In 2019, an Appeals Court verdict ruled that Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian children were unlawfully put into segregated classes at Gjakova’s Mustafa Bakija Elementary School between 2011 and 2013. Such segregation reportedly used to happen in other municipalities as well; schools with a significant number of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian students were placing these children in their own classrooms, separated from their Albanian peers.
But despite anti-discrimination laws and this court verdict, K2.0 heard persistent stories about continued discrimination and segregation in classrooms. Human rights activists and members of the affected communities particularly noted the segregation of Roma children in a few specific Serbian-run schools in Kosovo.
After months of research, K2.0 confirmed much of the hearsay and anecdotes, and determined that hundreds of Roma and some Ashkali children are finding themselves separated from their non-Roma/non-Ashkali peers. The form this segregation takes varies from school to school. There is a ghettoized satellite branch school, a “ghost school” that students are bussed to from another town and ethnically segregated school shifts. Through our reporting, we show how a secondary effect of the parallel education structures in Kosovo is to perpetuate a cycle of inherited social inequalities for some of Kosovo’s most vulnerable communities.
In conversation with teachers, school directors, and representatives from municipalities and the central government, there appear to be no plans to end the years of ethnic school segregation.
Following the publishing of our story on the matter, we invite you all to join us for a discussion to dig even deeper into this important issue.
Our discussion will be moderated by K2.0’s Journalist Dafina Halili. We will be joined by:
- Isak Skenderi, Director of Voice of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians
- Bashkim Ibishi, Director of the NGO Advancing Together
- Dukagjin Pupovci, Deputy Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation
Translation into English and Serbian will be provided.
Photo: Ferdi Limani / K2.0.
This talk is organized with the financial support of the European Union, as part of the project “Citizens Engage”, implemented by Kosovo 2.0 with GAP Institute. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Kosovo 2.0 and GAP Institute and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.
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