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Sweden fails its Roma minority: report

TT/The Local/rm · 8 Apr 2011, 10:39

Published: 08 Apr 2011 10:39 GMT+02:00

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A new report shows Sweden to be wanting, not in the least due to the lack of home language training (hemspråksundervisning) in schools.

"Almost no country in Europe has met our demands and Sweden hasn’t succeeded either. The criticism from the last review still stands, and it is mostly regarding education," said Jarmo Lainio, a representative in the Council’s expert committee, to daily Svenska Dagbladet (SvD).

As one of Sweden’s five minorities, the children of the Roma people in Sweden are entitled to receive education in school conducted in their mother tongue.

But in many municipalities, authorities fail to inform parents of the option and children therefore miss out on the opportunity, according to news agency TT.

Swedish law stipulates that schools are obliged to offer home language education even if there is only one child enrolled in the school with a different mother tounge than Swedish.

But one of the problems is that there are very few teachers in Sweden who are qualified to teach the Romani language.

The National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) is currently conducting an inquiry into how Sweden can attract more speakers of minority languages to be trained as teachers.

According to the agency, the main issue is alack of Romani speakers that graduate from higher education programmes in Sweden and qualify for university studies.

“It is really not a positive situation. No Romani speakers apply to our teacher training programmes and that makes it impossible for us to reach our goals. The qualification requirements need to be reviewed if we are to attract students to these programmes,” Ingrid Häggstöm of the agency told SvD.

Today 50 percent of Romani children in Sweden don’t finish their primary and secondary school (grundskola) and even fewer graduate from high school (gymnasium), according to SvD.

“It is a dreadful situation. The Roma people have officially had the right to attend Swedish school for 50 years and yet no one reacts when these children are absent. The teachers don’t know how to approach the parents,” Maria Leissner of the Delegation for Roma issues (Delegationen för romska frågor) told SvD.

Story continues below…

The minister for integration, Erik Ullenhag, has promised to spend a lot of time on the Roma issues in the future. He told SvD that Sweden had reason to be ashamed of how the Roma people had been treated in the past.

“These children are at risk of growing up with no chance of getting a job - we can’t let them down,” he said.

It is estimated that there are between 40,000 and 120,000 Roma in Sweden today.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:50 April 8, 2011 by JulieLou40
I would be sympathetic if The Roma people were more decent. We all know that Roma people don't even like their kids going to school. The girls especially get removed from school extremely early so that they can spend their days cleaning their caravans and stealing.
12:04 April 8, 2011 by occassional
A wee challenge:

Go to ANY hospital E.R.at ANY time of the day or night and report exactly who is failing whom...
12:05 April 8, 2011 by Roy E
This quote pretty much says it all:

"Almost no country in Europe has met our demands and Sweden hasn't succeeded either"


Somebody please escort these clowns to the door.
12:39 April 8, 2011 by Greg L
Being from the US I was unfamiliar with these.......what ever they are. But after a trip to Rome I HATE THEM. Every place you go there they are begging and trying to trip people so they can claim injury. I saw two real beggars from Africa with very real problem from land mines and militia having chopped off both hands. That's one thing but the 20 or so old Roma ladies laying on stairs and around corners are another. Not sympathetic to them at all.
12:53 April 8, 2011 by Swedesmith
They are good tomatoes, though.
13:34 April 8, 2011 by BrittInSweden
@Greg L Roma is another name for Gypsy or new age traveller or whatever the new PC name for them is.
13:56 April 8, 2011 by sendia
They not only steal and beg. Most of them are involved in mindless, pointless destruction of public property. You can see them just sitting on a the bus and all of a sudden banging the window or the seat next to them.

They steal wood from benches in the park ! metal from sign boards!
14:03 April 8, 2011 by rohermoker
Let them eat surstromming. unless the EU say''s its unsafe
15:18 April 8, 2011 by calebian22
"Today 50 percent of Romani children in Sweden don't finish their primary and secondary school (grundskola) and even fewer graduate from high school (gymnasium), according to SvD.....The Roma people have officially had the right to attend Swedish school for 50 years.."

