Notes on the Agenda
Notes(2000)91 Revised * 3 February 2000
696 Meeting, 3 February
7 Education, Culture and Sport
7.1 Council for cultural co-operation (CDCC)
Draft Recommendation No. R(2000).. on the education of
Roma/Gypsy children in Europe
- CM/Del/Dec(99)692/7.1b, 693/7.1, 694/7.1,
- Addendum to CM(99)166
The Deputies are invited to adopt the draft recommendation
which is submitted to them by the Bureau of the Council for Cultural Co-operation (CDCC).
The Bureau of the Council for Cultural Co-operation met in Strasbourg on 3 and 4
November 1999. The Deputies considered the abridged report of the meeting (CM(99)166) at
their 692nd meeting (15 December 1999, item 7.1.a. on the agenda).
The draft Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers to member states on the
education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe, as approved by the Bureau of the CDCC
(CM(99)166 Addendum), was considered by the Deputies at their 692nd and 693rd
meetings. On both occasions, various delegations submitted new amendments.
The text appended to these Notes reflects all amendments submitted up to 12 January
2000. The Secretariat had no special remarks to make concerning the above-mentioned
At their 694th meeting, the Deputies agreed to postpone consideration of the
draft recommendation until their present meeting.
696th meeting - 3 February 2000
COUNCIL FOR CULTURAL CO-OPERATION (CDCC)
Draft Recommendation No. R(2000)
of the Committee of Ministers to
on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe
The Deputies adopted Recommendation No. R(2000)
Committee of Ministers to member states on the education of Roma/Gypsy children in Europe,
as it appears in Appendix
to this Volume of decisions <Appendix to the
Draft recommendation No R(2000)... of the Committee of Ministers
to member states on the education of Roma/Gypsy
children in Europe
(adopted by the Committee of Ministers on
th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies)
The Committee of Ministers, under the terms of Article 15.b of the Statute of
the Council of Europe,
Considering that the aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve greater unity between
its members and that this aim may be pursued, in particular, through common action in the
field of education;
Recognising that there is an urgent need to build new foundations for future
educational strategies toward the Roma/Gypsy people in Europe, particularly in view of the
high rates of illiteracy or semi-literacy among them, their high drop-out rate, the low
percentage of students completing primary education and the persistence of features such
as low school attendance;
Noting that the problems faced by Roma/Gypsies in the field of schooling are largely
the result of long-standing educational policies of the past, which led either to
assimilation or to segregation of Roma/Gypsy children at school on the grounds that they
were "socially and culturally handicapped";
Considering that the disadvantaged position of Roma/Gypsies in European societies
cannot be overcome unless equality of opportunity in the field of education is guaranteed
for Roma/Gypsy children;
Considering that the education of Roma/Gypsy children should be a priority in national
policies in favour of Roma/Gypsies;
Bearing in mind that policies aimed at addressing the problems faced by Roma/Gypsies in
the field of education should be comprehensive, based on an acknowledgement that the issue
of schooling for Roma/Gypsy children is linked with a wide range of other factors and
pre-conditions, namely the economic, social and cultural aspects, and the fight against
racism and discrimination;
Bearing in mind that educational policies in favour of Roma/Gypsy children should be
backed up by an active adult education and vocational education policy;
Considering that, as there is a text concerning the education of Roma/Gypsy children
for member states of the European Union (Resolution of the Council and of the Ministers of
Education meeting with the Council on School Provision for Gypsy and Traveller Children,
of 22 May 1989; 89/C 153/02), it is urgently necessary to have a text covering all of the
member states of the Council of Europe;
Bearing in mind the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and
the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages;
Bearing in mind Recommendations 563 (1969) and 1203 (1993) of the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe in which mention is made of the educational needs of
Roma/Gypsies in Europe;
Bearing in mind Resolutions 125 (1981), 16 (1995) and 249 (1993) and Recommendation 11
(1995) of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe on the situation of
Roma/Gypsies in Europe;
Bearing in mind General Policy Recommendation No. 3 of the European Commission against
Racism and Intolerance on "Combating racism and discrimination against Roma/Gypsies
Bearing in mind the work carried out by the Council for Cultural Co-operation (CDCC) to
respond to Resolution 125 (1981), and in particular, the publication of the report
"Gypsies and Travellers" (1985), updated in 1994 ("Roma, Gypsies,
Travellers", Council of Europe Publishing);
Having welcomed the memorandum prepared by the Specialist Group on Roma/Gypsies
entitled "Roma Children Education Policy Paper: Strategic Elements of Education
Policy for Roma Children in Europe" (MG-S-ROM (97) 11);
Recommends that in implementing their education policies the governments of the member
- be guided by the principles set out in the appendix to this Recommendation;
- bring this Recommendation to the attention of the relevant public bodies in their
respective countries through the appropriate national channels.
