Article Text

EDUCATIONAL LEVEL OF CHILDREN OF MIGRATING GYPSIES AT A GREEK RURAL AREA
  1. G D Tyhalas1,
  2. V G Hronis1,
  3. D G Tyhalas2,
  4. E S Paplomata1
  1. 1Health Center of Iraklia, Serres, Greece
  2. 2Bioinformatics Department, University of Central Greece, Lamia, Greece

Abstract

Introduction In the era of personal computing and the globalisation of knowledge, there are closed groups of citizens whose education is still at primitive levels.

Objective The purpose of this paper was to estimate the size of the education/illiteracy problem among children of migrating gypsies and the evaluation of its causes.

Materials and Methods We studied the educational level of 46 children of migrating gypsies between 7 and 15 years old. The collection of relevant details was possible with home visits, at which a standardised interview in the form of a casual conversation took place, almost exclusively with their mothers.

Results From the total of 46 children, 18 (39.13%) started education at the standard age, whereas 28 (60.87%) started with 1–5 years delay. Most children abandoned education after the first few grades, whereas 16 (34.78%) repeated the same grade one to four times before conclusion. All school students studied were attending their grade with delay (ie, at an older age) except two (4.35%) attending the second grade. 89.29% of the parents were illiterate and only 10.71% had completed primary education. Almost all of their fathers lived their lives at the edge of the law and most of them had served time in correctional facilities. Most of the parents complained of extreme social racism against them. All parents expressed their wish for a better education for their children!

Conclusion The educational problem for children of migrating gypsies is a complex one and the cooperation of many different social agents is needed for its elimination.

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