So for 50 years, they have had the right to education in Sweden. My daughter gets English as a second language class, once every week, but this has nothing to do with her going to school and studying every other class in Swedish just like the native born Vikings. If Sweden wants to wring it's collective hands and cry mea culpa regarding a lack of Roma teachers, fine, but the Roma need to take responsibility for their laziness or lack of desire to integrate into Sweden. That is all on them.
15:56 April 8, 2011 by truthworthy
I am shocked by the inhumane talk by the above commentators. Yes the Romas have problems, yes they beg excessively but what about talking about the root causes of these issues and how to solve them? instead of bashing these poor people.

People please talk sense or shut up. Your racism and prejudice are intolerable. At least talk as human being.
15:57 April 8, 2011 by Greg L
I should have pointed out I know it was a coincidence my first experience with Roma was in Rome also called Roma. The people are completely different.

I am a little confused why anyone would be screaming for more Roma/Gypsy teacher thoe
16:18 April 8, 2011 by calebian22

It is not intolerant or bigoted to be disgusted with a group of people that purposely isolates itself from the mainstream. Always the victims in spite of their own failings as good citizens.
16:20 April 8, 2011 by technoviking
If Sweden did anything to "help" the Roma they would have to literally force the parents to make the kids go to school instead of doing... well, the things they have them doing instead...

Which would almost certainly cause an uproar over the cultural insensitivity of violating the Roma's multicultural rights to teach their kids to wander aimlessly, cut school, steal and beg instead of bettering themselves.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I do feel bad for the kids who are born into this though. They got dealt a really bad hand in the form of these so called "parents" who do this to them.
17:03 April 8, 2011 by Carbarrister
I remember my late father telling me stories about problems with the Roma they had in their small community in Varmland 90 years age. Nothing has changed other than a lot of collective hand-wringing.
17:04 April 8, 2011 by Syftfel
"Sweden fails its Roma minority"??? If this isn't a textbook example of Orwellian doublespeak, I do not know what is. This heaadline must have been crafted by a Green, a communist, or a social dem. It's in fact the other way around, "The Roma minority fails its Swedish hosts". How imbecile can these stray dogs in the Council of Europe be? Or are they deliberately obfuscating the issue???
17:05 April 8, 2011 by eppie

Indeed, finally a sensible comment.

The victims here are the children, that because of the choices of their parents will not have the same possibilities as other children.

School is an important factor in your succes in life, and you won't benefit at all from learning roma language when you live in sweden.

To me not allowing your children to go to school untill they are 16 is illegal and so these parents should be fined for that.
17:52 April 8, 2011 by DAVID T
The Finnish roma I'v met have always been very polite and speak really good english - I always say hello and they are always friendly
18:22 April 8, 2011 by technoviking
@ eppie

These parents should absolutely be thrown in jail for child abuse.

But of course then the same idiots crying about the "failure" would be in a multiculturalist uproar... It's surreal actually.

Like most self hating, white-guilt ridden leftists all they want to do is hate on Sweden and blame it for everyone's problems despite bending over backwards to give everyone one of the best standards of living in the world.

Who's actually failing? Sweden or the Roma themselves?

You can lead a gypsy to water but...
21:14 April 8, 2011 by expatjourno
The day the Roma people want to integrate into Swedish society is the day Sweden should help them do that. Not before.
22:53 April 8, 2011 by jimthat
i think a change in the law should be made to permit the massive repatriation of all this people that are opportunist ,nothing else .in italy they call the iimigrants like that :oportunists

