(Minority) education in Kosovo

posted by Julia on 2008/09/02 21:58

[ Kosova-o ]

Education is one of the key words on Kosovo politician's lips, but the reality  is far from the goals of the Ministry of Education which are summarised in the catch phrase "curriculum reform". Some progress has been achieved: recently, as a consequence of a new accreditation process, all private "universities" and colleges in Kosovo had to close their doors to new students - except the American University of Kosovo which is a branch of a US university. Nevertheless, the situation remains very difficult for youth belonging to a minority group (cf. this "NODE" report on minority rights in the Balkans (pdf), p. 66ff.). (more below)

Especially the integration of Serb-speaking pupils and Roma pupils into the Kosovar education system is very slow - which is to be blamed not only on the Kosovo authorities (lack of textbooks and curricula in Serbian) but also on Serbian authorities which control and fund a parallel school system in Kosovo and refuse co-operation with the Kosovar Education Ministry.

As every year in September, some primary schools in the Gora area of Dragash did not start their classes, as the teachers who had not signed a contract with the Kosovar Ministry of Education (because they would get less or no money from Serbia if they signed it) were prevented from going to work. As always, children are the first victims of political (or other) conflicts.

Here is some information on Dragash from the OSCE Municipal profile (pdf):

"Dragash/Dragaš Municipality is located in the southernmost part of Kosovo, approximately 22km southwest of Prizren at an altitude of 1050 meters. (...) The estimated population is 41,000. About two-thirds of the inhabitants are Kosovo Albanian and one
third is Kosovo Gorani/Bosniak. Dragash/Dragaš Municipality is probably unique within Kosovo for its tolerant environment between its two communities.
(...) The Kosovo Gorani/Bosniak community resides in the Gora region. A widely held view is that the
Gorani descend from Orthodox Christian Slavic peoples who arrived from Bulgaria in the 13th century, and passed through the present territory of Dragash/Dragaš in their migration north to what is now Bosnia and Herzegovina. In general, the Gorani community defines its spoken dialect as ‘Nasinski’ (‘Our Language’). It is a mixture of Macedonian, Turkish, Bosnian, and Serbian. (...)

Dragash/Dragaš municipality has 35 primary schools, out which 23 are satellite schools in remote villages for educational grades 1-4, and the remaining 12 are for all primary education grades. Six are in Opoja region (Albanian), five are in Gora region (Gorani) and one is in Dragash/Dragaš town. This school has both Albanian and Gorani pupils. The only secondary school in the area is in Dragash/Dragaš town with a satellite school in Bresane/Bresana village and is also multi-ethnic. During the 2007-2008 school year 6113 children were registered as attending the schools, out of which 4751 (77,71%) were Kosovo Albanian, and 1362 (22,29%) Gorani. Some Kosovo Gorani teachers receive salaries from Belgrade in addition to their UNMIK salaries."


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This weblog is a forum for discussion on the political and social processes linked to EU integration in the Western Balkans. We would also like to use this space to create a virtual network of researchers on this topic. You are most welcome to contribute to this weblog with comments, postings, links, or photos. Please use the "add comment" function at the end of each posting!
All photos by the Photo Arts Collective of Kosovo. First photo by Burim Myftiu (Swimming olympiade in Klina). Second photo by Mimoza. Third photo by Dashmir Izairi.
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