Head of Zakarpattya regional state administration Gennady Moskal had got Adviser for Roma issues. This is Wilhelm Pap, public figure, musician, teacher, appointed upon the recommendation of Roma community.
Wilhelm Pap is Head of Roma musical culture society “Lautari” in Zakarpattya region, the famous jazzman, composer, teacher, the Honoured Worker of Culture of Ukraine (by the way, the only Roma in the region who is awarded with the title), Head of Lautari children's ensemble.
Commenting on the appointment to UNN on September 29, Willie Pap noted value of education for Roma community. In his opinion, exactly due to education Roma can be integrated into Ukrainian society.
“It will also allow to overcome discrimination tendencies towards Roma, will provide opportunities for Roma youth to get higher education, successful employment and self-realization”, Wilhelm Pap noted.
Also Pap emphasized incredible thirst of Roma children for art.
“They are musical, talented and capable to study. The main thing is to encourage children to that they love", UNN quoted the Adviser.
In his opinion, one of the major problems of realization of such potential is lack of appropriate educational institutions.
“We have no music-biased comprehensive schools, like in Hungary and Slovakia, where there are big Roma due to the opportunity of creative development. Besides, also deficiency of pedagogical staff for Roma children affects. It does not deal with certain schools, after all here there is a barrier of non-recognition of Romani language in educational policies. Roma children from camps who come to Ukrainian schools, unfortunately, do not understand Ukraninan. They need more time for adaptation and digestion of curricular material, as they communicate mainly in Romani at home”, Wilhelm Pap noted.
Wilhelm Pap and participants of Lautari children’s ensemble during rehearsal. Photo: Wilhelm Pap's Facebook.
Concerning other “Roma” problems, Wilhelm specified such question as legalization of housing.
“Those buildings are 40-50 year old, and all of them will remain. They can't be dismantled and moved to the other planet. Authorities have to find opportunity to come to people, to explain what is to be done, and if necessary to support the process”, the Adviser considers.
According to Pap, Roma are socially active and not indifferent to problems of their community. If the society accepts them as equal participants of social relations, they will be useful to it.
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