Target group

The target group of our projects are children and young people from socially excluded localities (SEL) starting from 0.5 years of age up to the time of their graduation. We plan project activities for the youngest ones, i.e. for those who are still just "smiling and rolling their eyes" to those who are trying to decide where to go after primary school.

We are also dedicated to parents. We place the development of parental competences among our top priorities and believe that joint efforts with parents multiply the effectiveness of our work with children and young people.

Age range of children:

0,5 - 3 - toddlers

3 - 6 - over-schoolers

6 - 15 school age

Parent age range:

15 - XX years - mothers

15 - xx years - fathers

Specifics of the risk period in education :

Already at the age of 9, 10 years there are prepubertal manifestations that peak at 12, 13 and 14 years. The sum of all these factors results in unpreparedness to accept and adapt to the Czech school environment in its entirety, from language proficiency, to the willingness to accept the communication methods of majority teachers, to the understanding of customs and ways of functioning in the non-Roma world. Failure and cultural alienation thus distances the world from the perspective of Roma children and, in turn, creates space for bullying among Czech children.

Puberty, social pathologies

The coming of puberty is a crucial and decisive influence in determining the direction of education. The child is perceived as a young adult and is therefore not corrected in sexual activity, which begins at the age of 12-14. Thus, at the age of 15, they want to start families and look for jobs with their relatives.

The author of the text has almost two years of experience with children from excluded localities who were members of a football team in the FAČR football competition. During regular Saturday matches the football team was almost regularly weakened because the oldest players of the team (11-14 years old within the category of younger pupils) were considerably exhausted because they had consumed alcohol or used drugs the previous evening. Even among the younger players, considerable fatigue could be traced from watching television into the late morning hours.

In the adolescent period there is an exacerbation of relations with teachers/adults in general. They resist, talk back or display very inappropriate to rude behaviour in general. Particularly during this period, OSPODU staff are contacted to assist the school in not managing these children. The children behave this way for several reasons. The first is:

To gain the admiration of their peers.

The family's hostile relationship with the school

Reaction to teachers' speeches

Early leaving of school attendance

The difficult life in excluded localities awakens in 14-year-old children the responsibility to take care of their family (mother, sisters and younger brothers). Very often, they thus take on the roles of their father, who for various reasons is not with his family (in prison, at work, abandoning the family), or their mother in the form of caring for their younger siblings.

The most common problems of our children:

Failure to complete written assignments, insufficient or absent preparation for school, forgetting school books and supplies, distractions during class, hyperactive behaviour during breaks.

Truancy, disruption of the educational process

Resistance to the teacher, ridiculing, talking back, anger and bullying

Verbal and non-verbal aggression towards classmates, bullying and disagreements between classmates

Cheating in school (copying, lying, cheating)

Violations of school prohibitions, (targeted, planned with a specific purpose)

Civil and moral offences against the surrounding population and its property.

Thus, the influence of an intense negative environment is also often the subject of the cause of children's behaviour. For some, behavioural disorders occur. Kaleja (2011) defines conduct disorder as any negative deviation from the norm that takes the form of persistent and deliberate behavior marked as undesirable behavioral manifestations that may result to the stage of delinquency and criminality. Conduct disorder is defined in the following terms:

Lack of respect by the individual for social norms.

Manifestations of lack of empathy, marked egoism, emotional coldness

Bower, an American psychologist dealing with behavioral disorders describes the features of the disorder in question as:

- An inability to learn that cannot be explained on the basis of sensory, intellectual, or medical factors

- Low ability to establish contact and relationships with peers or teachers

- Inadequate behaviour and emotional experience in normal circumstances

- Increasing sense of depression and unhappiness

- Tendency to develop somatic symptoms of pain and distress based on personal and school problems

Kaleja 2011 insists on a consistent distinction between conduct disorder and problem child (non-conforming) behaviour.

