News archive


6. August 2014.

According to the Ministry of Education’s data, the catalogue of approved textbooks in minority languages ​​in primary education includes 1. 065 textbooks from the first to the eighth grade – those in the Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, Ruthenian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Croatian and Czech languages, as well as those in  the Bunjevac speech. There are 230 titles in the catalogue of textbooks in minority languages ​​in secondary education – those in the Bosnian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian, Ruthenian, Slovak and Croatian languages.

Responding recently to MP Saip Kamberi’s question when the Albanian students from the first to the fourth grade would get free textbooks in Albanian, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said that the government would do its best to do so until September 1, adding that there had also been a delay with books in the Croatian and Bulgarian languages. 

In connection with this subject matter, the President of the National Council of Albanians (NCA) Galip Beciri said that he hoped that Prime Minister Vucic’s promise would be  fulfilled by the beginning of the new school year.

Asked whether there were textbooks for all grades and all subjects in the Albanian language, he said that primary schools were 70 percent covered, but that the situation in secondary schools was worse.

“We are short of history, geography, art, music and biology textbooks for primary schools. The books are mostly translated from the Serbian language, but there are also books whose authors are Albanians, as well as some textbooks from Albania, all of which have the approval of the Ministry of Education.  We have got almost nothing for secondary schools and we’re short of a total of 252 textbooks”, said Mr. Beciri.

Mr. Beciri also said that secondary school students learned from the photocopied textbooks or from the notes taken during the classes, which was confirmed by the teachers in some schools in Bujanovac. 

However, that not all books received the approval of the school authorities of Serbia, is evidenced by the case from the beginning of the last school year, when 5. 060 books in the Albanian language were seized in the primary school in the village Rajince, which is situated in the municipality of Presevo, pursuant to an order of the Basic Prosecutor’s Office in Vranje, since the said textbooks that arrived from Kosovo and Metohija didn’t have the supporting documentation. 

It was recorded in the the NCA’s strategic plan for the  2012 – 2016 period that the issue of the lack of textbooks could be easily solved by  importing them from Albania, Kosovo and Metohija or from Macedonia, but that the best solution would be if they were printed in Serbia. 

The Ministry of Education stated that there were 76 licensed publishers of textbooks in Serbia, and that they themselves financed the publishing of textbooks in all languages​, in accordance with their plan and market interests. The Ministry of Education also said that work on textbooks wasn’t easy and that the textbook approval procedure was slow and that it could take years. The price of textbooks depends on whether they are new, as well as on their circulation and on whether they were printed in several languages.

Source: “Politika” daily and Coordination Body