Critical Pedagogy, Romani Emancipation and Post-COVID Education

Online symposium organized by the
European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) and the
Romani Studies Program at Central European University (RSP CEU)


Wednesday November 25, 2020
15:30 – 17:30 CET




The Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Romani pupils compelling various private and public bodies to reconsider their strategies promoting the education of Roma. The online symposium seeks to create a platform to imagine and discuss post-Covid educational systems and institutions for knowledge production that are committed to and deliver social justice.


In the face of the recent Council of Europe Recommendation on the inclusion of the history of Roma and/or Travellers in school curricula and teaching materials[1] and the adoption of the new EU Roma Strategic Framework for equality, inclusion and participation 2020-2030, the online symposium discusses the role of education policies and programs in promoting the emancipation of Romani people using the lens of critical pedagogy.


Critical pedagogy emancipates oppressed and marginalized groups through the formation of a critical consciousness, which encourages individuals to affect change in their world through social critique and political action. Critical pedagogy challenges neoliberal education systems that on one hand reproduce privileges and inequalities; on the other hand, produce disciplined consumers and workforce. Education could rather be a road towards self-knowledge and liberation, and this road leads through a critical understanding of the participants’ social situation, their own history and culture, their rights and their responsibilities.


The symposium aims to:

  • Discuss what kind of educational reforms and initiatives contribute to Romani emancipation and what kind of educational measures and institutions undermine such efforts;
  • Assess Roma educational policies and initiatives from the perspective of critical pedagogy. To what extent have these policies and initiatives been successful in challenging mainstream neoliberal education systems?
  • Discuss policies and measures mitigating the adverse impact of the pandemic on education of Romani students;
  • Make policy recommendations for key institutions promoting Roma education.



15.30 – 15.35 Welcoming remarks


15:35 – 16.25 Institutional perspectives: Transformative education, social justice and the Roma in the post-Covid reality


16:25 – 16:35 Break and screening of short videos presenting Roma educational initiatives


16:35 – 17:25 Assessing Roma education initiatives from the perspective of critical pedagogy


17.25 – 17.30 Closing remarks



Critical Pedagogy, Romani Emancipation and Post-Covid Education_final







1 Council of Europe Recommendation CM/Rec(2020)2 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States on the inclusion of the history of Roma and/or Travellers