By our letter we called on the Slovak government to ensure that its declared efforts to solve the problem of two-shift operation in primary schools did not remain restricted to solving capacity problems and the non-systemic construction of new school buildings. In our opinion, the solutions must be aimed at desegregating Roma children and promoting school diversity.

We have warned the government that increasing school capacities in the vicinity of segregated Roma communities is not a systemic solution, as it will not eliminate their segregation.

On the contrary, the way to go is to make the most efficient use of free school capacities at other more remote primary schools attended by children form the majority and to introduce other measures that will ensure that Roma children have effective access to these schools, such as efficient school transport.

In our letter, we also pointed out that the elimination of segregation of Roma children in schools should be closely linked to the elimination of segregation in housing. In some localities, removing the residential segregation of the local Roma minority may currently be the most effective or even the only feasible way to really ensure effective access for Roma children to more remote non-segregated primary schools with sufficient capacity attended by majority children.

Slovakia can obtain significant funding from the recovery plan to address the problem of two-shift operation in schools. It would be a missed opportunity not to use these funds to consistently eliminate the existing segregation of Roma children in overcrowded Roma schools.

In our letter to the government, we emphasized that using European Union funds in a way that promotes or perpetuates the segregation of Roma children in education is contrary to EU law will lead to sanctions by the European Commission.

We will closely monitor the use of recovery plan resources in this area and, if they contribute or maintain segregation in education, we will use the available legal remedies offered by EU law.