July 10, 2011

Roma parents’ views on participation in education in B&H.

Our OSI funded project on parental participation in schools in B&H in 2009, which employed a representative face-to-face survey of 1143 parents, included a booster sample of Roma parents. Up to now we haven’t specifically analysed the different answers for Roma and non-Roma parents in any detail, although the results are available http://promente.org/ESP2-bih-stats.pdf.

(What is interesting about this, from a psychology of data point of view, is that the data was already there, I had seen it, in fact analysed it myself using my favourite heat-map tables (http://socialdatablog.com/heatmap-tables). But this is a case where it wasn’t until I sat down and wrote it in words that it really sunk in how bad the situation is. Or perhaps this isn’t because words are better than pictures and numbers but just because re-processing information helps to understand its importance.)

Anyway here is the written summary.



  • over half the Roma parents have no ambitions for their children beyond secondary vocational school level as opposed to 2% among non-Roma parents.


  • Nearly a quarter say that they are never invited to any meetings at school, as opposed to less than one percent of the other parents.

  • Only 22% as opposed to 81% say they attend every parents’ meeting, and 41% as opposed to 98% say the school schould definitely invite parents to meetings.

  • 15% as opposed to 71% answered yes tothe question Class, group or individual parents meetings: - Does at least someone in your family feel capable and competent to make the best use of this kind of meeting?” Only 32% as opposed to 75% feel they have a duty to attend, and 45% as opposed to 81% believe their child can definitely benefit from the parents attending such meetings.


  • 17% as opposed to 51% believe they definitely have a duty to help with homework.

  • 20% as opposed to less than 1% say their child does no homework.

  • 70% as opposed to 21% say no-one helps their child with their homework.


  • 73% as opposed to 24% say there is no-one in their family who feels competent to help with volunteering in the school.


  • 2% as opposed to 60% feel there is definitely someone in their family compentent to take part in decision-making at school,

  • and 2% as opposed to 51% feel it is their duty.

  • 40% as opposed to 7% feel it is definitely not their duty to take on a role as class representative.


  • over half of Roma parents as opposed to 5% of non-Roma parents believe at least to some extent that parents and school are usually in conflict.

  • 13% as opposed to 59% say the class teacher definitely treats them with respect.

  • 5% as opposed to 43% agree definitely that At least one family member is often in the school building (apart from just picking up our child)”


  • 86% as opposed to 14% say they do not know their parent representative well at all, and 79% as opposed to 7% say their parent representative does not treats them with any respect.

  • 84% as opposed to 9% believe their parent representative is not active at all.


  • 18% as opposed to 61% say the child is definitely happy at school.

  • 6% as opposed to 47% say the school is definitely a safe place for their child

  • 49% as opposed to 7% were definitely unhappy overall with the quality and quantity of information from school.

Bosnia-Herzegovina education reproducibleResearch Roma social research

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