swedish people once emigrated to the USA but they worked like mad and built a big nation in a few years but this people has been poor for the last 1000 years and they wiil stay poor another 1000 years .laziness is geneticall
00:46 April 9, 2011 by jimmy1988
Sweden should worried about their own people and their own children. I don t know why but it seems like Sweden wants worry only with foreigners. Whats their obssesion with foreigners and integration. Not enough people! They want to fill up the whole country, why don give more money to Swedish couples to have more kids.
01:59 April 9, 2011 by ajs42548
truthworthy...Root causes? You are correct but not for the reasons you think. For over 1000 years in over a dozen countries on several continents, it's the same thing. Are all of these countries guilty? The root cause here is the Roma culture. Please deny this.
02:19 April 9, 2011 by Robert C. Anderson
Please don't worry about people who don't fit in. Just leave them with their chosen group. If they commit a crime and are not citizens, deport them. People are so concerned today about bending over backwards to please the smallest minority group. Stop trying to please them or give them extra protection and consideration. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. As for crime, all the news stories and prison statistics show that this is part of Roma culture.
08:35 April 9, 2011 by Minnesota NyViking
I'm not against immigrants who assimulate, work and become productive citizens. But too many have become beggars hidden in apartments with phoney respectability...while our own citizens have been rejected for help that they need. It's time we help our OWN people first! Must I grab the food from my children's mouth when they are hungry to feed those who come to our land asking for freebies for nothing in return?????

We're tired of this crap.
19:49 April 9, 2011 by jimthat
yes we need some immigrants but now we are overpassed by them they are not anymore the"gest workers "we once needed so why not send them back all at once

im not against emigration but a different level immigration like germans or danish or british or some that kind some that whiten up our race not darken it please

we run the risk of becoming the swedish republic of africa
05:06 April 10, 2011 by Alasdair MacCorquodale
I take it that the Roma have never been indigenous to Sweden.

It is the price of years of liberal thinking that you are being persuaded to accomodate them. For God's sake try and protect your own cultural identity.

As in my own Britain, immigration has reached overwhealming levels.

Didn't you see this coming? We didn't.
09:24 April 10, 2011 by Raiha

The above comments illustrate why Sweden will never have a reasonable, rational, objective discourse regarding their Roma, Sami, non-Swedish, or Islamic citizens.

Anyone who makes the above comments without considering the history of indigenous races and colonialism is a fool at best, a racist at worst. And the secret heart of Sweden is racist, ignorant and evil to the core.

Who would have the audacity to NOT want to integrate into such a hateful, superior culture???
17:13 April 10, 2011 by Kaethar
@Raiha: The vast majority of posters at the local are non-Swedes. But thanks for letting us know how you really feel about us Swedes and our "evil" culture. Hope the door won't hit you on your way out. :)

Also, I'd like to know what Swedish colonialism has to do with our Roma population. Romani's have lived in Sweden for hundreds of years which is why they're officially labelled an indigenous population. They have nothing to do with Swedish colonialism or the Swedish empire - it's not like they were brought here by force. They just casually wandered in as Romani's do. :D
20:48 April 10, 2011 by mkvgtired
The US has groups of people that have not worked for generations. The only thing increasing entitlements to these groups has accomplished is increased taxes on everyone else. They are offered lifetime income, free university eduction, free healthcare, free housing, free food, etc. and virtually none have improved their situations.

Especially for asylum seekers or Roma, Sweden is doing them a favor. They should be grateful and stop trying to make all these demands. Once they start paying taxes and contributing society they can start dropping cards in the suggestion box. If the EU wants to fund the criminal and lazy lifestyles of these people let them do it. The fact that not one country met their "demands" only goes to show they are much to stringent, and definitely undeserved.

"Swedish law stipulates that schools are obliged to offer home language education even if there is only one child enrolled in the school with a different mother tounge than Swedish. "

And Sweden wonders why immigrants dont integrate. Here's an idea, if you dont want to learn Swedish, DONT move to Sweden.

Last point: "These children are at risk of growing up with no chance of getting a job - we can't let them down," Does anyone actually believe by not teaching these children how to speak Swedish in Sweden that their job prospects will be hurt? Teaching them in Romani in Sweden will hurt their job prospects more than probably any other thing the social system could do.

Make these people work a little for their success. Every time any government tries to hand out success, it only strips the successful of what they worked for.
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