Guiding principles of an education policy for Roma/Gypsy children in
1. Educational policies for Roma/Gypsy children should be accompanied by adequate [...] footnote 1 resources and the flexible structures
necessary to meet the diversity of the Roma/Gypsy population in Europe and which take into
account the existence of Roma/Gypsy groups which lead an itinerant or semi-itinerant
lifestyle. In this respect, it might be envisaged having recourse to distance education,
based on new communication technologies footnote 2 .
2. Emphasis should be put on the need to better co-ordinate the international
footnote 3 , national, regional and local levels in order to
avoid dispersion of efforts and to promote synergies.
3. To this end member states should make the Ministries of Education sensitive to
the question of education of Roma/Gypsy children footnote 4 .
4. In order to secure access to school for
Roma/Gypsy children, pre-school education schemes should be widely developed and made
accessible to them.
5. Particular attention should also be paid to the need to ensure better communication
with parents, where necessary using mediators from the Roma/Gypsy community which could
then lead to specific carreer possibilities footnote 5 . Special
information and advice should be given to parents about the necessity of education and
about the support mechanisms that municipalities can offer families. There has to be
mutual understanding between parents and schools. The parents exclusion and lack of
knowledge and education (even illiteracy) also prevent children from benefiting from the
education system footnote 6 .
6. Appropriate support structures should be set up in order to enable Roma/Gypsy
children to benefit, in particular through positive action, from equal opportunities at
7. The member states should provide the necessary means footnote 7
to implement the above mentioned policies and arrangements in order to close the gap
between Roma/Gypsy pupils and majority pupils.
II. Curriculum and teaching material
1. Educational policies in favour of Roma/Gypsy children should be implemented in
the framework of broader intercultural policies, taking into account the particular
features of the Romani culture and the disadvantaged position of many Roma/Gypsies in the
2. The curriculum, on the whole, and the teaching material should therefore be designed
so as to take into account the cultural identity of Roma/Gypsy children. Romani history
and culture should be introduced in the teaching material in order to reflect the cultural
identity of Roma/Gypsy children. The participation of representatives of the Roma/Gypsy
community should be encouraged in the development of teaching material on the history,
culture or language of the Roma/Gypsies.
3. However, the member states should ensure that this does not lead to the
establishment of separate curricula, which might lead to the setting up of separate
4. The member states should also encourage the development of teaching material based
on good practices in order to assist teachers in their daily work with Roma/Gypsy pupils.
5. In the countries where the Romani language is spoken, opportunities to learn in the
mother tongue should be offered at school to Roma/Gypsy children.
III. Recruitment and training of teachers
6. It is important that future teachers should be provided with specific knowledge
and training to help them understand better their Roma/Gypsy pupils. The education of
Roma/Gypsy pupils should however remain an integral part of the general educational system
footnote 8 .
14. The Roma/Gypsy community should be involved in the designing of such curricula and
should be directly involved in the delivery of information to future teachers.
15. Support should also be given to the training and recruitment of teachers from
within the Roma/Gypsy community.
IV. Information research and assessment
16. The member states should encourage innovative research/small-scale action
projects in order to find local responses to local needs. The results of such projects
should be disseminated footnote 9 .
17. The results of educational policies for Roma/Gypsy pupils should be carefully
monitored. All the participants involved in the education of Roma/Gypsy children (school
authorities, teachers, parents, non-governmental organisations) should be invited to take
part in the monitoring process.
18. The evaluation of the results of educational policies towards Roma/Gypsy children
should take account of many criteria, including personal and social development, and not
be limited to estimates of school attendance and drop-out rates.
V. Consultation and co-ordination
19. The involvement of all parties concerned (ministry of education, school
authorities, Roma families and organisations) in the design, implementation and monitoring
of education policies for Roma/Gypsies should be promoted by the state.
20. Use should also be made of mediators from within the Roma/Gypsy community, in
particular to ease the contacts between Roma/Gypsies, the majority population and schools
and to avoid conflicts at school; this should apply to all levels of schooling.
21. The Ministries of Education, in the framework of the awareness-raising action
mentioned footnote 10 in point I, paragraph 3, above should
facilitate the co-ordination of the efforts of the different parties involved and permit
the channelling of information between the different levels of education authorities.
22. Member states should further encourage and support the exchange of experience
and good practice [
] footnote 11 .
* Revised complete version: due to a technical
problem, the footnotes of the appendix to the draft recommendation did not appear on the
25th January 2000 version.
1 France proposes the deletion of the word financial.
2 Proposal from Portugal.
3 Proposal from Hungary.
4 Proposal from France. This sentence should replace the
previous text which reads as follows: set up specific units within ministries of
education in order to co-ordinate the activities carried out, to monitor their
implementation and to act as a mechanism to promote educational policies for Roma/Gypsy
5 Proposal from Portugal.
6 Proposal from Finland.
7 Proposal from France to replace funding with means.
8 Proposal from Portugal.
9 Proposal from Portugal.
10 Proposal from France.
11 Proposal from France to delete the end of the sentence: and
networking at European and national levels.