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Whereas almost half the Hungarian secondary school students enroll in vocational secondary schools or comprehensive grammar schools, which provide better chances, only one in five Romani children does so. Moreover, the drop-out rate in secondary schools is significant.[1]

The Roma in Hungary (called cigányok or romák in Hungarian) suffer particular problems in Hungary, for example in the educational system. Only 61% of Hungarian Roma aged 15 and above has completed primary education, and just 13% has completed secondary education.[2] Currently, around 90% of Romani children complete primary education. A research of sample schools however suggests that the drop-out rate among Roma is still almost twice as high as among non-Roma.[3]

The share of Romani students entering secondary education has increased greatly, with the percentage of Romani children not pursuing any secondary education dropping from 49% to 15% between 1994 and 1999. But that increase is almost exclusively due to increased enrollment in the lowest levels of education, which provide only limited chances for employment.

Parody against Roma

Sándor Fábry's RTL Klub TV program "Esti Showder" one of the most popular talk shows on Hungarian commercial TV, broadcast a "Romani show" on November 6, 2006 . The project was potentially very risky as it was only last spring that TV2 ran their highly controversial and damaging programme "Big Romani Wedding". The rival commercial channel TV2 had to apologize in March for its similar entertaining program ("Big Romani Wedding") where it had presented Romani men as criminals, thefts and the women as prostitutes. However, the ratings for the " Big Roma Wedding" were high, and the RTL Klub "Esti Showder" approached the Romani community directly. He invited some Romani entrepreneurs, musicians, and artists to the studio for the production and, thus, made the parody of quite a different colour. No sooner had the show had been aired, then the RTL Klub issued a broadcast that stated "the prominent Roma politicians had given their approval and appreciated that the show rectified the reputation of Roma community defamed by the TV2" in March. [4]

Other examples

Cooperation between Roma and non-Roma is also taking place around the Opre Roma ("Rise Up, Roma") community in eastern Hungary. Romani residents in the area were to be evicted from their homes, but they have found unlikely support from local citizens and church members.

There are problems related to the Romani minority in Hungary, and the very subject is a heated and disputed topic.

Objective problems:

  • Education/bad chances for work: slightly more than 80% of Romani children complete primary education, but only one third continue studies into the intermediate (secondary) level. This is far lower than the more than 90% proportion of children of non-Romani families who continue studies at an intermediate level. Less than 1% of Roma hold higher educational certificates.[citation needed]
  • Poverty: most of the Romani people live in significantly worse conditions than others.[citation needed]
  • Bad health conditions: as of 1999-2000, life expectancy was about 10 years less compared to non-Roma.[5]
  • Lack of debate regarding the subject: academic researchers and members of the mainstream press disregard any critics and study the subject in the canonical viewpoint. Critics don't have the funds necessary to perform alternative studies.

Please note that this list below consists disputed issues.

  • Natural repugnance: there are differences is the social behavior of the host nation and the Romani people leading to a disinclination towards each other. This is slowly decaying on the Hungarian side (36-38%[6]); as of 2007, there is no research made regarding the Romani side.
  • Integration problems on the host side: there's a significant prejudice towards Romani people in Hungary affecting the motivation for integration. Exact numbers are unknown as the research material available mixes prejudice with "post-judice".
  • Integration problems on the Romani side: some Romani people have apparent trouble adjusting to the European standards of social behavior regarding loud-mouthing, littering and being non-violent, law-abiding and working citizens. As of 2007, there is no research available on this issue.
  • Problems with motivation for work: as of 2007, what can be earned with work can be obtained having many children[7], which does not move Romani people towards work as they usually have more children anyway.
  • Crime: "gypsy crime" ("cigánybűnözés" in Hungarian) is a phenomenon well disputed and often misunderstood.[citation needed]
  • School segregation: likely due to repugnance, non-Romani people tend to choose schools with less problematic Romani children. It's also believed that there were cases where healthy Romani children were assigned to classes for pupils with learning disabilities (although this might have been a financial issue).


  1. Equal access to quality education for Roma, Hungary, pp. 208-209
  2. "Monitoring Education for Roma. A Statistical Baseline for Central, Eastern, and South Eastern Europe.". Open Society Institute, Education Support Program (ESP). 2006. Retrieved 2007-04-20.
  3. "Equal access to quality education for Roma, Hungary". Open Society Institute, EU Monitoring and Advocacy Program (EUMAP). 2007. pp. 206–207. Retrieved 2007-04-20.[dead link]
  4. Hungary: Yet Another Parody on Roma -
  5. OECD (2000). Oecd Economic Surveys 1999-2000: Hungary (November ed.). OECD. p. 191. Retrieved 11/06/2010.
  6. [1] 'Az 1993-1995 közötti három évet jellemző 40-42 százalékos szintről a 2001-2003 közötti három éves időszakban 36-38 százalékra csökkent azok aránya, kik magikra nézve igaznak tartották azt a kijelentést, hogy "idegenkedem a cigányoktól"' (sic).
  7. Minimal monthly wage: 65,500 HUF [2] ("2007.01.01-jétől 65.500,-Ft"), monthly family allowance for a family of 5: 74,500 HUF [3] ("3 és több gyermekes család 14.900/hó/gyermek").
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