The most common problems of our parents in relation to education:

- parents without education (often graduates of former special schools)

- Negative attitude towards school (School was perceived as a mediator who informed the authorities about various shortcomings, which became causes for subsequent removal of children from their families and placement in children's homes)

- Parents' attitudes towards education (Parents do not believe that their child can be successful at school and therefore do not want to worry about it. According to the survey, the researchers found the following results in parents' attitudes towards their children

- they direct active educational orientation mainly to the youngest children. They devote all their care and time to them. All members (even siblings) perceive the youngest child in the family as a symbol of joy and happiness of the family. The older siblings are resigned to the fact that the family focuses primarily on the youngest child. They are even encouraged to do so. They see it as a very natural social phenomenon

- They take an active interest in their children's education in the early years (usually up to the third year) of their children's compulsory schooling. As the pupil's problems (educational or upbringing) progress, parents' active interest in their children's education declines

- Parents expect teachers to handle educationally problematic situations that arise in the family environment or that are not directly related to the educational process in the school setting

- They maintain active communication with the school only if they are subjectively satisfied with the school and its performance. If the school requires the parents to provide precise, especially active educational action for an educationally problematic pupil, the communication with the school is interrupted.

- Parents of older pupils of younger school age who cannot manage the education of their children resign from their parental role. In such situations, they often refer to or seek the help of the child's grandparents (their parents).

Kaleja 2011 concludes her findings of the deficiencies in Roma families in relation to parents to whom she states that "they are focused on the present, without visions and realistic ideas about the future. Roma have inadequate housing conditions related not only to inadequate care of the allocated apartment, but also not very reasonable handling of financial resources (alcohol, cigarettes, vending machines, usury, among others...). Unemployment is also a major problem, as is the connection with the regime of the day, dependence on social benefits, frequent criminality, abuse of psychotropic substances, a lax attitude to duty as such, racial intolerance, frequent immaturity in the roles of mother and father (early pregnancy), but also proxy roles, i.e. family members in prison."

Other aspects relevant to our children's education:Lack of a supportive environment for child developmentThe child is very sensitively limited by space. He misses his "corner" with his books and toys. The poverty of these families is so high that often there is not even a pencil or pen for the children.Parents do not realise how significantly toys can develop their children's thinking. Occasionally a child will get a toy, but very often they are cheap and faulty.Parents solve this shortage with television. That is why mornings and evenings are spent in front of the television from early in the morning.The hygiene habits of children from SVL are often at a very low level. The absence of these habits puts children at risk of further complications, namely the occurrence of bedbugs, lice, which to some extent endangers their health. The lack of care is reflected in the level of dressing or the inadequate provision of food. Hygiene is also an important factor in reducing children's participation in pre-schoolThe influence of the nuclear familyA child/student in a nuclear family has a different status than in the majority society. It is very important to be aware of the child's position, as misunderstanding it becomes the cause of frequent conflicts. The child in a Roma family is considered an equal member and is therefore given space to express himself. His/her opinions and wishes are respected from childhood. Therefore, when a child comes to school, conflict naturally arises, because here (at school) the child becomes only a follower of the teacher's orders. The absence of space for expression becomes a barrier between teacher and pupil.Very often we encounter completely inappropriate educational stereotypes. In many cases, children have become accustomed to being able to 'cry, scream or stomp out' what they want, despite parental resistance.Lack of motivationSocially excluded localities are characterised primarily by low to no educational attainment. Children are deprived of this fact and almost never see the effect of education. The only people they know and are the bearers of the values of education are teachers and then the labour office workers. Both of these groups are perceived by children as the ones who put pressure on their parents. On the other hand, they often see some individuals enriching themselves by selling drugs or making occasional extra money. 


1. GAC (2009): Vzdělanostní dráhy a vzdělanostní šance romských žákyň a žáků základních škol v okolí vyloučených romských lokalit: Závěrečná zpráva. GAC, s.r.o., 69 s. Dostupné z:

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