Pavee Point’s Roma Programme highlighted key barriers to Roma education this week at a DCU webinar on empowering Roma in education.

Jenny Liston Roma Programme Co Ordinator and Gabi Muntean, Roma Community Development Worker spoke about

Racism and discrimination

Experiences of poverty and poor living conditions

Educational disadvantage across many generations

Niall Mulldoon, Ombudsman for Children

“Pavee Point believes firmly that collective positive action is needed to address these barriers and create a fair and equal education system,” said Gabi Muntean

“We need a holistic and inclusive Traveller and Roma Education Strategy, “said Jenny Liston, “with anti-racism and intercultural training, Traveller and Roma history and culture on the school curriculum, targeted education supports and programmes as well as parallel community and employment initiatives.”

Bianca Paun, a Masters Graduate from Maynooth University and member of Roma community highlighted the positive roles teachers can play in supporting Roma children in education.

‘It isn’t a tradition for Roma not to attend school, it is that there are barriers in place,” said Ms Paun.

The webinar also heard from Ana Orsos, European Roma Rights Centre, Women’s Rights Officer; Professor Colin Clarke, Scottish Academic and Activist; Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children and Mairead Foody, DCU.

The ‘Empowering Roma in Education’ Conference is part of the BReAThE project (preventing bullying and discrimination of Roma children).