendment of the former was published in the Collection of Law at the beginning of May 2011; the amendment of the latter was published on 6 June 2011. Both shall come into force as of 1 September 2011, i. e. from the beginning of the new school year.
The amendment of the regulation on the provision of counselling services introduces new rules for providing counselling services and switches the focus of these services from diagnostics to recommendations. In the future, a recommendation that a pupil attend a school or an educational programme for pupils with a disability shall be issued for a period not exceeding one year. There is a new option for the pupil’s parents to object to the counselling facility’s recommendation, and the regulation expressly sets out the obligation for counsellors to inform parents that they can request counselling services again at any time. There is a new obligation for the counselling services to discuss recommendations to make changes to the education of a pupil with the child’s parents and to draft a written certificate demonstrating that the parent understood the nature and the contents of the recommendation.
The amendment of the regulation on the education of children with special educational needs introduces compensating measures for pupils with special educational needs, aimed at allowing such pupils to attend mainstream schools. It provides explicitly that a pupil without any disability cannot be educated under programmes specifically intended for children with a disability. The duration of the diagnostic stay is also reduced in order to remove the risk of the pupil having difficulties returning to his or her home school. The regulation contains a new, more detailed, specification of information and instruction that parents must receive from the school before granting consent to their child’s enrolment in a school dedicated to pupils with disabilities or to their child’s education under special programmes. The instruction will be made available in Romani.
Further to the adoption of both regulations, the Ministry of Education will carry out additional measures in order to familiarise the expert public with the contents of both regulations so that these can be applied effectively in practice during the 2011/2012 school year. In the course of June and July 2011, round tables designed specifically for teaching staff will be organised in order to explain thoroughly the contents of the amended regulations. Simultaneously, the Ministry of Education is drafting a “Measure to Ensure Inclusive Education of Roma Pupils and Students”, which is aimed to be sent out to school counsellors, to directors of schools and to the founders of schools. The Measure would provide a detailed specification of steps to be taken by the individual recipients so that Roma pupils and students are enrolled in or transferred back to ordinary primary schools. A quick survey would be carried out in the course of 2012 in order to ascertain the practical impacts of the amendments of the regulations during the first school year after their entry into force.
The Czech authorities are aware of the magnitude and of the urgency of the issue to which the judgment in the case of D.H. and Others v. the Czech Republic pointed out, and they are intent on exerting their best efforts in order to solve it. A great number of measures have been implemented already and in many schools the inclusive education model is working successfully. Nevertheless, additional measures are yet to be implemented to strengthen the inclusive education model and, due to the nature of the issue, these are steps whose practical impacts will not be visible until some time elapses. However, as the findings of the Czech School Inspectorate show, some changes are visible already now: while 25,581 pupils attended practical primary schools (former special schools) in 2004/2005, in 2009/2010 there were only 16,212, a decrease of 36.3%.
1 In the application of Article 21.b of the rules of procedure of the Committee of Ministers, it is understood that distribution of documents at the request of a Representative shall be under the sole responsibility of the said Representative, without prejudice to the legal or political position of the Committee of Ministers (CM/Del/Dec(2001)772/1.4). / Dans le cadre de l'application de l'article 21.b du Règlement intérieur du Comité des Ministres, il est entendu que la distribution de documents à la demande d'un représentant se fait sous la seule responsabilité dudit représentant, sans préjuger de la position juridique ou politique du Comité des Ministres CM/Del/Dec(2001)772/1.4).